Lamb’s Canyon was originally settled by a man named Abel Lamb and his family. They built the first road there in 1850. They used the road to haul wood from the canyon forest to make barrels, tubs, washboards, churns, and water buckets that were needed by the settlers in Salt Lake Valley. Eventually the Lambs built a home in Lamb’s Canyon. When food was scarce, they lived on sego roots, pig-weed and beet-top greens. No one lives in Lamb’s Canyon today (at least not as far up as the trailhead), but the area is used by hikers in the summer and snowshoers in the winter.
What Makes It Great
The Lamb’s Canyon Trail is well-marked and easy to find, but you’ll want four-wheel-drive in the winter. Just take I-80 east from Salt Lake City toward Park City. Before you reach Parley’s Summit you’ll get off at exit 137. The exit is conveniently marked “Lamb’s Canyon.” At the bottom of the exit, take a right. You’ll wind up a narrow mountain road for 1.6 miles, eventually coming to a parking area, complete with a restroom facility and a Forest Service sign board used for trail notifications. This is the trailhead.
You’ll cross the creek right away on a short, narrow bridge, and then head up into the woods. The trail is pretty steep at first. You’ll snowshoe up 3 or 4 easy switchbacks and then head straight up the canyon. From here (about a half-mile in) the trail isn’t quite as steep, but heads steadily uphill with short steep spots. It never really lets up, so you’ll want to take your time. The trail is almost always shaded with Aspen and Evergreen trees, so it will stay pretty cool, but since you’re heading uphill, you’ll probably be shedding layers after a little bit. Definitely bring a backpack for the extra layers and a water bottle.
Lamb’s Canyon doesn’t see much traffic in the winter. The solitude alone is worth the hike. The real treat, however, comes at the top, where you’ll be rewarded with beautiful views of Mill Creek Canyon and the Salt Lake Valley.
Who is Going to Love It
The Lamb’s Canyon Trail isn’t for everyone. The climb is strenuous with very few, if any, flat sections. You’ll want to be in pretty good shape. Don’t skip breakfast. Also, the summit is above 8,000 feet, so the air is pretty thin up there. Folks who appreciate a good cardio workout and the peace and tranquility of the Wasatch way off the beaten path will fall head over heels in love with the Lamb’s Canyon Trail. Others will just fall head over heels, especially if the snow is hard-packed and slippery.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
There isn’t much parking at the trailhead—just room for 6 or 8 cars. This is rarely a problem, however, because of the location and difficulty of the trail. No permits or fees are required. There are also no hours, strictly speaking, but you’ll want to be finished by sundown.