This page contains information on hiking in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah.
The Wasatch is a hiker's paradise only a few minutes' drive from the cities of the Wasatch Front. Some hikes follow ski area service roads or old mining, logging, and dam access roads. Other hikes are along official forest service trails that are well-constructed and maintained, creating a distinct foot path and easy walking. Extending beyond the official trails are numerous routes along foot tracks or game trails which often disappear, especially in grassy areas.
Many trails, especially along the Wasatch Front, cross private land. Where no official right-of-way exists, access is by the permission of the owner and may be revoked at any time. Respect all private property and avoid behavior which would cause owners to object to hikers crossing their land. Park where you will not cause congestion on adjacent streets, stay on the trail until you are on Forest Service land, and don't litter or cause excessive noise. Observe any signs or fences which would indicate a change in the owner's policy to hikers.
Toilet facilities have been placed at popular trailheads. Use them. With a little planning, you can reduce the need to "go behind a bush," especially on short day hikes. But if Nature calls, be sure you go away from the trail and at least 200 feet from streams. When defecating, dig a hole six inches deep in organic soil and cover it thoroughly when done. Lightly compact the soil and cover the excavation with loose twigs and rocks to reduce both the erosion potential and the visual impact.
Litter is both a health problem and an aesthetic issue. Do your part and carry out what you carry in on your hike. Better still, carry out some of the garbage left by less considerate hikers.
The Wasatch is a heavily used and fragile area. Hikers must strive to minimize their impact.
- Shortcutting switchbacks on the trails damages vegetation and causes serious erosion. Much trail maintenance labor goes into restoring areas damaged by shortcutting. Hikers who prefer steeper trails can avoid the switchbacks by choosing an alternative trail or a totally off-trail route.
- Large groups can be very intrusive and affect the experience of other hikers. This is especially true when a huge group shows up at an already popular destination in a fragile area.
See the individual locations listed on the Wasatch Mountains Landmarks page for a lists of the trails hiked and more trails and hiking information.