Winter in Utah usually means ski season for residents and visitors, however for those who'd rather stick more firmly to the ground there are hikes along the Wasatch Front that can be still be enjoyed -- snow or not. And this year, with little snow received so far there are plenty of lower altitude hikes you can get in.
As always, be careful to check for avalanche advisories (https://utahavalanchecenter.org/advisory/salt-lake) before heading outdoors.
The 'Y' Trail
Hiking the Y in Provo is doable year-round, though some seasons are definitely more tolerable than others.
The short 2-mile hike will provide you up close views of snowy mountains and a frosty Utah Lake. Going up, if there is snow on the ground, is typically easier than coming down. If you're lacking grace like some of us, feel free to bring winter hiking gear or a trash bag you can fall back on if need be during steep stretches.
Location: Drive east from 900 East in Provo on 820 North and continue east. Turn right on Oakcliff Drive. Then, turn right on Terrace Drive and follow to the trailhead parking lot.
Another quick jaunt for those looking to get outdoors in the winter months can be found at Provo's Rock Canyon. While the trail can become packed snow further into the canyon during winter months, it's easily accessible.
It's a gorgeous area, summer or winter, and can still be enjoyed in the cold weather. Stick to trails and packed areas to avoid getting lost or ending up in knee-deep snow.
If there is snow, micro spikes or snowshoes might be beneficial.
Location: From 900 E in Provo, go east on 2230 N until you reach the end of the road and continue straight into the trailhead parking lot.
Pine Hollow Trail
If you're looking for an Alpine winter wonderland, look no further.
The Pine Hollow Trail in American Fork Canyon is accessible year-round and is about a 4.4-mile loop, according to AllTrails.
Wear snowshoes, spikes or waterproof shoes as you will likely encounter snow and/or mud.
Location: You can access the Pine Hollow Trailhead from the Alpine Loop Road. The trailhead is 10.8 miles from the American Fork booth/fee station found at the west entrance of the canyon.
About nine miles in you will see a road going off to the left to Tibble Fork Reservoir. Do not take this road but continue to the right as you head south up through some hairpin turns. On the second hairpin turn, the trailhead will be on your right.
From November to May you will not be able to continue any further as the gate will be closed just above the trailhead parking lot. The trail starts across the street from the parking lot just east of the road.
Battle Creek Falls
Especially if there's some light snow, take a winter hike up to Battle Creek Falls. The trail is a popular one during all seasons, including winter. It is not uncommon to spot wildlife while hiking up to the falls.
Location: To get there, drive east on 200 S. in Pleasant Grove until it comes to a dead end at the Battle Creek Trailhead.
Diamond Fork's Fifth Water Hot Springs Trail
If ever there were a time for hot springs, cold weather would seem to necessitate it. The Fifth Water Hot Springs up Diamond Fork Canyon is a perfect winter hiking destination.
The 5-mile hike leads to a number of naturally heated pools. The traffic on the trail will depend on the weather, though if snowy, the trail is still typically packed down.
If the gate on Diamond Fork Road is closed (as it frequently is in winter), an extra 2-3 miles walking alongside the road to the trailhead will be added to your mile total, though it is still doable and well worth it.
Expect to spend anywhere from four to six hours hiking.
Feel free to bring a towel, water, and change of clothes if you plan to get in the pools.
Location: From I-15 S take Exit 257B-A onto US-6 W and keep left. Then take a left onto Diamond Fork Road about 11 miles in. After turning on Diamond Fork Road, the destination is approximately 9.8 miles in on the right.
Wasatch Mountain State Park
Missing your weekly hiking adventures because of all the snow? Strap your feet into a pair of snowshoes and trek across the snowy landscape of Wasatch Mountain State Park.
With just a few safety tips and the right equipment, you and your friends or family can enjoy a beautiful time in Midway crunching through the snow-covered forest at the state park anytime throughout the season.
The state park is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. year-round.
Location: Wasatch Mountain State Park, 1281 Warm Springs Dr., Midway
Further up the Wasatch Front in Big Cottonwood Canyon is Donut Falls. While access to the actual falls is limited during winter months, the short 3.5-mile out-and-back hike is still accessible and lovely. It can be done in regular shoes though snowshoes could also come in handy, as the trail is frequently snowy. Make sure to bundle up!
Location: Drive 9 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon to the Mill D Trailhead. If the gate is open, take a right towards the Jordan Pines picnic area, otherwise park alongside the road and walk in to the trail. You'll pass private summer homes on your way to the trailhead parking lot. Follow the signs to Donut Falls.