Berkeley, California (EastBayDaily) — When it comes to easy access to the great outdoors, there are few major metropolitan areas in the United States that compare with Salt Lake City—but there’s a downside to venturing outdoors during the summer season: the sweltering heat. With an average high of 92° in July, it can be tempting to avoid hiking altogether.
Not only does Mike Matson—avid outdoors expert and author of Moon Take a Hike Salt Lake City—know all the best hikes in and around the Great Salt Lake, but he also knows the most beautiful, less-demanding trails that offer waterfalls, wind, and shade to help beat the summer heat. He shares his top five selections for the most warm-weather-friendly hikes in Salt Lake City.
1. Catherine Pass Difficulty Level: Moderate Hiking Time: 1 hour Distance: 2.0 miles round-trip The short, rewarding hike to Catherine Pass from Albion Basin offers a combination of wildflower-dappled meadows and soaring summit views that create a high-alpine experience difficult to match inside the state of Utah.
2. Ben Lomond from Inspiration Point Difficulty Level: Moderate Hiking Time: 3–4 hours Distance: 4.8 miles round-trip This is the easiest way to the summit of Ben Lomond, the Northern Wasatch’s most recognized peak, rumored to be the inspiration for the mountain in the Paramount Pictures logo. Views are panoramic the whole way and, except on weekends, hikers are likely to have the whole trail to themselves.
3. Waterfall Canyon Difficulty Level: Moderate Hiking Time: 1.5–2 hours Distance: 3.0 miles round-trip A popular hike for families with children and a great hike for dogs, this short, steep trail leads to Malan Falls, the impressive, hidden, 200-feet-high waterfall with views to the valley floor below. Locals hike up to the falls to cool off in the misty shower and enjoy the beautiful natural amphitheater.
4. Bald Mountain Difficulty Level: Easy/Moderate Hiking Time: 1.5–2 hours Distance: 2.7 miles round-trip During the summer, the summit of Bald Mountain offers a pleasantly cool escape from the heat of SLC—there’s almost always a breeze on the upper ridge, and temperatures promise to be 30 degrees cooler at 12,000 feet. The wide, well-traveled trail is easy to follow and grows more spectacular as the climb goes on, overlooking the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway.
5. Lofty Lake Loop Difficulty Level: Moderate Hiking Time: 2–3 hours Distance: 3.9 miles round-trip Lofty Lake is the highest-elevation lake in the western Uinta Mountains, and the trail that leads to it is one of the most popular day hikes in the range. The loop winds through pristine alpine meadows, across exposed ridges, and past trout-stocked lakes—making it the quintessential Uinta day-hiking experience.
For more information on hiking in Salt Lake City, visit the Moon Travel Guides website.
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About Moon Travel Guides & Moon.com Moon Travel Guides make independent travel and outdoor exploration fun and accessible. With expert writers delivering a mix of honest insight, first-rate strategic advice, and an essential dose of humor, Moon guidebooks ensure that travelers have an uncommon and entirely satisfying travel experience. Moon not only guides, Moon inspires. Based in Berkeley, Calif., Moon is published by Avalon Travel, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Visit Moon at http://www.moon.com.