5 Energizing Hikes in Utah

By Elizabeth Barton

5 Energizing Hikes in Utah

Utah is a world-class hiking destination. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely hike, a scenic hike, or the chance to break a sweat, Utah is the place to be. These five Utah hikes will undoubtedly leave you feeling invigorated and excited to take on the rest of your day (depending on if you have any time left over!). 

1. Skyline Trail

Spanning 15.8 miles in total, this trail gives you premier views of the area as well as a great workout. Of course, you don’t have to hike the entirety of the trail to feel energized (or exhausted). The first half of the hike is almost entirely uphill, and though it isn’t too steep, it will definitely get your heart rate pumping. All in all, this hike will give you a bit of everything: wildlife, impressive foliage, toned legs, and serene views of Pineview Reservoir. 

2. Red Mountain Trail

If energizing equates adventure, this 16-mile out-and-back trail in Snow Canyon State Park is a beautiful way to get your steps in. Just as with the Skyline Trail, it is completely unnecessary to complete the full length. Even if you decide to hike half the distance, you’ll still find surreal views (even by Southern Utah’s standards), beautiful wild flowers, and the chance to experience something more remote than your average, well-traveled hiking trail. For those who really like to feel they’re in the great wide somewhere, this is the perfect hike. 

3. Lackawaxen Lake Trail

A shorter hike with a decidedly funky name, Lackawaxen Lake Trail is only 1.6 miles-long and leads to a beautiful fresh water lake. Seeing that beauty does tend to attract crowds (and that this trail is easily accessed from the popular Big Cottonwood Canyon), this trail gets a decent amount of traffic on the weekends. While this hike is neither as long nor as strenuous as the Skyline or Red Mountain Trails, it is—for many—the perfect amount of physical activity. You will not finish exhausted, but you will finish refreshed. Although the best time to hike this trail (in terms of weather) is late spring to late summer, the hike has some incredible foliage come fall. 

4. Bald Mountain Summit

Bald Mountain is one of Utah’s best-kept secrets and the summit is easily one of its best hikes. Standing at 11,943 feet in elevation, Bald Mountain is technically located in the Uinta Mountain Range. On this hike, you will be hiking above the tree line, meaning there will be magnificent views but not a lot of shade. In other words, sunscreen (and water, of course) are absolutely imperative on this hike. And despite what might seem a daunting altitude, this out-and-back trail is only four miles long. When you get to the top of the mountain, you can see Mirror Lake to the east, as well as a plethora of other lakes nestled between other Uinta peaks located to the west. And if you’re feeling extra energetic after that, maybe you’ll do the hike twice. 

5. Spectra Point and Ramparts Overlook Trail

Southern Utah is famous for scorching desert temperatures during the summer months. If the heat wears you out but you still want to hike in the red rock, the Spectra Point and Ramparts Overlook Trail is a moderately difficult climb that leads to an amazing view of Cedar Breaks National Monument. With an elevation of 10,500 feet, the heat is typically lower than other Southern Utah locations. At times, the trail is fairly steep, but it never gets too difficult. If you want to stop during the four-mile out-and-back hike, you can—this trail is not nearly as crowded as trails in Zion National Park or Bryce Canyon but is equally—if not more—stunning than Utah’s better-known locations. This hike is a nice mix of effort, beauty, and satisfaction at the end of an uphill haul to a once-in-a-lifetime view. 

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