Utah County sure seems blessed with some fabulous areas to hike. Of course, our entire state is gorgeous! But it’s fun to share hikes that families can do along the Wasatch Front, especially close to where you might live. Rated as beginner to moderate, these hikes are a great outing for you to go solo, with a friend, or with a group.
Hikes by the Cole and Kerry Smith family and Jess King family of Utah Family Fun Stuff
Big Springs Hollow Trail, Provo, Utah
Got another trail under our belt! This is Big Springs Hollow Trail in Provo Canyon. Google Vivian Park; when you get to it, continue up E Southfork Road. You’ll pass lots of houses, ranches, and even another park. Once you’ve gone a few miles you’ll turn right on Spring Hollow Road, which is the parking lot for the trail. It was gorgeous–lots of shade, stunning flowers, beautiful trees, and a creek. I can’t wait to take more people to this one. It’s a new favorite for sure! 4.2 miles round trip with a mild incline. Thanks again to team member Jess King and her boys for sharing their fun adventures again with us. Visited May 2020.
Buffalo Peak Trail in Provo, Utah
Not a huge hiker, but want to be? I think I’ve found the trail for you! This is a perfect trail for beginners (and seasoned hikers as well because of how gorgeous it is). I was absolutely blown away by the views. It’s a quick and easy trail for one of the biggest rewards. At only .9 miles round trip, it’s easy for the whole family!
Directions: Drive up Provo Canyon and turn onto the Squaw Peak Road. Pass the lookout and continue up the mountain for a while longer. You’ll drive on a very bumpy dirt road for quite a ways, pass a parking lot on your left, and then come to a field on the right with a wooden fence. On the left side there’s a big sign that says “if it’s too hot to touch…” You can park on the road here. (If it’s full, you can go back to the parking lot and walk up.)
The trail goes a little way to the right to a big open field where lots of people take family pics, but the trail to the eft winds up to Buffalo Peak. Lots of pretty flowers in the summer and spots to stop and look! The last .1 mile goes up a pretty steep, rocky slope to get to the top of the peak, but my friend and I made it with five little kids just fine.
It was incredible and I loved it so much I took my sister and parents back with me the next weekend.
Dripping Rock Trail, Spanish Fork, Utah
Dripping Rock In Spanish Fork is worth the visit! In fact, there are a few things to do along the same trail. The walk to Dripping Rock is paved and easy. You’ll walk about 1/2 a mile from the trailhead. The whole walk is alongside a stream. Once you’re in the area (no signs but probably several people), you’ll go down a fairly steep bank to get to dripping rock. So be prepared. Water shoes are a must and swimsuits are a bonus. You could actually hike the stream if you have sturdy water shoes. It would be a fabulous experience. If you walk the main trail and come to the bridge, you’ve gone a bit too far. Back up and look in the water to find the Dripping Rock area. It’s bigger than you think. There will likely be others there as this is a popular spot. After you’re done with Dripping Rock, be sure to explore the main trail. They just added a new suspension bridge, and the water under it is dammed a bit, perfect for a little floating.
Directions: Take Exit 257 for US 6 toward Price.
Drive southeast on US 6 for 4.1 miles to Powerhouse Road.
Turn right (west) onto Powerhouse Road.
Continue 0.2 miles to Rivers Bottom Road.
Turn right (north) onto Rivers Bottom Road.
Drive 100 yards and turn left into the Spanish Fork River Trail parking area.
Escalante Cross Trail, Spanish Fork, Utah
This 37-foot-high cross was erected in 1981 to honor an expedition of two Franciscan monks who explored the area in 1776. Over half of the hike up to the cross is shaded, and the reservoir nearby is the perfect place to cool off after. Begin the hike just past the camp host near the parking lot. Follow the well-marked trails to the Escalante Cross. There are about 5 trails, so you may want to enjoy several hikes in the area. When you get to the top, take the trail around the ridge. It’s less steep and easier to access. The fastest way down is pretty much straight down from the top. I’m not in great shape, and I was able to go down just fine. But straight down is not very scenic and is in full sun. To be safe, I would recommend going back the way you came. It’s safer and more scenic. The way we did it up and down was about 2.5 miles. The trail is not stroller friendly, and we wouldn’t recommend taking younger kids. Several moms had kids in backpacks but no one brought toddlers.
The reservoir is stroller and wheelchair friendly, with a ramp access. Bring PLENTY of water. We ran out. I recommend bringing a backpack with 2 water bottles per person at least. Spanish Oaks Reservoir is located at 2931 S Spanish Oaks Drive. Includes mountain bike trails. Horses and pets on leash allowed on trails. Fishing, kayaks, waterboards allowed. Reservoir is easily accessible from the parking lot. One end of the reservoir is a beach; the rest is concrete, sloped down to the water. Bring your own shade. Onsite drinking fountains and bathrooms are open and working.
Ghost Falls, Draper, Utah
Did you know that there are dozens and dozens of little trails in the foothills of Draper? I didn’t! But let me tell you, I had an amazing time exploring one of them this last week (spring of 2020). Ghost Falls Trail behind the Draper Temple is GORGEOUS right now. So many little wildflowers and succulents and the trees are turning so green and bursting with pink and white flowers!
My heart sang as I walked up this trail. And there were so many other trails that branched off of it. I could explore this area for days and probably not even scratch the surface. Ghost Falls is about a four mile round trip trail. It was overcast when we went so felt nice, but on a hot day you’d be in direct sun a lot of the time, so plan for that. Totally doable for the kiddos. There are a lot of bikes in the area but the trail is wide most of the time so it wasn’t a problem at all. I would definitely hit this trail up again (and check out the nearby ones too!)
Technically this hike is in Salt Lake County.Oops! We’ll be creating that post soon and moving it there. For now, it can live here. See more Draper hikes below.
Grotto Falls, Payson, Utah
Grotto Falls Trail, located along the Nebo Loop Scenic Drive down by Payson, is one of my favorites to do in the summertime! It’s pretty short–a little more than a half mile round trip. At the end there is a pool of water and waterfall you can play in! I’d recommend bringing water shoes for that part.
This area was hit pretty hard by the fires in 2018 so it’s not quite the trail I remember from the past, but it’s still beautiful and a lot of fun! We especially love the log bridges that cross over the creek–makes us feel a bit like Calvin and Hobbes.
Stewart Falls, Provo, Utah
Stewart Falls up by Sundance will always have a special place in my heart. It was the first hike I did when I moved to Utah and it absolutely made me fall in love with Utah hiking. It’s stunning, shady, has a good mix of uphills, downhills, and flat areas on the trail. It’s the best and is good for families, couples, dogs, and everyone. Parking is $6 for a three-day pass. Hit it up; you won’t regret it!
More Outdoor Fun to Explore
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