Big Cottonwood Canyon Hikes

Hi there!

I hope everyone’s summer is wrapping up nicely. It has gone by so fast and I’m a tad bit (ok, a lot a bit) sentimental because I’m trying to soak up every last day before I head back to work since having Declan. We’ve had 3 full weeks jam packed with family visits and exploring which has been incredible and heartwarming. The summer season has been wonderful because its hot enough to sweat but the mountains still have snow caps. Utah really is a complete package when it comes to weather.

We took advantage of this weather and headed up to Big Cottonwood Canyon to get some hiking in. Two hikes which I’ve been dying to do since we moved out here and it couldn’t have been the better opportunity while family was out here to head up to the mountains.

Donut Falls

Talk about a trail with character! Donut falls is incredibly charming. It is perfect for young kids, has plenty of places to pull off and eat a snack or play in the snow melt and even better, smells like Christmas! It has the perfect amount of shade and sun exposure. I will say it is a highly trafficked trail and there were a lot of people when we went (granted, it was independence day weekend maybe played a factor into that). We didn’t go into the donut because the water was pretty intense still from the long winter we had this year in Utah. Definitely on our list to go back again during the fall! Make sure to wear good hiking boots as some parts of the terrain we crossed were rocky, covered with tree roots, and water near the falls. The water is freezing and there was a point that we couldn’t avoid getting our feet wet to get where we wanted to be on the trail. When you head back there is a fork to return the way you came or to continue a straight exit, I suggest taking the straight ahead path. It was untouched, more calm, and we didn’t see anyone else on the trail.

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Lake Mary – Brighton Lakes Trail

Also located a few miles up from Donut Falls are the Bright Lakes that can be accessed through the Brighton Ski Resort parking lot. There are signs to direct you but Google Maps took us to a drive way. If you happen to do these lakes, park in the ski resort lot and then look for the pavilion sign. So, there are 3 lakes that are on the same trail, the first and closest one to the resort is Lake Mary which is doable with children in the summer. I’m not sure what the winter season would look like for a kiddo. The trail starts off pretty steep so don’t over exert yourself, but levels out eventually. Once you get on the last stretch before the lake you encounter crossing over slick rocks and running water. I felt confident with my hiking boots, but really wished I had a hiking stick too! We saw a couple people slip and fall that weren’t wearing good boots or stable on their feet. The lake was so peaceful and breathtaking. I think we took easily 100 pictures but none of them do it justice. I’d assume continuing the trail would bring you to the remainder of the Lakes Lake Cathrine is 7 miles out. We didn’t do this because we had little ones on our backs! And also…Florida lungs still, ha! One thing we forgot on this hike was secured containers for our food… which we realized when these adorable chipmunks were stealing our snacks while we were taking pictures.

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I hope you get the opportunity to visit these two popular trails up in Big Cottonwood Canyon! They’re incredible and perfect family friendly hikes and right now the weather is perfect!

Buffalo Point at Antelope Island

Hey friends! Hope everyone is having a wonderful start to your spring activities! School is wrapping up and my beautiful tulips are blooming, summer is coming! I don’t know about you, but this Florida Girl was thrilled to see temperatures rise here in Utah this week.  Our little family gathered our bags and headed over to Antelope Island to try Buffalo Point Trail again.  We attempted this hike in February, but temps were still too low for our little dude and the wind was wicked.

What a beautiful day it was! We hit 62 degrees towards the end of April and in Utah that’s perfect hiking weather.  If you’re looking for an easy hike with some inclination I highly recommend heading over to Antelope Island in Syracuse, Utah. It is a State Park and a $10 entry fee per vehicle. It is about 35 minutes outside of Salt Lake City.  This hike was perfect 1 mile round trip with a lot of variation and switchbacks. Once you get to the top it’s a rock garden! All your inner childhood exploring kicks in and before you know it you’re out of breath.  I loved this hike because it provided gorgeous 360 views of the Great Salt Lake, Ogden, and the Stansbury Mountains. It’s not long at all which makes it perfect for young children. We also took time to hike Lady Finger Trail at the park as well. There is also a TON of wildlife here. Check out pictures below!

A couple things I would recommend on this hike:

  1. Bug Spray- the mosquitos and gnats that swarm are insane!
  2. Sun Screen- 62 degrees on a clear day and no sunscreen= sunburn for you. We all used our 50 SPF Baby Bum Sunscreen which we love!
  3. Tube Socks of some sort or breathable hiking pants- to avoid scratches and plants that are irritating along the narrow trail path.

Alright, now I need your help! Eric and I are ready to bite the bullet and get a hiking carrier for Declan. He’s got the neck strength and he’s super into everything that’s going on around him. What hiking carrier reqs do you all have? We don’t want something super bulky and some type of a shade for Declan.

 

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