Hiking Destinations around Summit Vista

August 3, 2016

Utah is known for the Great Salt Lake, the Sundance Film Festival, pristine skiing and endless hiking. Nestled in the Salt Lake Valley, Summit Vista provides easy access to picture-perfect hiking trails for various levels of trekkers.

Easy Trails

Donut Falls is a popular, scenic hiking destination for anyone. At its peak in the spring, Big Cottowood Creek gushes through the namesake hole in the mountainside rocks. The 3.5 mile-round trip trail gives hikers views of wildflowers, forests and a waterfall. Considered an easy hike with an elevation change of 593 feet, the trail involves one rocky step down just prior to reaching the falls. Donut Falls is located nine miles into Big Cottonwood Canyon, 20.9 miles away from Summit Vista.

If you enjoy wildflowers, then Cecret or Secret Lake, 26 miles from Summit Vista, has just what you’re looking for. Hike this popular trail between July and August, and you’ll see a rainbow of wildflowers set against a backdrop of the sheer north face of Devils Castle. The trail, located in Albion Basin, is 1.2 miles each way with a 450 foot-elevation gain. Sightings of moose and other wildlife are common on this hike.

If you’re looking for a great place to bring your pup, Tanner Park is a great option. Only 16 miles away from Summit Vista, you can take your dog off-leash once you’ve entered Parley’s Nature Area. The park’s dirt-packed trails make for easy, enjoyable walking, and if your pup decides to go through the stream and gets a little dirty, the park features a dog wash and dog clean-up station for you to use!

Moderate Trails

At Mary, Martha and Catherine also known as Brighton Lakes, you can hike three lakes on a four-mile round-trip journey. Lake Mary is the easiest to reach, followed by Lake Martha. The prettiest and highest lake is Lake Catherine. For an added challenge you can climb to the top of more than five peaks with an elevation gain of 1,200 feet. The Brighton Lakes are located 25 miles from Summit Vista, in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.

It takes 4.5 miles to reach White Pine Lake, but the journey is worth it. This intense blue mountain lake is above the 10,000-foot elevation mark where the air is thinner, but the trail never gets too steep. Located near Sandy, approximately 5.5 miles up Little Cottonwood Canyon, and just below Snowbird Ski Resort, the 10-mile roundtrip hike typically takes five hours to complete going in and out. The trail meanders through pine forests and aspen groves, and offers views of the Red and White Baldy Peaks. Hold off on hiking this trail until late summer due to snow. Located 19.4 miles from Summit Vista, this hike would make an excellent day trip for the more adventurous resident.

The Living Room is a moderate, four-mile hike with lots of elevation, a short 19 miles from Summit Vista. The hike requires light rock climbing and has a 1,100-foot elevation gain, but the reward is great. At 1.3 miles, you encounter sand stone rocks resembling benches and a “high-definition-like” view of Salt Lake Valley, the Great Salt Lake and the Oquirrh Mountains. The trail begins on Colorow Road near the University of Utah.

Mineral Fork, 17 miles from Summit Vista, is a great trail for people who like options. The Mineral Fork trail begins 6.1 miles up the Cottonwood Canyon. Starting off as an old mining road, the trail turns to switchbacks and offers a commanding view of Big Cottonwood Canyon three-quarters of a mile into the hike. For hikers wanting more of a challenge, traverse another three miles to Wasatch Mine and steal a glimpse of deer and moose along the way.

Hiking is a great way to improve cardiovascular function and experience the beautiful, unique landscape of Salt Lake. Spending time outdoors also boosts creativity and improves sleep. And all you need is a pair of hiking boots or running shoes, a light knapsack and jug of water.

Inside Summit Vista’s 105-acre campus you’ll have plenty of options to keep you busy, but the sheer beauty and nature surrounding Summit Vista offers something no other Life Plan Community can.