Snowshoeing is easily one of the most family-friendly, low-cost, and enjoyable activities to do in the winter. Throughout all of Northern Utah, the Uinta Mountains, and the Wasatch Range, Utah’s backcountry is full of trail systems that can take you deep into the forests to stunning winter landscapes. Here you’ll find the best easy Utah snowshoe trails that are perfect for a fun winter adventure.
One of the best parts of snowshoeing Utah is that you can easily go out with the entire family. There are so many easy snowshoe trails in Utah that you won’t need to look far to find them. It’s easy to find snowshoe rentals, and the whole family will love the feeling of floating above the ground.
How to Snowshoe
While snowshoeing can appear complicated, it’s really just hiking through the snow. The snowshoes can make it easier to travel to more places, and snowshoes for kids are small enough that they can manage walking with them quite easily.
Learn How To Snowshoe
Learning how to snowshoe is a pretty easy thing to do. Most kids hardly need any instruction past learning how to put the snowshoes on! You can start on some groomed trails to help get the feel for things, but kids will take to this much faster than adults who aren’t used to walking with snowshoes on.
Teaching Kids How To Snowshoe
The biggest tip is to help them adjust to a lightly wider stance that’s often required for kids to snowshoe. We usually take our kids to the park to practice walking with a slightly wider stance, and within 20 minutes, they’re literally running circles around us! If you notice that your child keeps stepping on their snowshoes, consider a narrower snowshoe, especially for really young kids.
After you’ve worked on wearing the snowshoes, it’s time to hit the trail! For the first time out, it’s a good idea to choose a trail that’s relatively short and has little elevation gain. Remind your kids that it’s going to be much slower than hiking, and you’ll probably fall a few times. Try falling over a couple of times yourself just to show them how fun it can actually be.
Start to introduce some hilly terrain and longer distances gradually. There are plenty of snowshoeing trails Utah has to offer that are perfect for this. You can go snowshoeing in Utah on really simple trails, but you can also find some of the more difficult trails in the country.
Set Realistic Expectations While Snowshoeing With Kids
Don’t expect to fly up and down the trails your first time out on snowshoes. It would be great to set out for a big 10-mile day, but it isn’t very realistic to hope for that at first. It can be a huge win just to get outside and have snowshoes on everyone’s feet. Try adding incremental goals to your challenges and then you can eventually hit those bigger marks!
The real goal of teaching kids how to snowshoe is getting them outside to help them love being active outside. It isn’t about reaching a certain destination. Try to put the focus on having fun and spending time together as a family rather than summiting mountains and being competitive. That attitude can quickly ruin any kid’s interest in ever going snowshoeing again.
Utah Snowshoe Safety
Before you hit the trails in Utah, make sure to brush up on snowshoe safety. Many of the popular snowshoe trails can be dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. Familiarize yourself with avalanche conditions and how to travel safely in avalanche terrain before heading out onto any trail.
Also, plan ahead and bring necessary equipment such as avalanche transceivers, shovels, and probes. Finally, weather conditions can change quickly in the winter, so make sure to check the forecast before you go. By taking all of these precautions, you can help ensure that your snowshoeing experience is both safe and fun!
The Best Snowshoeing Trails in Park City
Park City Utah is one of the greatest spots on Earth for any winter activity. From downhill and cross country skiing to dog sledding, you can do anything! It’s no wonder that some of the best snowshoeing in Utah is here as well. Park City snowshoe trails will give you all of the challenges you are looking for with the option to take it easy with your kids!
Distance: Variable (1-6 mile options)
Location: Park City
Round Valley is one of the most popular snowshoeing and cross country skiing spots in all of Park City. There are tons of well-maintained trails that have little elevation gain, and some that get more difficult. You want to be aware of the tracks laid down for cross country skiers when out on snowshoes, and stay off to the side of those. This is a great opportunity to teach your kids all about trail etiquette!
There are so many trails in this area that you can go out and make your day as long or as short as you like! This is one of the best places to snowshoe in Utah if you’re just learning.
Flying Dog Trail System
Distance: Variable (2-10 miles)
Difficulty: Moderate to Advanced
Location: South of Kimball Junction
What is normally a popular spot for mountain bikers turns into a great set of Utah winter trails to check out on snowshoes. There are over 25 miles of trails throughout this area so you can choose your route and make it as long as you want. It’s best for those with a good amount of snowshoeing experience as some of the trails can be challenging.
Gamble Oak Loop
Distance: 4 miles
Location: Outside downtown Park City
The Gamble Oak Loop is great because it’s so easy to get to. Right outside of downtown Park City, this 4-mile trail is a great step up from an easier route. The trail can be a little confusing in the winter, so bring a map along with you for help!
McLeod Creek Trail
Distance: 6 miles out and back
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Location: North of downtown
This is another really popular trail that gives you some of the best views of Park City valley. You travel through wooded areas, across bridges, and along the Olympic Parkway Trail with views of McPollin Barn. Since it’s so popular, you may not need snowshoes, but they can still be a good idea for traction.
Best Snowshoe Trails in Salt Lake City
Lake Mary Trail
Distance: 2.6 miles out and back
Location: Big Cottonwood Canyon
The Lake Mary snowshoe trail is located in the area of Lake Mary, Montana. This trail is a moderate-level snowshoe experience that takes you up to 2.6 miles of winding terrain through dense evergreens and open meadows. The route offers stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains, as well as plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing. There are some steeper sections of this trail, so it’s best to have some good experience with climbing on snowshoes before you attempt this trail.
Days Fork Trail
Distance: 3.5 miles out and back
Location: Big Cottonwood Canyon
Days Fork is a great snowshoe trail that’s 3.5 miles roundtrip. The trailhead is in the Spruces campground in Little Cottonwood Canyon. The start has a steep climb, but once you’re past that, things start to get easier and are flatter. Once you get to Lower Meadow, make sure to use caution and check avalanche conditions since this area can have a high avalanche danger at times. This is a great trail to explore on snowshoes, with plenty of stunning views and wildlife to enjoy.
The Best Snowshoeing Trails in Utah County
Sundance Nordic Center
Distance: Over 6 miles of trail
Location: Sundance, UT
At the Sundance Nordic Center you can snowshoe through 6 miles of wooded trails with views of Mt. Timpanogos towering right above you. While this does cost around $12/adult and $9/kid, the trails and views are worth it.
Big Springs Hollow
Location: Near Provo Canyon
Big Springs has a load of wide and easy-to-find trails with very little elevation gain, making it perfect for snowshoeing with kids. The trail is part of the larger Great Western Loop, but you can turn around when it starts to get steeper for a nice out and bike walk.
Tibble Fork Loop
Distance: 4 miles
Location: American Fork Canyon
With fresh snow, this loop is an incredible place to go snowshoeing. There’s around 1000 feet of elevation gain, so this one is definitely more challenging. The trail is heavily trafficked, so you might not need snowshoes unless there was a recent snowfall.
Payson Grotto Falls Trail
Distance: 1.9 miles one way
Location: South of Provo
This is one of the best destination Utah snowshoe trails with kids that there is. It also helps to slowly introduce your kids to snowshoeing as you start on a wide and flat road before moving onto a trail. The Grotto Falls in the winter is stunning and will be well-worth the hike in!
Best Snowshoe Trails in Southern Utah
Just because there’s more snow up north doesn’t mean Northern Utah is the only place to snowshoe! Southern Utah snowshoeing is an incredible hidden gem where you can find some of the best places to snowshoe in Utah without the crowd.
Cedar Breaks National Monument
Location: Cedar City
For anyone looking for a challenge, heading to Cedar Breaks National Monument is the trail for you. This spot, just 10 minutes from Brian Head Ski Resort, allows you to make your own trail and get up to higher elevation to test out your skills. Look out for snowmobiles in this area, but you may also find yourself following one of their trails!
Deer Hollow Recreation Area
Distance: 23 miles of trail
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Location: Outside Cedar City
1,300 acres of beautiful winter trails sit in this area, perfectly placed for those looking to go snowshoeing. There are 8 different loop trails with views of Navajo Lake and you can find groomed trails up to 4.6 miles long. If you want a place to get a good start, this is it.
Pine Valley Recreation Area
Difficulty: Easy to Advanced
Location: Pine Valley
This small mountain town at the base of the Pine Valley Mountains is host to massive ponderosa pines, alpine lakes, and gorgeous winter trails for snowshoeing. You can use the same trails you would hike in the summer for some adventurous snowshoeing. Some of these trails leave the area and head straight up toward the summit, so be aware of where you are headed! Some of the best trails make their way around the gorgeous reservoir and through the entire recreation area. This is a true gem of southern Utah that’s often overlooked.