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Little Cottonwood Trail

Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest

Salt Lake City Metro Area, Utah

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Little Cottonwood Trail

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  • Not a bad view from a parking lot, right?!- Little Cottonwood Trail
  • Biking the Little Cottonwood Trail.- Little Cottonwood Trail
  • The early part of the trail is exposed, but it's not long before the trees hang overhead.- Little Cottonwood Trail
  • Views from the Little Cottonwood Trail.- Little Cottonwood Trail
  • Granite outcroppings loom over the Little Cottonwood Trail.- Little Cottonwood Trail
  • Biking the Little Cottonwood Trail.- Little Cottonwood Trail
  • The Little Cottonwood Trail.- Little Cottonwood Trail
  • One of the larger waterfalls near the first bridge. Water levels are low late in the year.- Little Cottonwood Trail
  • Little Cottonwood Creek creates a bunch of smaller waterfalls along the way.- Little Cottonwood Trail
  • North rim of Little Cottonwood Canyon.- Little Cottonwood Trail
  • One of many small grottos along the way.- Little Cottonwood Trail
  • Little Cottonwood Canyon.- Little Cottonwood Trail
  • Fun ride down on the mountain bike. - Little Cottonwood Trail
  • Temple Quarry Historic Marker.- Little Cottonwood Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Easy access. Beautiful setting. Mostly shaded.
Cons: 
Not very long.
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Region:
Salt Lake City Metro Area, UT
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,090.00 ft (332.23 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking
Trail difficulty: 
Green
Total Distance: 
5.60 mi (9.01 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
5,424.00 ft (1,653.24 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

Little Cottonwood Trail is a short hiking and mountain biking trail located just at the mouth of the famous canyon by the same name. The path starts out from a parking lot just across from the Snowbird/Alta Park & Ride. Also located here is the historic temple quarry path, which is a very short historic nature trail that shows you where the LDS Temple's granite stones were quarried.

The trail starts heading east directly from the parking lot as a wide singletrack consisting of hard-packed dirt. The trail is exposed at this point, but fortunately most of it is under foliage, making it a great afternoon hike in the summer. Giant granite walls hug the canyon on both sides with great fall colors in September and October. The trail has a steady incline, but nothing crazy. It hugs Little Cottonwood Creek and has several bridges and waterfalls along the way. Further up the trail gets pretty rocky and there are many small rollers, which makes the descent on a bike quite fun and slightly technical. There are also ruins of houses and structures from earlier inhabitants as well as abundant small wildlife and some flowers in spring. It is easy to access and not very long, so it is a popular spot for people doing a hike or ride after work.

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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(19 within a 30 mile radius)

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(167 within a 30 mile radius)

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