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Ferguson Canyon Snowshoe

Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest

Salt Lake City Metro Area, Utah

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Ferguson Canyon Snowshoe

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  • Heading up to Ferguson Canyon.- Ferguson Canyon Snowshoe
  • Coming around the water tower with Salt Lake City below- Ferguson Canyon Snowshoe
  • The Ferguson Canyon Trailhead.- Ferguson Canyon Snowshoe
  • Ferguson Canyon above.- Ferguson Canyon Snowshoe
  • Hiking Ferguson Canyon in winter.- Ferguson Canyon Snowshoe
  • Popular trail.- Ferguson Canyon Snowshoe
  • Dogs love this hike in all seasons.- Ferguson Canyon Snowshoe
  • A winter scene in Ferguson Canyon.- Ferguson Canyon Snowshoe
  • Granite cliffs in Ferguson Canyon.- Ferguson Canyon Snowshoe
  • The granite walls that line a good portion of the trail.- Ferguson Canyon Snowshoe
  • Ferguson Canyon.- Ferguson Canyon Snowshoe
  • Ascending the slope in Ferguson Canyon.- Ferguson Canyon Snowshoe
  • Hiking Ferguson Canyon in winter.- Ferguson Canyon Snowshoe
  • Hiking Ferguson Canyon in winter.- Ferguson Canyon Snowshoe
  • A frozen waterfall in Ferguson Canyon.- Ferguson Canyon Snowshoe
  • Enjoying Ferguson Canyon in winter.- Ferguson Canyon Snowshoe
  • Looking west down canyon.- Ferguson Canyon Snowshoe
  • Taking it all in.- Ferguson Canyon Snowshoe
  • Serious elevation gains in the Wasatch!- Ferguson Canyon Snowshoe
  • Descending to the streamside.- Ferguson Canyon Snowshoe
  • The streamside makes a great place to take a break and enjoy the silence- Ferguson Canyon Snowshoe
  • A little place to get out of the snow for a moment.- Ferguson Canyon Snowshoe
  • The steep walls of Ferguson Canyon.- Ferguson Canyon Snowshoe
  • Skipping a switchback and getting in some turns with our microspikes on.- Ferguson Canyon Snowshoe
  • Heading down the steepest pitch on the trail.- Ferguson Canyon Snowshoe
  • - Ferguson Canyon Snowshoe
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Close to town. Dynamic setting. Dog friendly.
Cons: 
Steep. Can be crowded. Some avalanche danger.
Region:
Salt Lake City Metro Area, UT
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Groomed trail: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,100.00 ft (335.28 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring
Total Distance: 
2.60 mi (4.18 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
5,200.00 ft (1,584.96 m)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

Located just at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon, Ferguson Canyon can get some pretty great snow even with its relatively low elevation. If you get a few inches of fresh snow on the Wasatch benches, then head on up for a guaranteed good time. The trail is steep, but the scenery is awesome and the granite walls covered in snow are beautiful. It is close to town, so you can expect a good amount of people even in winter, but there is plenty of room for everyone, and its dog friendly, so you have no excuse not to go!

The trail is a straight shot up the canyon. Not too many variations are available, which makes the terrain easy to navigate. There may be some avalanche danger in heavy snows; it would take a pretty heavy dump for danger to exist, but always consult the Utah Avalanche Center before heading out. The number of people and the ease of the navigation make this an easy one to do with the trail covered up even if it's your first time here.

Check out the summer version of this trail here. Hiking to the clearing may not be feasible in deep snow, so the clearing above the main waterfall makes a good point to turn around. There is a cascading river here with steep canyon walls on both sides and a small natural shelter. It's a perfect place for a snack and some water before you head back down. Considering the pitch, there are plenty of opportunities to ski down the trail in your boots or snowshoes. Poles and gaiters are a good idea along with snowsnoes and microspikes. Just below the clearing and the main waterfall is the steepest section, which takes some concentration and endurance. 

The trail is east-west facing, so early morning treks can be pretty chilly. Afternoon and into sunset is a great time here, and it is best on clear days. The low elevation does not get you out of the inversion on this hike. Head up Big Cottonwood Canyon on those gloomy winter days for better air quality.

Backcountry Safety

Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.

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