|Mirror Lake, Utah|
Favorite Lakes for Hiking and Kayaking
in Utah in 360 Degrees
There is something magical about hiking to a place and discovering a beautiful lake at the end of the trail, or driving to a pretty place and pulling out kayaks and paddling around and exploring the perimeter of a lake in a kayak. This post is some of the cute quaint lakes in Utah that I love hiking to, or kayaking in. Enjoy a virtual like experience at these places and see if they are something you want to add to your adventures this summer. Notice just looking at these places helps you feel more relaxed and less stress...just image just chilling for a few hours in these beautiful places. Check out my top 13. They are all wonderful!
1. SILVER LAKE
-American Fork Canyon
- About 4-5 mile hike depending on how much of the lake you circle.
- Moderate hike - Level 2-3
- About 1 hour SE of SLC. Has a section of bumpy dirt road to get to parking lot.
- Appropriate for ages 8 and above.
- Can swim, and fish in the lake.
- Beautiful wild flowers are along train and around lake.
- Trail continues up to Silver Lake Glance if you still have some steam it is well worth it for the views looking back down on this lake area very pretty and the hike is just beautiful.
- Silver Lake GLANCE LINK
One of my favorite hikes, but it is steep and feels longer than it says it is. I think it is because of all the switch backs that it is longer. Water is clear that you can look down in and see fish swimming. Water is cold, but it can feel refreshing after the long hike...what a great reward to jump in at the end of the hard hike. This lake has a natural dam from the granite rocks, and there is this beautiful waterfall that spills over down the cliff below that is beautiful. If you want to learn more of see this area in 360 degrees click on the link below.
Todd's amazing Sphere Image from his Drone. Spin it around to see Silver Lake from the air.
2. SAND HALLOW RESERVOIR
|Sand Hallow Reservoir Utah|
- 30 Min East of St. George
- Lots of areas to wander and explore to get exercise
- Lots of crevasses to explore on a kayak around the island, or shore.
- Good Bass Fishing
- Can do scuba dive lessons, or re-certification here.
- Camping available right off lake.
Sand Hallow Reservoir
360 Google Earth Street View Trail around Sand Hallow Lake by Waterfall
3. MIRROR LAKE - Kamas Utah
Mirror Lake, Utah
- 1.5 hours East of SLC
- Trail around lake is about 1 mile
- Easy Beautiful Stroll, Level 1
- Lake is great for Kayaking, walking around, and fishing.
- Can have lots of mosquitoes
- Hike to Bald Mountain is really enjoyable hike here to see from about the dozens of lakes that are in this area.
Link to Mirror Lake
360 Google Earth Trail Kayaking on Mirror Lake
4. Lake Mary, Martha, Catherine,
and Twin Lakes
- Can be 2.6 to 5 miles depending on how many lakes you decide to see.
- About 850 feet elevation gain
- About 45 min East of SLC. I took Brighton side, but you can also do trail from Alta side (but it opens much later. and you see Lake Mary last.)
- Appropriate for ALL ages.
- Easy Hike, Level 1-2
- Not allowed to get in water.
- No dogs allowed on this trail.
- It will be colder than you think, so bring a jacket just in case.
I was so thrilled with how pretty this lake was. I loved the whitish peach colored rocks, I loved the reflections in the beautiful water. I went early summer, and because Brighton is so far back into the mountains, it keeps snow for a long time. There was sections of the trail that still had snow on it, and teenagers were up finding cool sections of the mountain to slide down on the snow. To learn more and see this area in 360 degrees, click on this link.
360 Google Earth Street View Trails at Lake Mary
5. LAKE BLANCHE
Big Cottonwood Canyon
Lake Blanche, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah
- About 7 miles round trip
- About 30 min East of SLC
- Best for Ages 10 and above
- You can backpack up and camp overnight as long as it is a certain distance from the lakes.
- 3 Lakes at one Spot is quite the bonus
- Often can see moose down by Lake Lilian or Lake Florence
- Amazing field of yellow wild flowers on the trail in the summer.
- Beautiful fall colors in the Fall around the lake and on the trail.
- Moderate to Hard just because of length and elevation gain. - Level 3
- Takes about 4 hours.
- About 2,700 feet elevation gain.
- The trickiest part of the trail, is when it comes to a a huge section of orange boulders. You need to remember that this is a really sharp switchback and the trail is a 180 degree turn to your right.
Lake Blanche really is a beautiful hike. I love that it starts walking by the raging Big Cottonwood River. This river is unique for it is so steep for such a long time, it is one of the fastest rivers around. Combine that with the big boulders it is rushing over and it is really something. The hike has beautiful mountain views. It has fields of yellow wild flowers in the summer. It has beautiful fall colors in the Autumn months, and there is something special about the unique Sundial Peak as a backdrop of this pretty clear lake. All lakes in Big Cottonwood Canyon have Water protection rights so you can't get in, but it also makes them very clear and beautiful. To learn more, click on this link and see this area in 360 degrees.
Link to Lake Blanche
360 Google Earth Trail by Dam at Lake Blanche
7. SILVER LAKE GLANCE
6. CECRET LAKE
- Alta Ski Resort
Cecret Lake Alta Utah
- Appropriate for ALL Ages
- About 460 feet elevation gain (but is already pretty high altitude, so you might find you need to take it slow and your breathing might be affected.
- About 1 hour East of SLC
- It is much higher elevation, ,so it will be colder than you think it will be. Take a jacket. You will usually see snow here until mid July.
- Does cost to get in. I think it is $7 or 8 per car.
- About 1.7 miles heavily trafficked trail by Alta Ski Resort. Really popular in Summer to pair with Wild Flower hike in Albion Basion that is also right here.
I put this area on my must see areas, but saying that I also avoid the busy weekend days. If you go off the peak times, you will have a more enjoyable experience. To learn more about this area, and see it in 360 degrees, click on this link.
Silver Lake Glance up American Fork Canyon, Utah
- American Fork Canyon
- 70 min South East of SLC
- You have to Drive a Dirt Road to Silver Lake Flat which usually requires a 4 wheel drive vehicle.
- Trail starts after you first hike from Silver Lake Flat to Silver Lake which is about 3 miles up, and then it heads up a steep 1 to 1.5 mile hike more up to Silver Lake Glance
- The Views of Silver Lake are really beautiful from the trail.
- This trail has really unique white boulders and cliffs and lots of wild flowers that makes it a really beautiful journey.
- This lake can sometimes be a spot where you can catch seeing a moose. Gorgeous spot if you can. Just stay your distance and enjoy the view if you do.
The lake at the end is not amazing, but still pretty. I rank this high because at this point of the hike you have already seen 2 gorgeous lakes, and this leg is more about the beautiful journey up to this lake, not the lake. The white boulders and cliffs, and the wild flowers are perfect, the lake is just icing on the top. To read more about this lake and see this area in 360 degrees click on this link.
8. RED PINE LAKE - Little Cottonwood Canyon -
- About 60 min East from SLC
- Medium Hard Hike just because of elevation and length - Level 3
- About 7 miles
- About 2100 feet elevation gain
- Takes about 3 hours
- Appropriate for ages 10 and above
Mountains on hike up are beautiful. Lake is pretty. Great escape to some clean mountain fresh air.
Link to Red Pine Lake
Link to Red Pine Lake
360 Google Earth Trail Across the Boulder Side of the Red Pine Lake
9. TIBBLE FORK LAKE
- American Fork Canyon
|Tibble Fork Reservoir American Fork Canyon Utah|
- Loop around lake is about 1 mile, but it is a little sketchy on the South East corner. The official hike goes far south up into the mountains and makes a 5-6 mile loop.
- Moderate Hike - Level 2-3 (Only if you try and brave that South East corner. It you turn around when it gets hard, it is an easy hike.
- About 30 feet elevation gain.
- Appropriate for ALL ages if you don't do the SE corner, otherwise 11 and up.
- Takes less than an hour to make the loop
- About 1 hour South of SLC
A really nice place to come hang a hammock and relax, stroll around the lake, Kayak, Fish, Enjoy the view of the mountains. I do like the shadier sections on the South side better. The lake does get busy in the summer and on weekends, so shoot for an off busy time. Read more about this area and see this area in 360 Degrees here.
|Beach at Utah Lake American Fork Boat Harbor|
10. Utah Lake American Fork Harbor
- 35 min south of SLC off Pleasant Grove Exit
- Not a big enough area for a great hike, more for relaxation.
- Costs $2 a person, or $5 a car just to get in.
- Lots of places to explore, little short trails everywhere down to spots to fish from the parking lot. Beach area, Picnic area, Fishing areas, Docks to sit and put your feet in the water.
- Great fishing area.
- Nice place to pull up a chair and just be still. Listen to the waves, the river, the birds, enjoy the sun, make a campfire, and just chill. Great place to unplug, and get your kids to unplug.
- Plenty of Bird Watching available.
- They have just added 800 tons of soft sand, and are planning on adding more this summer to create this nice beach.
- They have rentals of Paddle Boards, Kayaks, Paddle Trikes, Jet-Skies, Canoes, and Boats here.
To read more about this area, and see it in 360 degrees, click on this link.
360 VIDEO OF BEACH AT AF BOAT HARBOR
(Click on Link to View in 360 Degrees- Increase Settings of video quality so it doesn't look awful.)
Utah Lake Looking towards Timpanogas Mountain
11. UTAH LAKE SHORE TRAIL
|Sunset on the Utah Lake Shore Trail|
- About 2 miles long if you connect the vineyard section to the Sunset Beach Area.
- Great for ALL ages.
- Everything but the connection section would be fine to bike or skateboard on.
- The sounds of the variety of birds and frogs in the evening is really enjoyable.
- The sunsets from this trail are really gorgeous.
- 40 Min South of SLC - By Orem Utah
- No elevation gain
- Easy Hike - Level 1 (at the end of sunset beach trail stay left to cross the bridge for super easy, cross over cement barricade and follow trail down to beach to find swing, the sand, and step over rocks to cross the stream.
|Utah Lake at Sunset|
12. Highland Glen Pond
12. Highland Glen Pond
12. QUAIL CREEK RESERVOIR
|Kayaking on Quail Creek Reservoir|
- Amazing Mountain Biking Trails on West side of lake with both Moderate and Hard trails.
- Great Fishing
- Fun inlets on North side of lake where there are rope swings to swing out and drop into the water.
- 4 Hours South of SLC - By St. George
- Fun place to Kayak
- Has a nice state campground here on lake.
- Cool hikes like Red Reef and others in this area.
Red Reef Trail Hurricane Utah
I liked that this lake had a cool inlet to explore with a kayak, and I liked that it had interesting things like the rope swing in the inlet. It was a fun place to spend the day, especially if you take a section of it and enjoy one of the many hikes in the area. To check this area out in 360 degree, click on this link.Quail Creek Reservoir
13. Oowah Lake -Moab
OohWah Lake Manti La Sal Mountains by Moab Utah
Ran into this lake when enjoy a Manti La Sal drive, and found it a delightful treasure if your a fisherman. Link to OohWah Lake - Moab
I have loaded you with a plethora of ideas for lakes hikes. Here is a link to me Google List and the interactive Map to help you see where these all are in Utah and more information about each hike.
So I know life is busy, but I also think that getting out in nature can help heal your soul, help relax you from the craziness that is life, and boost your immune system. It is worth it to plan ahead and find a way to take some time to enjoy this amazing beautiful planet. You will be glad you did.
If you are enjoying this blog, would you consider the sponsor ads. They are 2 of my most favorite products. My lifetime Kayak has made many of these lakes such a fun experience to explore the shores, and my Camelbak backpack I take everywhere I am hiking or outdoors. I love the water bladder, and all the many pockets that hold all my gear. Super comfortable, and has head up through years of awesome adventures! Thanks guys for making such great products!