SILVER LAKE, UT
Located up Big Cottonwood Canyon, about 15 minutes southeast of Salt Lake City, Utah is Silver Lake, on the Brighton Loop. You'll find ample parking, a handful of restaurants, and restrooms. Silver Lake is truly a hidden gem. It's rarely busy and, even when the parking lot is full, it feels secluded with plenty of quiet spots to meditate or explore on your own. Plus, it's beautiful in any season.
Surrounded by a boardwalk, Silver Lake is the perfect place to take a scenic stroll, for any age or ability. Small children will love the ducks, chipmunks, squirrels and fish that they'll spot in and around the lake. Adults will be amazed by the beauty of the majestic, forested mountains that encircle Silver Lake and might even be lucky enough to spot wild moose in the distance. Find a rock along the banks of Silver Lake, or use one of several small docks overlooking the lake, and try your hand at fishing. The water is crisp and calm, making it a fisherman's dream. It takes about 30 minutes to walk around the boardwalk, but in our experience, we extend that time quite a bit by exploring the side trails and taking advantage of the incredible photo opportunities at Silver Lake. The boardwalk, bridges and dirt paths are easy to navigate with a stroller or wheelchair, just be cautious of the occasional tree root that may jut out into the path.
If you want to challenge yourself beyond a simple walk around Silver Lake, there are a few different hiking trails that lead to Lake Solitude and Twin Lakes, but that also give you a spectacular view of Silver Lake from a birds eye view. These trails are more challenging, so pack plenty of water and plan to take photo breaks along the way so you can catch your breath and take in the scenery.