Outdoors Expert Offers the Best Salt Lake City Hikes to Beat the Heat

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Summer is officially here, and the temperatures in Salt Lake City are climbing, with an average high of 92° in July. This year, to help hikers navigate the trails in and around the Great Salt Lake without overheating, Mike Matson—outdoors expert and author of the new guidebook Moon Take a Hike Salt Lake City—shares the five best hikes to help beat the heat.

Moon Take a Hike Salt Like City by Mike Matson

When it comes to easy access to the great outdoors, there are few major metropolitan areas in the United States that compare with SLC.

When it comes to easy access to the great outdoors, there are few major metropolitan areas in the United States that compare with Salt Lake City—but there’s a downside to venturing outdoors during the summer season: the sweltering heat. With an average high of 92° in July, it can be tempting to avoid hiking altogether.

Not only does Mike Matson—avid outdoors expert and author of Moon Take a Hike Salt Lake City—know all the best hikes in and around the Great Salt Lake, but he also knows the most beautiful, less-demanding trails that offer waterfalls, wind, and shade to help beat the summer heat. He shares his top five selections for the most warm-weather-friendly hikes in Salt Lake City.

1. Catherine Pass
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Hiking Time: 1 hour
Distance: 2.0 miles round-trip
The short, rewarding hike to Catherine Pass from Albion Basin offers a combination of wildflower-dappled meadows and soaring summit views that create a high-alpine experience difficult to match inside the state of Utah.

2. Ben Lomond from Inspiration Point
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Hiking Time: 3–4 hours
Distance: 4.8 miles round-trip
This is the easiest way to the summit of Ben Lomond, the Northern Wasatch’s most recognized peak, rumored to be the inspiration for the mountain in the Paramount Pictures logo. Views are panoramic the whole way and, except on weekends, hikers are likely to have the whole trail to themselves.

3. Waterfall Canyon
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Hiking Time: 1.5–2 hours
Distance: 3.0 miles round-trip
A popular hike for families with children and a great hike for dogs, this short, steep trail leads to Malan Falls, the impressive, hidden, 200-feet-high waterfall with views to the valley floor below. Locals hike up to the falls to cool off in the misty shower and enjoy the beautiful natural amphitheater.

4. Bald Mountain
Difficulty Level: Easy/Moderate
Hiking Time: 1.5–2 hours
Distance: 2.7 miles round-trip
During the summer, the summit of Bald Mountain offers a pleasantly cool escape from the heat of SLC—there’s almost always a breeze on the upper ridge, and temperatures promise to be 30 degrees cooler at 12,000 feet. The wide, well-traveled trail is easy to follow and grows more spectacular as the climb goes on, overlooking the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway.

5. Lofty Lake Loop
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Hiking Time: 2–3 hours
Distance: 3.9 miles round-trip
Lofty Lake is the highest-elevation lake in the western Uinta Mountains, and the trail that leads to it is one of the most popular day hikes in the range. The loop winds through pristine alpine meadows, across exposed ridges, and past trout-stocked lakes—making it the quintessential Uinta day-hiking experience.

For more information on hiking in Salt Lake City, visit the Moon Travel Guides website.

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About Moon Travel Guides & Moon.com
Moon Travel Guides make independent travel and outdoor exploration fun and accessible. With expert writers delivering a mix of honest insight, first-rate strategic advice, and an essential dose of humor, Moon guidebooks ensure that travelers have an uncommon and entirely satisfying travel experience. Moon not only guides, Moon inspires. Based in Berkeley, Calif., Moon is published by Avalon Travel, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Visit Moon at http://www.moon.com.

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