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5 Family-Friendly Hikes to Try This Summer

5 Family Friendly Hikes Along the Wasatch Front

Spring is a wonderful time of year for families to be outside and enjoy everything the state has to offer. One of the best parts of living in Utah is no matter where you live, you are close to nature and gorgeous scenery. Here are five easy, family-friendly hikes to explore along the Wasatch Front.


Yellow Fork Trail

Many Utahns are unaware of the many trails along the west bench near Herriman, Utah. The Yellow Fork Canyon Trail is an easy hike perfect for families. If completed, the entire loop is 6.8 miles, but many families enjoy the scenery for as long as it suits them. The trail runs along a small stream, and much of the trail provides shade. 

Dogs are allowed but must be kept on leash. Families may also encounter horses, as it is a popular trail for horse riding. Many beginning mountain bikers enjoy the trail as well as it isn’t overly rocky or steep. 

There are several picnic tables along the trail perfect for a family picnic. You’ll enjoy fantastic views of the Oquirrh Mountains and the Salt Lake Valley for those who complete the loop. The trail is best used from March through October. Be sure to take plenty of water and enjoy an easy hike with your family! 


Cecret Lake 

This pretty little hike is anything but a secret and is well worth the trip. The trailhead is located near Sandy, Utah up Little Cottonwood Canyon and is 1.7 miles long. The trail is lined with beautiful wildflowers, especially during the spring, with a short, somewhat steep switchback which ends at Cecret Lake. 

Families will want to plan ahead for this hike due to the extremely limited parking access at the Cecret Lake/Catherine’s Pass trailhead. It is recommended that families and hikers park in the Wildcat base area parking lot and ride the $5 shuttle provided by the Alta Ski area on weekends or holidays. 

Families can also hike from the lower Albion Meadows Trail to the Upper Albion Meadows Trail before connecting to the Cecret Lake trailhead for a bigger challenge. It’s a short hike with plenty of gorgeous places for photos with your family!

Donut Falls

This family-friendly hike is perfect for hikers of all skill levels. It’s an easy out and back 3 mile hike and is one of the most popular hikes in the Salt Lake area. It is named after the waterfall feature at the end of the trail where water gushes through a donut-shaped hole in the mountain. 

The trailhead is located near the Jordan Pines picnic area up Big Cottonwood Canyon. Parking is limited, so you may have to walk a bit to the trailhead. There are bathrooms at the beginning of the trail that are open seasonally. 

Families enjoy a short hike that leads right up to the falls. Use extreme caution around the boulders during the spring with the heavy spring runoff. You’ll need to leave your dog at home and if you want to avoid crowds try hiking earlier in the day. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures!


Grotto Falls

Located up Payson Canyon near the city of Santaquin, Grotto Falls is a short little trail just off the Mount Nebo Scenic Loop. The trail is also perfect for nature trips and bird watchers! Hikers are greeted at the end by a beautiful waterfall cascading into a small shallow pool of water. You’ll enjoy wading and cooling off on a hot summer day. 

The trail is only .6 miles out and back and is kid and dog friendly. Families need to be extra cautious with the spring runoff as the water may be deeper. After the hike, enjoy driving the rest of the scenic loop through the Mount Nebo wilderness. 


Waterfall Canyon

If your family is looking for a fun spring hike that may be a little more difficult, you’ll enjoy Waterfall Canyon. Located near Ogden, Utah, you’ll find the trailhead at the Mt. Ogden Trailhead at the top of 29th street. The trail starts with an easy climb to the Bonneville Shoreline trail, then follows a small stream.

The trail does become a bit rugged and rocky just before the waterfall but is worth the climb. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a leash. Keep off the rocks near the waterfall due to slick and dangerous conditions and remember to exercise caution during the spring with the extra run off. This short 2.4 mile trail is sure to be a family favorite!


No matter where you live along the Wasatch Front, you are sure to find plenty of hikes and trails nearby! You can find even more trails on for your family adventures. 


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