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Hiking Kessler Peak, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah

Kessler Peak (10,403 ft) is located in Big Cottonwood Canyon at the north end of the ridge that separates Cardiff Fork and Mineral Fork basin; it is the peak that connects the jagged ridgeline to Mt. Superior, also known as Cardiac Ridge. Kessler Peak provides an amazing 360 degree view of surrounding peaks, including Mt. Raymond & Gobblers Knob to the North, Broads Fork Twin Peaks to the West, Clayton Peak to the East, and Mt. Superior & Monte Cristo to the south. 

Hiking to Donut Falls, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Hiking in Utah with Kids, Hiking Utah

Donut Falls, located in Big Cottonwood Canyon, is a classic Wasatch Mountain hike. This hike is suitable for all hikers regardless of age or hiking experience. This is usually the trail I will take family that is visiting from out of state since it hardly gains any elevation, yet it leads to a beautiful destination. It is a very rewarding for those who don't regularly hike but still want to see Utah's varying scenery. Because of these things, Donut Falls is very popular - you will literally see hundreds of people here on weekends, especially in Summer. Hiking the Donut Falls trail is safe and easy to access year-round. Arrive early to beat the crowds.

Hiking Utah's 8 Ultra Prominence PeaksHiking Utah's Ultra Prominence Peaks is not for the average hiker - many of these peaks require hiking off trail, very early morning starts (sometimes 3am), route finding, long days, crossing exposed ridge lines, extremely steep and rugged terrain, and sometimes a river crossing. In addition to these "fun" circumstances, I've also dealt with bad sun burns, running out of food, running out of water, reading the map wrong, forgetting socks, starting out too late in the day, ending after dark, getting annoyed by people I'm hiking with, and as the movies say, have experienced blood, sweat, and tears. So why do I keep doing it? What is the draw for people to complete Ultra Prominent Peaks?

Hiking to Willow Heights Lake, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, Kid friendly Trails in Salt Lake City

Willow Heights Lake is a popular destination year-round in Big Cottonwood Canyon for families looking for a short hike with the kids, for backcountry skiers in Winter, and for me, what I call a "bonus hike". A bonus hike is a super short hike that I will do after another longer hike in the area. In this case I just hiked the Mt. Wolverine Cirque to Brighton Lakes (8 miles), and wanted to see Willow Heights at the height of Fall.

Hiking to Box Elder Peak, Utah, Hiking in Utah, Hiking in Utah with Dogs

Box Elder Peak (11,101 ft) is the large, well known peak in between Mt. Timpanogos and Lone Peak - it dominates the ridgeline above, and to the North, of American Fork Canyon. Because the summit is over 11K, it is a popular hike among Peak Baggers. There are several routes to chose from, the most popular being the Dry Creek-Deer Creek Trail #043, which starts from the Granite Flats Campground just past Tibble Fork Reservoir.

Hiking to Mt. Peale & Mt. Tukuhnikivatz, Utah Ultra Prominence Peaks

Mt. Peale (12,721 ft) and Mt. Tukuhnikivatz (12, 482 ft) are two prominent peaks in the LaSal Mountains right outside of Moab, UT. Mt. Peale is the highest point in the range, and 2nd tallest prominent mountain in Utah; Mt. Tukuhnikivatz (pronounced tuk-oon-ik-ah-vatz) is the peak you mainly see from the valley floor from Moab, and is a mountain well known in Edward Abbey's, Desert Solitaire. If you have ever lived in Utah, have passed through, or want to have some sense of what Moab and Arches National Park was like back in the day, reading Desert Solitaire is a must. 

Hiking to Cecret Lake & Sugarloaf Peak

Cecret Lake (yes, that is the correct spelling) is a beautiful alpine lake that sits in the heart of Alta Ski Resort. This easy 1 mile walk is great for kids, taking photos of the amazing wildflowers in July, and possibly sighting a moose. But why stop at the lake, when you can continue just one more mile and summit Sugarloaf Peak? The elevation of Sugarloaf Peak is 11,051 ft, and can be summited in under an hour and half. Bring a light jacket though - it gets really windy and can be quite cold at the top. Keep in mind that the Albion Basin Road is only open from July 4th until the last week of September (or whenever the first snow hits).

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