Big Cottonwood Canyon Hikes

Another year, another reading of AP World History Exams in Salt Lake City with a bunch of other history nerds, I mean teachers and professors. After the long work day (of reading high school student’s essays), my friends and I like to adventure around town – specifically get outside since we’ve been inside all day. This year, we headed up to Big Cottonwood Canyon to experience the great outdoors.

We started off with an easy stroll around Silver Lake where you could find many families enjoying the boardwalk and a nearby photogenic moose! (For those interested: Silver Lake is at the very end of the canyon road in the Brighton area and it took us about 45 minutes to an hour to get out there from downtown Salt Lake.) We decided that the family friendly boardwalk was almost too easy for us and we took off on a grand adventure and followed the trail to Twin Lakes. The trail wasn’t too difficult at like 2.5 miles roundtrip, but it did have a bit of an elevation change (700ish ft) and we were already above 8,000 ft. at the start of the trail. I could certainly feel that altitude mid-hike, especially since I’m from flat Florida! But despite the altitude, the hike to Twin Lakes was well worth the view!

Another day we hiked to Donut Falls (about 1.6 miles roundtrip) from the Mill D Trailhead. This trail was significantly easier than the Twin Lakes hike and there was even more families on this one. The end of the trial is sort of confusing as it appears that you have to venture out into the freezing snow water to get a proper view of the waterfall. We managed to hug the shore and stay on rocks nearby and shimmy out onto a log to catch a good view of the falls, but sadly I did not see the “donut” part of the rock where there is a hole and water runs through it. Many people were Spidermaning it up the waterfall to get a better view, but I decided I was:

  1. too old (I’m over 30 now. Not a young whipper snapper anymore)
  2. too tired from grading essays all day (and let’s be real, all week of the wrong historical information makes your head hurt)
  3. a little bit too scared of slipping after reading an article of a guy falling 40 ft at this same exact falls the day before.

Staying on the shore worked nicely and it was still an enjoyable little hike in the canyon.



4 thoughts on “Big Cottonwood Canyon Hikes

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