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Jonathan Stull | 01.23.2017

While the snows haven't been falling hard and heavy this winter - yet! - the Wasatch front aside Salt Lake City is an amazing place to play outside. Now is the season when those hiking trails earn a coat of winter white and beckon the summer hiker to don their snowshoes and step out into the snow. Not to mention the winter inversions that occur here—be sure to see Kyle Jenkins’ Survival Kit —that provide a little extra motivation to get out into the powder.

As ever, finding a winter trail to call your own is easy in SLC. Take these five recommendations and strap on your snowshoes!

  • Willow Heights Snowshoe follows the summer route up to Willow Lake. The trail gains minimal elevation, and is protected from avalanche dangers that accompany winter in the Wasatch Mountains. Inexplicably, it tends to be less busy here in the winter, which makes no sense given the beauty of the aspen groves under a coat of snow.
  • Donut Falls gets more attention, surely due to the prize at the end of the trail, a waterfall with a small cave big enough to explore. Like Willow Heights, it gains little elevation, and is fairly easy.
  • If you’re looking for a way to crawl out of the winter inversion, look no further than Little Mountain. The trail here is easy to access, dog-friendly, and has fantastic views of Emigration Canyon, where Mormon settlers descended into the Salt Lake valley to establish a new settlement.
  • The Woods Trailhead of the North Basin Trails is a great place to start a full-day excursion. While the trails here are short, a network that spans several miles, there is a variety of other activities to keep you busy, including sledding hills and a dog park. Dogs are allowed on the trails on leashes, too!
  • Scott Hill offers a longer route with nearby camping options in Big Cottonwood Canyon. The mellow approach makes this route safe during the winter, and the views from the top—encompassing the central and northern Wasatch Ranges and the Uintas to the east—are as good as it gets.

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