Fun Friday: 5 Family Hikes!

Cecret Lake, Alta Ski Area

Cecret Lake

Cecret Lake is the most rewarding and scenic hikes on our list! The trail is 1.2 miles each way and gains about 450 feet in elevation. It is an easy hike but the kids will love it when they reach the lake! The trail has a few water crossing, and ends right after a steep switchback up a hill. For more avid hiker, continue on to summit Sugarloaf Peak.


Drive up the main road of Little Cottonwood Canyon, past Alta ski resort to Albion Basin Campground. The road turns to gravel once you get past the ski resort, but it’s suitable for two-wheel drive cars (with a bit of clearance). There’s a small parking lot at the trail head.

This a popular hike, and often the main parking lot fills up. The Town of Alta offers a free shuttle from the upper Albion parking lot during summer months from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm.  This shuttle is in operation through Labor Day, and possibly a weekend or two after that.

Lower Bell Canyon Reservoir:

lower bell canyon

Lower Bell Canyon Reservoir sits right in the lap of Lone Peak. Great for hiking and fishing, yet very close to home. There are two trail-heads. The Granite Trail is “longer” than it’s counterpart, the Boulders Trail. Granite Trial is .71 miles long and has a gain of 560 ft. The trail has a gentle incline with little or no tricky footing. The Boulders Trail is shorter but steeper. The trail to the reservoir from this trail-head is .5 miles long and has a vertical gain of 578 ft. Some sections are steep with crumbling rock. Going up isn’t bad but be careful on the way down! You can access the lake from both trails but Granite trail is more kid friendly. the lake is beautiful and the location has some of the best sunset views in the area. More avid hikers can continue up the trail on the east side of the reservoir to Bell Canyon Falls further up.

bell canyon falls


Granite Trail-head
The Granite Trail-head, located just East of the intersection of Wasatch Boulevard and E. Little Cottonwood Rd., provides 23 parking stalls and restrooms.

Boulders Trail-head
The Boulders Trail-head is located .6 miles south of the intersection of Wasatch Boulevard and E. Little Cottonwood Rd. on the East side of Wasatch Boulevard, on the North side of the entrance to the Boulders at Bell Canyon housing development. The Boulders Trail-head has about 20 parking stalls.

Parking at either trail-head may be limited during the early spring and on holidays. During these times, please use the overflow parking at the Salt Lake County parking lot just west of Wasatch Boulevard on the north side of Little Cottonwood Road.

Donut Falls, Big Cottonwood Canyon

donut trails

Donut Falls is higher in elevation and the trail provides plenty of shade, making it a summer favorite. The hiking is easy, with very little elevation gain and a groomed gravel trail most of the way. Footing became tricky as we neared the falls and depending at some point you may have to cross through water depending on the season.


Travel up the canyon road 9.0 miles, and you will come to a large parking lot with restrooms. Turn right and travel down the paved road past the Jordan Pines Picnic Area past some private property to the trail head parking area.

Fifth Water Hot Springs:

fifth water hot springs

This hike is longer, 2.5 miles one way with only moderate elevation gain. From the trail-head you follow the river on the left side, rolling up and down the hills and in and out of shade and crossing a bridge further in. This hike is not dangerous but the trail does skirt a steep embankment that leads to the river. Just keep that in mind with your kids in case they miss a step! Also, beware of rattlesnakes, you are more likely to see them in early spring and in the hottest times of day.

Fifth water.jpg

There are two separate “pool” areas. When we were there, the upper pools, 500 feet above the falls, were shaded, cooler in temperature, and the perfect depth. The pools below the falls were in full sun, hotter, and in most cases shallower. Camping Spots are also available.


Take I-15 south to the US-6 (Price/Manti) Exit (exit 258). Take the exit east towards the mountains all the way up Spanish Fork canyon for about 11 miles (from the exit). Not too far after the highway turns from one lane each way to two lanes you will see a turn off on the left side of the road that says Diamond Fork. Take that turn off and follow the road until you see a sign that says Three Forks Trail-head.


Lisa Falls, Little Cottonwood Canyon:

lisa falls


This isn’t necessarily a hike, it is more of a small outdoor jaunt. It is .25 miles into the falls from the parking lot. The trail is unmarked, with a few tricky sections, but it is short.

Directions:From the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon drive 2.8 miles to a pullout on the left (north) side of the canyon. This is on a bend, just past a large pullout on the right that accesses the Little Cottonwood Trail.

For more fun check back next Friday for whats happening in our area! Have a great weekend!



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