This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Directions • The marked trailhead is about an eighth of a mile east of Silver Fork Lodge in Big Cottonwood Canyon, on the north side of the road.
Hike • Willow Heights Trail might be a relatively short hike, but it's a workout. The narrow path begins as a steep climb up the side of the canyon; but all along the way, you'll be weaving through a dense grove of aspens that's dotted with conifers, and sprinkled with demure blue and white wildflowers.
If you need to stop to catch your breath, the aspens offer a unique variety of reading material: etched into their soft white bark are the names of fellow adventurers, cryptic messages, and proclamations of love.
A little more than half a mile in, the grove opens up to a meadow and a small pond. A little further ahead, you'll reach the loop that takes you around Willow Lake.
Near the loop's northeast corner, a side trail branches off and takes you on a short trip to Dry Lake. As the name implies, there is no lake, just a lot of dirt.
Once you've seen it, turn around and leave the way you came. If you're hungry, the nearby Silver Fork Lodge could be a good place to look for a moderately priced meal.
Twitter: @MikeyPanda Destination Loop
Distance 2.8 miles
Time 2 hours
Elevation gain 944 feet
Dogs allowed No