Rock Creek Basin is located in the High Uinta Wilderness, in between Rocky Sea Pass and Dead Horse Pass. Getting into the basin requires a minimum 9 mile hike; I highly recommend that you spend at least two nights in Rock Creek Basin to fully explore the area. Some people can backpack it in one night, but doing so won't allow enough time to see everything. There are three ways you can reach Rock Creek Basin: 1) via the Highline Trail from Hayden Pass 2) From West Black's Fork or 3) Rock Creek TH from the Stillwater Reservoir.
Hiking the Red Cloud Trail at Deer Valley Ski Resort is a very scenic hikers-only trail that begins at the Silver Lake Village, at an elevation of 8,100 ft. Many people do not know that anyone can hike at Deer Valley for free! You don't have to be a member or have to have a "friend of a friend" to be able to visit and hike on the mountain during the Summer months. If fact, you can hike to any peak or on any trail, and ride the chair lift down for free. This hike was apart of the free guided monthly Deer Valley History Hike.
Tony Grove Lake is a popular summer hang out and camping area in Logan Canyon, Utah, about and hour and half drive from SLC. Not only is it dog friendly (off leash) and kid friendly, you can take your kayak or SUP on the lake, there's camping on the southern end of the lake or at the official campground, there's picnicking, hiking, fishing, and will definitely offer something for everyone in the family. Many people head for for just the day to explore Naomi Peak and White Pine Lake as well, or bring a camp chair and enjoy nature along the lake.
Backpacking to White Pine Lake in Logan Canyon can be described in one word - gorgeous! Or beautiful, or awesome, well...you get the idea. This was my first time to White Pine Lake, and I figured I would make the most of my time here and do a quick overnighter at the lake. White Pine Lake is surrounded by a large cliff wall to the West, Mt. Magog to the south, and Mt. Gog to the North.
The Sherwood Hills Maze (or Labyrinth) in the foothills of Orem, Utah offers more of a spiritual destination, rather than say, an overlook. This area is not well know, and my friends who live in the area would like to keep it that way. Plus, I really wouldn't recommend this trail to anyone - there is a lot of overgrowth, bushwhacking is required, you have to be very careful about skirting around the private property in the area.
Most peaks require hours of effort and are typically suited for hikers with a lot of back-country experience, yet Buffalo Peak near Orem, Utah is a peak for the whole family to enjoy (even the dogs!). With the low elevation gain, and short distance, even children will be excited to summit this "peak". You can reach the summit in under 15 minutes at a moderate hiking pace, or closer to 30 minutes with children. Buffalo Peak offers a fantastic view of Utah Valley to the West, and the Cascade ridgeline to the East. Late Spring and Early summer is the best time to hike here while the wildflowers are blooming.
Spanish Fork Peak (10,192 ft) stands out by itself, as you make your way down HWY 6 towards Price, UT, it sits in between two other big peaks (Provo Peak to the North, and Santaquin Peak to the south). With almost 3,000ft of prominence, Spanish Fork Peak ranks #41 on the Utah Prominence Peak list, and is higher than any peak in Weber and Davis counties. This trail is not for the beginner hiker - it climbs 4,600 ft in just 5 miles. Steep is the name of the game, but your hard work will pay off with grand views of surrounding mountains and an alpine lake.
Mt. Pennell (11,371 ft) is the 3rd highest point in the Henry Mountains, coming in after Mount Ellen and Mt. Ellen Peak. The Henry Mountains are off the beaten path for most hikers, but the range itself is a peak baggers dream! 5 of Utah's 81 prominence peaks are found in the Henry's: Mount Ellen (#3), Mt. Pennell (#26), Mt. Hilliers (#32), Mt. Ellsworth (#42), and Mt. Holmes (#64); the last two peaks are also known as the "Little Rockies." Take a few days to spend here, and you could knock out all five peaks.
Coyote Gulch in Southern Utah is one of many quintessential red rock canyons of the Escalante River drainage. Containing several natural arches, natural bridges, petroglyphs, cascades, waterfalls, and pure beauty, Coyote Gulch is one of the most scenic canyons in Utah. Coyote Gulch could be hiked in one day, but why rush? With all that the canyon has to offer, plan on spending at least one night minimum backpacking. Two nights will really allow you to take in the massive canyon walls, sparkling stream, and breathtaking scenery.
GUEST POST by Katie Wanders Katie Wanders follows New England native, Katie, around the globe. Katie swapped her oceans for mountains and moved to Utah for two years to see what "Life Elevated" was all about. Katie Wanders follows trips around the American West, adventures along the coasts, trips abroad, and showcases her love of New England. Currently, you can find her in a 2016 Penske truck with her dog and cat, wandering around National Parks and making her way back to the Atlantic. You can follow all of her adventures on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!