Water Canyon is a perfect desert oasis hike near Hilldale, UT. While this hike looks a lot like Zion National Park, it's dog friendly, perfect for kids, there are zero fees to enter, and you can make the hike as long or short as you want. I highly recommend hiking at least 1.5 miles to the small waterfall and pool area, so the dogs can cool off their paws and kids can explore and splash around.
The Mansard Trail is located in Kanab, Utah and leads to a large alcove that is home to several petroglyphs. The trail itself winds its way up several gradual switchbacks before reaching a 6 ft scramble. Dogs and kids will need a boost, but otherwise the trail is quite easy. Halfway through you will reach the mesa, and the trail is mostly flat the rest of the way, but becomes very sandy.
Red Hollow Canyon is a very short slot canyon located in Orderville, UT. Because its only 1 mile round trip, this makes for a great stop for the drive in between SLC and Kanab to get the kids and dogs out for a stretch. The slot canyon section only lasts for about 0.2 miles but it offers some light scrambling (dogs and kids will need a boost), before ending at a tall dry fall.
Adam's Cabin Trail leads to an old, historic cabin above Adam's Canyon Waterfall. Adam's Cabin was made of stone in the early 1940s, and today you can still sleep in it, if you dare. Adam's Cabin Trail is steep and not for those with knee or hip issues - it gains 2,700 ft in just 2.7 miles!
The Tropic Trail is located in Bryce Canyon National Park, but starts on the East side of the park in the amphitheater, as opposed to the rim and the main park entrance.
Sunset Arch & Moonrise Arch are two arches located within Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument (GSENM) off Hole in the Rock Road. They are both located in an area that does NOT have an official trail so being able to navigate a GPS is necessary. That being said it is pretty straight forward, and this easy hike is great for small children, dogs off leash, and those wanting to see something cool without the hard effort most hikes in this area require.
Devil's Garden is apart of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and is home to Metate Arch as well as hoodoos. Not to be confused with The Devils Garden Loop Trail in Moab, this area is only 640 acres and is part of a Wilderness Study Area, for the purpose of possible wilderness designation; however, wilderness status was not recommended by the BLM back in 1991. One of the reasons state was that the existing roads, parking lot, picnic tables, and port-a-potty are all in close proximity to a natural area. The second reason was the likelihood of several groups of people coming to this area at the same time to the same formations (all of which are within a 2 minute walk from the trailhead). Both of those reasons diminish the wilderness experience of solitude.
The Emigration Canyon Ridge sits directly in the middle of Parley's Canyon and Emigration Canyon, on the East side of SLC. The trail starts from the Little Mountain Summit, which is a popular spot for road cyclists and runners to end their day. This ridge is a rarely hiked and very few know the peaks, yet anyone who drives through Parley's Canyon has been just below the trail. The Emigration Canyon Ridge provides access to Dale Peak (7,367 ft) and Perkins Peak (7,491 ft). Hiking the ridge is very easy - no scrambling or technical skills are needed and it provides amazing views of the surrounding mountains and other ridges.
Here are my top 7 Reasons Why Winter is the best season to hike in Utah! Ever considered winter hiking? Summer trails are full with people hiking, but winter? You'll see half the people. Yes, it's cold. You'll get a little wet from snow. But so what - that's what layers are for!
Silver Lake in American Fork Canyon is a beautiful high alpine lake that sits just below the Little Cottonwood Canyon ridgeline on the south side. This moderate trail slowly gains elevation, so it's not super hard to reach this awesome destination. The trail passes by some boulders, crosses a stream, climbs up 3-4 long switchbacks, and finally reaches the lake after only 2.2 miles (one way).