8 Best Snowshoe Trails in Utah for Beginners
Utah is known for the "best snow on earth" and while skiing is undoubtedly the state's most popular winter sport, snowshoeing is picking up steam in popularity. Whether you want to get the kiddos outside for a wintry wonderland hike, enjoy an adventurous and cheap date in nature, or seek some snowy solitude, we guarantee these 6 best snowshoe trails in Utah County will take you to some truly breathtaking scenery.
Make sure to check our our snowshoe rentals for just $10/day before venturing out on these trails!
Best Snowshoe Trails in Utah - Salt Lake County
Solitude Nordic Trail
Solitude Nordic Center in Big Cottonwood Canyon has over 12 miles of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails, including the very popular Silver Lake Loop. You can also take a private 1-hour tour for $49, which is a nice option for people who have never been snowshoeing or are uneasy about venturing into the cold wilderness alone. Traffic from cross-country skiers and snowshoers generally keeps the trails pretty packed so you don't need to worry about sinking into deep powder.
One of the best snowshoe trails in Utah is the Church Fork Trail to Grandeur Peak in Millcreek Canyon. It's one of the few canyons in the area that allows dogs, which makes it the best option for those who want to take their furry friends along for their winter adventure. The Church Fork Trail is fun because you snowshoe past rivers and waterfalls until you reach the overlook of the Salt Lake Valley. Or you can simply drive to the end of the road where the gate closes it for winter, snowshoe up, and sled back down. That's a super fun option, too!
Donut Falls in Big Cottonwood Canyon is one of the best snowshoe trails in Utah thanks to one of the most unique and picturesque waterfalls in the state. The waterfall gets its name from the fact that the top of the waterfall actually descends into a cave through a donut-shaped hole before a second waterfall cascades down the mountain. The trail is very popular, so it's often packed down really well and snowshoes aren't always necessary. You could hike this with boots and a set of spikes if it's been a few days since the last storm. But if the snow is fresh, you'll definitely want snowshoes.
Hiking in the winter is a bit longer of a trek than in the summer, because the summer parking lot is closed. You have to park just off the main road, which adds another 0.8 miles each way.
Best Snowshoe Trails in Utah - Utah County
Sundance Nordic Trail
The Sundance Nordic Center is primarily for cross-country skiing but also provides 6 miles of trails for snowshoers. A pass costs $12 for the day and you can rent snowshoes for $13. If you're just trying snowshoeing for the first time and don't feel comfortable venturing off on your own, then this is a safer option. Not to mention, Sundance is a beautiful place and you can sit down for a nice meal at the lodge afterwards.
Battle Creek Falls
Battlecreek Falls is located in Pleasant Grove, so it sits at a lower elevation than the other snowshoeing trails on this list and you may need to wait until mid- to late winter until there's enough snow and the temps have dropped enough for the waterfalls to freeze over. The trail starts in the foothills, essentially at the base of the mountain. The trail is 1.6 miles roundtrip and well-traveled but oftentimes there is no snow, so just be mindful of the weather and wait until just after a storm if you plan to snowshoe here.
Photo credit: Utah Hiking Beauty
Pine Hollow Trail
Pine Hollow Trail is one of the best snowshoe trails in Utah thanks to its sweeping views of Mount Timpanogos. To get there, head up American Fork Canyon as far as you can. The road that connects American Fork Canyon and Provo Canyon is closed in the winter but the gate is just past the Pine Hollow Trailhead, so you can still access and park at the trailhead. The trail is a 4.3 mile loop that hike takes you through forests of pine and aspen until you finally reach the ridge and get some spectacular views of the backside of Timp.
Photo credit: Girl on a Hike
Alpine Loop Road
The Alpine Loop is most famous for fall leaf peeping but the road is actually closed in the winter. You can drive as far as the Pine Hollow Trailhead but to go farther than that, you'll have to goon foot or on a fat bike. Oftentimes the road gets packed well enough you can simply hike it with good boots.
From the road closure to Timpooneke Campground is about 2 miles and from there you can traverse the campgrounds for some stunning views of Mount Timpanogos. Or simply hike out and back as far as you like following the road and you still get some great views of American Fork Canyon. Because you're just following the road, it's a nice, steady climb so it's probably the easiest snowshoeing trail in American Fork Canyon and the perfect snowshoeing trail for beginners.
Stewart Falls Cascade Trail (Utah County)
Nestled in American Fork Canyon near Aspen Grove you will find one of the most scenic winter hikes. Between the views of the backside of majestic Mount Timpanogos and a 200-foot tall frozen waterfall, this is easily one of the best snowshoe trails in Utah. You can access it via Provo Canyon and then driving past Sundance Resort. This is one of the most popular summer hikes as well but seeing it in the winter is all the more magical with everything frozen.
Hike at your own risk! This trail crosses avalanche terrain so make sure you check the avalanche forecast before you go.
Photo credit The Salt Project
If you need to rent snowshoes, get them here from JJ's Rentals in Lehi!
HIKE AT YOUR OWN RISK! Snowshoeing comes with risks from weather, cold, and avalanches. Always be prepared and always check the avalanche forecast for the trail you want to hike.
Happy trails and thanks for reading!