Big Cottonwood Canyon   |  Angie Payne

Best Winter Hikes Near Salt Lake City

Salt Lakers rarely let winter’s bite prevent them from hitting the trails. The good news is that you don’t have to hit the ski resorts to get that Rocky Mountain high. Quick escapes out of the city — as a weekend warrior, for a midday lunch break or an after-work sweat sesh — are the next best thing. Want to know how to live like a local this winter? Grab some snowshoes or YakTrax and head to the hills.

Salt Lake City Winter Hiking Tips

Trailheads Near Salt Lake City

Hiking Trails with Views of Salt Lake City


4 Tips to Prepare for Utah's Winter Backcountry

Written By Evan Thayer

3 minute read

If you’re seeking solitude, adventure or just some untracked snow, the backcountry undoubtedly has a lot to offer. But it’s a playground that’s not without risk, so here are four tips to help get you prepared.

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Snowy Hiking Trails Along The Wasatch Front

Millcreek Canyon’s Best Winter Hikes

Millcreek Canyon’s trail system is one of the most popular places for winter hiking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing. The canyon’s entrance sits 12 miles from downtown Salt Lake City, so it is easily accessible whether you have a couple of hours or a full day blocked out for wintery adventures. 

Dogs are welcome off-leash on odd days. Be prepared to stop at the pay station when leaving the canyon to pay $5 for day use (or $50 for an annual pass).

  • Millcreek Canyon Road ends at the Terraces Picnic Area in the wintertime. A gate closes the top portion of the canyon from November to July, leaving the thoroughfare above car- and bike-free. The two-lane road gets groomed once a week, making it a beginner-friendly slope for hiking with dogs, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and sledding.  
  • Millcreek’s Pipeline Trail winds parallel to the Millcreek Canyon Road and allows trekkers to pick their poison of distance from Church Fork, Porter Fork or Rattlesnake Gulch Trailhead.
  • Grandeur Peak offers extreme winter hikers 5.9 miles of vertical and sensational valley views from the 8,222-foot mountaintop.

A winter view of Millcreek's Porter Fork trail.

Photo: James Heys

Winter Hiking Gear

Trails near Salt Lake can be snowy, icy or muddy, so be prepared with proper footwear — waterproof shoes or boots with thick treads or traction cleats are a must. Once equipped, there are many winter trails that lead to the most sensational valley views.

Winter Packing Tips

Snowshoeing Trails and Hiking Areas

Snowshoeing in and around Salt Lake City ultimately depends on the snowpack. Snowshoers can frolic in parks, school fields, dog parks and golf courses after a big storm. However, the best winter bet is to hit the bench trails like Bonneville Shoreline or head up the hills to Millcreek Canyon.

Snowshoeing in Utah

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