Snowshoeing Utah

Utah is a mecca for diverse outdoor recreation. Hiking and snow sports are among the most popular adventures available in Utah's stunning landscapes. Happily, you can even combine the two. Welcome to snowshoeing The Greatest Snow on Earth®.

Some of Utah's ski resorts have commercial trails designated for snowshoeing, including beginner trails and tours if you're just starting out.

Nordic Centers, which often have family-friendly tours available, can be found at several resorts, including:

Sundance Mountain Resort, for example, has six miles of terrain dedicated to snowshoeing.

Exploration and adventure are easy to find on Utah's invigorating snowshoe trails thanks to five expansive national forests and multiple unique state parks like Wasatch Mountain, Bear Lake and Antelope Island. Additionally, Utah's famous national parks offer scenic and otherworldly experiences like trails through the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon, the bird's-eye views of the Moab-area red rock from the La Sal Mountains, as well as some of the most renowned snowshoeing, snowmobiling and cross-county skiing terrain near awe-inspiring Cedar Breaks National Monument at a breathtaking 10,000 feet. Bryce Canyon is an extraordinary national park to visit in the winter. Nearby Ruby's Inn accesses nearly 19 miles of groomed trails and stunning views. Your options include snowmobiling, snowshoeing, hikes, horseback rides, sleigh rides and an ice skating rink, all culminating in the Bryce Canyon Winter Festival in the middle of February.   

Northern Utah boasts the dramatic and beautiful Wasatch Range, the backyard playground of the vibrant metropolitan area called the Wasatch Front. A wide array of snowshoe trailheads can be accessed in under an hour from Salt Lake City International Airport. Come see what it looks like in the winter with an up-close-and-personal foray into the wild. The canyons along the Wasatch Front begin in North Ogden and continue south past Spanish Fork Canyon to the stunning terrain around Mount Nebo, the highest peak in the Wasatch Range. In each of these canyons snowshoe trails weave their snowy way deeper into this winter wonderland.

Whether on snowshoes, hiking boots or plain old sneakers, you can explore the winter trails of Park City’s Round Valley. With easy terrain on packed, groomed snow trails that offer beautiful views of the Wasatch Mountains, this hike is popular with local families. 

Snowshoeing the Wasatch

by Lori J. Lee

Do you want to traipse through deep powder in the backcountry, scaling peaks, or is a snowshoe run on packed trails more your style? Or maybe, it’s somewhere in the middle where you’d like to snowshoe through a peaceful forest for 30-minutes, connecting with the Zen of nature. All these options are available close to the city, in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains.

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Snowshoeing the Wasatch

5 Great Utah Snowshoe Trails to Explore This Winter

For your snowshoeing pleasure here are five highly recommended trails. For all the details on each listed trail, as well as PDFs for 50+ other snowshoe trails along the Wasatch Front, go to www.SnowshoeUtah.com. Just click on the trail you want, download the PDF, print and take your portable (and free) guidebook with you to the trail.

Trail 2: Wheeler Creek to Art Nord; Ogden Canyon
Distance: 3.5 miles round-trip
Difficulty: Easy
This quick trail makes for a pleasant jaunt that begins next to an enchanting half-frozen stream and ends with southern views of the steep mountains near Snowbasin Ski Resort.

Trail 40: White Pine Lake; Little Cottonwood Canyon
Distance: 10 miles round-trip
Difficulty: The length of the trail makes it difficult, but the terrain itself is moderate.
This favorite winter recreation trailhead leads to many a backcountry ski and snowshoe adventure.

Trail 21: The Pipeline Trail - From Burch Hollow to Elbow Fork; Mill Creek Canyon
Distance: 3.8 miles round-trip
Difficulty: Moderate
A nice easy climb up the hollow will hook you onto the Pipeline trail where you can partake of the south-facing slope and enjoy any winter sun you may find on your day in the mountains.

Trail 23: Spruces Campground; Big Cottonwood Canyon
Distance: Variable
Difficulty: Easy; great for a first-time foray or a trek with kids
Spruces Campground is covered with deep snow during the winter months and it's a perfect place to plan your own trip across the snow. This is a great place to find wildlife, beaver dams, blue grouse, snowshoe hare, coyote, ermine, bobcat, owl and other wildlife that can handle the deeper winter snow up canyon.

Trail 31: Guardsman Pass; Big Cottonwood Canyon
Distance: 3 miles round-trip
Difficulty: Moderate
Guardsman Pass is one of the beautiful winter trails that has views beginning at the trailhead and culminating at the pass. There is an easy-to-follow groomed road or "short cuts" that add some difficult climbs.

—Contributed by Lori Lee, a Wasatch Front local and the author of The Best Snowshoe Trails of the Wasatch: SnowshoeUtah.com.


About Utah's Backcountry

Though these trails are generally very safe, snowshoeing is not without its risks. If you plan to recreate in avalanche terrain, you will need standard avalanche rescue gear and avalanche training. You should also regularly consult the Utah Avalanche Center website for critical avalanche safety information before venturing out. Many trails are well-trafficked and can be traveled safely, but check recent and current conditions before heading off the beaten path at UtahAvalancheCenter.org.