There are some pretty popular hikes in Utah Valley, such as Y Mountain and the Timpanogos Cave Trail, which can make them very crowded. However, there are tons of trails around Utah Valley that aren't as well known, ranging from easy family hikes to more difficult trails for the outdoors enthusiast. This spring and summer, instead of heading to one of the more popular trails, try these lesser known--but equally amazing--hikes!
1) Instead of Utah Lake Parkway Trail, try... Payson Lake Trail
Photo Credit: Instagram @ysarie
Utah Lake is definitely a highlight in Utah Valley, but if you love Utah Lake, then you will fall in love with Payson Lakes. Tucked away inside the Nebo Loop, the biggest lake, Big East Reservoir, has an easy trail that wraps around the beautiful mountain lake. While there, spend time to take a dip in the cool waters or catch a fish. Bring your family and a picnic to make the most of your hike! To check when the Nebo Loop will open and for updates on trails, call the Spanish Fork Ranger District Office at (801) 798‐3571.
2) Instead of Stewart Falls, try... Horsetail Falls
Photo Credit: Instagram @chrisgrell
Stewart Falls is a beautiful place to hike to any time of year, but few people know that there is another gorgeous waterfall not too far away. Just outside of Alpine City, there is the scenic Horsetail Falls. This 3.9 mile hike takes you through forests and meadows before you arrive at the falls. It is a strenuous hike, but the scenery makes it well worth the effort!
3) Instead of hiking in Rock Canyon, try... Hobble Creek Canyon
Hobble Creek Canyon is full of beautiful hikes that all seem to connect to each other. Start in Cherry Campground or Balsam Campground to find Wardsworth Trail, Days Canyon Trail, Kirkman Hollow Trail, and many others. Many of the trails follow a stream, meander through beautiful meadows, and are easy to moderate to walk along.
4) Instead of Provo River Parkway, try... Spanish Fork River Trail
The Provo River Trail runs through Provo, and the Spanish Fork River Trail runs through Spanish Fork, as the names imply. Visit the Spanish Fork River Trail for running, strolling, birdwatching, or biking. The trail is paved and walking along it is effortless. There are plenty of things to see along the trail, perfect for families.
5) Instead of Battle Creek Falls, try... Grotto Falls
Photo Credit: Emily Sierra, Visit Utah
Everyone loves waterfalls and a short walk to one is always a bonus. Grotto Falls, located along the Nebo Loop, is less than a mile hike to a beautiful waterfall. The waterfall makes it a fun place for families to splash around in the water together. It is also a great date hike, especially for those interested in romantic adventures. To check when the Nebo Loop will open and for updates on trails, call the Spanish Fork Ranger District Office at (801) 798‐3571.
6) Instead of reaching Mt. Timpanogos, try... finding Lake Hardy
The hike to Mount Timpanogos is a long and difficult trail with amazing rewards at the end. Same goes for the Lake Hardy trail. This 12-mile round trip trail is for true adventurers, but the isolated beauty at the end is well worth it! It takes you to a stunning lake high in the Lone Peak Wilderness.
For more great hikes, check out our hiking page!
Share your hiking pictures on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter with our hashtag #exploreutahvalley for a chance to get featured on our Instagram account @exploretutahvalley!
What are your favorite lesser-known hikes? Tell us in the comments!