3 Kid-Friendly Hikes in the Salt Lake Valley

Erica Jessop
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The Salt Lake Valley is filled with beautiful hikes that are easily accessible and extremely enjoyable for the whole family. With the boom of electronics and technology, it seems parents have a bigger responsibility to make sure the great outdoors plays an integral part in their lives. Kids need to learn what it’s like to appreciate the incredible beauty that is just in our backyards, but also experience having fun outside. The hikes that follow are popular kid-friendly hikes that have stunning scenery and give kids a chance to explore. Take a picnic with you, make sure to stay hydrated and don’t forget the sunscreen.

1. Donut Falls 

Erica Jessop

Donut Falls is about 30 miles from downtown Salt Lake City. Located in Big Cottonwood Canyon , the drive up to the beginning of the hike is gorgeous no matter what season, and there are some good shaded areas along the trail to take a break if needed. The kids usually get pretty excited once they start to hear the waterfall. Hike up to the unique donut-shaped hole in the mountainside to see where the water falls through. The water is rather cold! The trail is steep here so keep an eye on the kids. It’s a definite must to take a family photo with the donut waterfall behind you.

2. Cecret Lake

Erica Jessop

Cecret Lake in Little Cottonwood Canyon is a leisurely hike that takes you up to a glistening lake where you can sit, relax and breathe in the fresh air. If you wait until around mid-August, you’ll get to hike among a spread of wildflowers with bursting colors that just adds to the scenic splendor. Hikers also have a good chance of seeing rock climbers scaling up some of the boulders that are situated right off the trail about halfway up the hike. Kids can also learn about the plants, animals and geology from the interpretive signs of information along the trail.

3. Bell Canyon (Lower Bell Canyon Reservoir)

Erica Jessop

With two different trailheads to access the Lower Bell Canyon Reservoir , hikers are amazed that there is such a secluded area just minutes away from the city of Sandy, UT. Both trailheads are about 20.3 miles from downtown Salt Lake. The lower reservoir is surrounded by 220 acres that is a protected watershed area and nature park owned by Sandy City. The landscape is gorgeous, and every now and then you’ll spot a couple of fishermen casting their lines into the reservoir. More experienced hikers can continue on up past the lower reservoir to Upper Bell Canyon Reservoir about 3.7 miles and 3,800 vertical feet above.

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