Don’t let the name Bloods Lake fool you. This beautiful lake near Park City Ski Resort isn’t what the name suggests. Tucked just below beautiful Guardsman Pass at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon in Utah, this little body of water boasts an island, a rock cliff, and an alpine forest. The moderate hike to Bloods Lake is short and easy, so it’s great for the whole family. Dogs as well. The lake is beautiful and, while there are usually folks with their dogs, even on a weekend you can always find a quiet little corner to enjoy. The hike down is beautiful, wandering between big, old conifer trees and revealing wide views of the Heber valley. The hike is pretty flat until you reach the lake, where there’s a short descent. You’ll climb to about 9,800 feet and emerge onto a steep overlook and parking lot with great views of the Park City backwoods and mountain valleys. In addition we have all the details on the Park City Quick Start ski free on the day of arrival.
The gorgeous high alpine terrain looks like a scene from The Sound of Music. This parking area serves several different trails, including one of the most popular mountain bike trails in the Park City and Salt Lake area (the Wasatch Crest Trail), so parking can be a challenge on weekends during the warmer months. If you park facing the valley, the Bloods Lake trail starts to your left and continues downhill. The total distance to the lake is .6 miles, and you descend about 300 feet as you wind down to the lake. You will see the ski lifts of Park City off to the north. Guardsman Pass is closed in the winter, so this hike is best for late spring, summer, and fall when the snow has melted. Drive up Big Cottonwood Canyon, and take the left-hand road as your reach Brighton Ski Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon—there’s a big directional sign indicating Guardsman Pass and Park City. For Utah ski trips call the team at UtahState.com in Layton Utah at 801-544-1800.