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Three Epic Salt Lake City Hikes That Are Worth Every Mile

Posted by 
Brittany
Brittany
 2021-05-07

Some of the greatest views come with the toughest hikes. When you're climbing 3500 feet of elevation gain, pushing through, you know that the view at the top will be worth it. And when you get to that breathtaking vista, and you're flooded with the unshakeable feeling that "you've earned this view", there's nothing else in the world quite like it.

Salt Lake City is famous for hikes that will push you to the limits to give you its views. For the tougher hikers among us, Salt Lake's Wasatch range is a haven of hikes that push the limits. Here are three unforgettable hikes in Salt Lake City that are worth every mile:

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No matter where you go in Salt Lake, you're never far from a Breathtaking HikeLukas Kloeppel | Unsplash

1. Grandeur Peak

One of the iconic hikes in Salt Lake City, Grandeur Peak offers stunning views that truly live up to its name. There are two ways up the peak - and how hard it gets depends on which you choose.

The northern route starts at the end of Wasatch Boulevard. It follows the Bonneville trail for a short while, and then goes straight up the side of the mountain. If you're looking for a brutal hike, this is it. Only the most adventurous hikers take this route up the famed peak.

The trail up the southern face is more popular, as it's a little more accessible. To get there, start at Church's Fork in Mill Creek Canyon (you'll have to pay a $5 entrance fee). Follow the beautiful, gradual hike up the side of the mountain. Enjoy stunning vistas for the entire second half of the hike, finishing with the view from the very peak.

Whether in winter or summer, this hike is absolutely breathtaking. As always, remember to bring plenty of water, and enjoy the view.

2. Lake Blanche

Lake Blanche is a local favorite - and for good reason. This steep-but-worth-it hike will give you stunning views of the Wasatch's famed Big Cottonwood Canyon, all while showcasing the beauty of the Wasatch range.

To reach this trail, drive halfway up Big Cottonwood Canyon (and enjoy the incredible views you get just from the road). Then, park at the Lake Blanche trailhead and head east into the woods. You'll find the trail map next to a permanent bathroom installation.

Not only does this trail offer great views of the valley below - you'll also get a stunning view of the lake itself. The alpine-blue lake sits nestled under Twin Peaks, a dramatic mountain with two spires. Give yourself plenty of time for pictures around the lake - this beauty speaks for itself.

In summer, this is a great hike to do to escape the heat. It starts higher up in elevation, and it climbs through plenty of shady aspen groves. You can do this hike in winter as well, but the lake is frozen over and hidden in snow.

3. Mt. Olympus

This one is only for the truly adventurous. Mt. Olympus is famous among locals and travellers as a punishing hike. This hike demands 3,000-ft of elevation gain in just three miles - meaning it feels like you're climbing straight up stairs for three miles.

That being said, the view from the top of Mt. Olympus is one of the best in the Wasatch Range. This peak will give you stunning views of both the Salt Lake Valley and the rest of the canyons in the Wasatch mountains.

Be warned - if you do this hike in the summer, it's going to get hot. Remember to bring plenty of water, and go earlier in the day if you can.

If you're more of a winter hiker, Mt. Olympus is incredible when covered in snow. Just remember to bring your microspikes! The steep trail can get slick after sunny mornings, creating some slippery conditions. If you plan to summit in winter, an ice-ax might also be a great idea. The final ascent to the top is very steep, and locals have been known to wear mountaineering crampons to get to the top safely.

Trust me, though - the view is worth it.

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If you're ready to push yourself to the max on the trail this year, Salt Lake City will give you the perfect opportunity. The Wasatch range has plenty of hikes that leave nothing in the tank, and these three are just a highlight reel. No matter which you choose, the views will be worth it.

Which trail will you conquer first?