Willow Heights Trail

Brighton, UT
Length: 2.20 mi.
Type: Out & Back

About This Trail

[Total: 1    Average: 5/5]

The Willow Heights Trail to Willow Lake is a short hike from Big Cottonwood Canyon Road up near Brighton, just east of the Silver Fork Lodge. About 1/10 mile in, there is a fork in the trail. To the right is a narrow and steep trail for about half a mile and may be difficult for young walkers. To the left is a slightly longer, easier trail. I recommend the fork to the left.  The trail flattens out as you enter a wide meadow with wide views of the surrounding mountains. Once you get to the lake, there is lots of open space to lay down a picnic blanket and enjoy a nice lunch or you can walk into the aspens and hang a hammock. The trail is accessible in all four seasons, including in the snow. The fall colors are incredible starting in late September and the wildflowers are equally beautiful in the summer; usually mid-July. In the winter, snowshoes are recommended after recent snow fall. If the trail is icy, it’s not recommended, especially for kids. All of Big Cottonwood Canyon is a watershed canyon, so no swimming or wading in the lake and no dogs.

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Trail Features

Seasons Fall, Spring, Summer, and Winter
Surface type Dirt
Elevation gain 629 ft.
Stroller friendly No
Stroller terrain No Wheels
ADA accessible No
Water fountains No
Bathrooms No
Cell reception Spotty
Pet friendly No
Nearby convenience store Yes
Camping Nearby Yes
Emergency support
within 5 miles

Trail highlights

Camping Nearby, Creek / River, Fishing, Lake, Natural Play Area, Picnic Area, Viewpoint, and Wildlife Viewing

Willow Lake is small but really beautiful, especially in spring, summer and fall when it reflects the surrounding aspen trees.

We’ve seen moose on this hike more than a few times. There are usually ducks and/or geese around the lake too.

There are no restrooms or water fountains at the trailhead.

Big Cottonwood Canyon is a watershed canyon, so no dogs are allowed, and there is no swimming or wading in the lake.

Fee & Parking Details

Fee : $0.00

There is no designated parking lot for this trail. Parking is along the side of the road, just east of the Silver Fork Lodge. The trail is marked with a large rock with the trail name carved into it. It’s easy to miss when driving there. During good weather, you may see other cars parked along the side of the road.

Trail Contributor

[Total: 1    Average: 5/5]

Alex is an artist and graphic designer who runs her own little business from home while she’s momming it with her two school-aged boys. She’s a California native and transplant to the Salt Lake Valley where she’s completely fallen in love with living so close to the mountains. She loves hiking, camping, travel, soccer, photography and cooking. She geeks out over history, especially art history, loves getting lost in a great novel, and she started practicing taekwondo the year she turned 40. She’s also a Lifetime Girl Scout and she loves sharing her love for travel and the outdoors with her kids.

Trail Head


Trail Map

Getting There

From I-15, take the exit onto eastbound I-215/Belt Route. Take exit 6 onto UT-190 toward 3000 E from the second-to-righthand lane. Keep left and follow signs to 6200 S. Turn right onto UT-190/6200 S/Wasatch Blvd. Turn left onto UT-190/Big Cottonwood Canyon Rd. The the trailhead is less than a quarter-mile after you pass the Silver Fork Lodge. There is only parking on the side of the road and the trail is marked by a large, engraved boulder.