Little Cottonwood Trail in Winter

The Little Cottonwood Trail is a beautiful and easy hike.

As part of our 52 Hike Challenge for 2017, we decided to try a brand new hike. The Little Cottonwood Trail runs up (or down) most of Little Cottonwood Canyon. We picked a short segment and walked it in the middle of January. The snow and the trees were a beautiful combination.

We jumped on the Little Cottonwood trail at the parking lot 2.7 miles from the bottom of the canyon. The Lisa Falls Hike starts just across the street. From the parking lot, the trail drops straight down the hill for about 50 yards. Then it splits in three directions. The right goes down the canyon, the left goes up the canyon, and we don’t know where straight ahead goes, but it may be that¬†someone just walked off the trail right there.

You’ll see a sign that says Little Cottonwood Trail, and you can run down the trail like our boys did!
You’ll head down the hill and toward the mountains before you have to choose a direction.
At the bottom of the hill, the trail splits. You can hike either way along the Little Cottonwood Trail. We went left and walked about .3 before turning around.

We turned left up the canyon and walked for about a third of a mile. It was around 20 degrees, but we were bundled up really good, and we didn’t feel cold at all. The trail climbs slowly parallel to the road, but we were far enough away that we couldn’t hear the traffic. There was between 8-12 inches of snow, but the trail was packed fairly flat, even though we couldn’t get our boys to stay on it.

The trail walks through the big pine trees, or “Christmas Trees” as our 4 year-old calls them.
It is beautiful in the mountains all year round!
We loved walking under the trees as we hiked.

The Little Cottonwood Trail is especially beautiful because the trees stretch across above you as you walk along. It is very quiet and you only hear your breath and the crunch of the snow beneath your boots. We only saw two other hikers along the trail though cars were plentiful on the drive up.

It is like a little tree tunnel as you hike. I bet this trail is beautiful in the Fall, too!
We saw lots of different tracks in the snow. Deer we can pick out, but we think these are rabbit. At least that’s what our boys hope they are.

We would have gone much farther, but our boys were beginning to wear out as it is much harder to hike the snow and this was our second hike of the day. We figure that if there is snow on the ground, it cuts our max distance by nearly half just because trudging in the boots and heavy clothing, not to mention the thick snow, is considerably more difficult.

He wanted to see what would happen if he knocked the snow off the tree.
We definitely take more breaks during our winter hikes.
He was up and running just a few minutes later.
There is also a lot of snow eating. And the snow in the mountains is clean(er) and fresh(er), so I don’t worry about them eating it too much!

We’ve really enjoyed our winter hiking, and we feel a little bad that we didn’t take it up sooner! This trail was a great start for any new winter hikers. It is fairly flat (other than the first climb down), and it was not busy. If you are looking for some other winter hikes, check out our post about Family Friendly Winter Hikes in Utah.

It’s very peaceful along the trails in winter time.

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