We’ve done a bit of hiking up Cottonwood Canyon this past month. We hiked up to Doughnut Falls one day and Dog Lake another. When you hike in the Wasatch Mountains in late May/early June there’s plenty of mud and snow to trudge through. The trails are fresh at the start of the season and everything’s green and blooming.
Doughnut Falls is one of the top hikes listed when you search for out-and-back hikes in Big Cottonwood Canyon. When we went on Memorial Day weekend it was full of people and mud. Because the snow wasn’t fully melted but the river was brimming you couldn’t actually hike all the way up to falls so the vantage point was a little lacking. Still, it was pretty. Hiking just before sunset makes for some beautiful light and nice cool temperatures. It’s definitely worth a trip if you haven’t been.
The Dog Lake hike was longer and much more challenging. Almost 3 miles up, and the last mile was a pretty decent elevation gain. The first real hike of the year. Phew. It’s nice when you get up above everyone and have a little more nature to yourself. The view at the top was beautiful and the canyon opened to a clear, cold, blue-green lake with plenty of snow still on the west side. After snacking on trail mix and taking some pictures (including a shot of us we got by hanging the camera on the branch of a small tree and setting a timer) we slid half-way down the mountain in the snow, through the aspen trees, and back to the car. It was a beautiful day and a refreshing hike. Highly recommended.