Big Cottonwood Canyon

Vacation Travel Guide
Salt Lake City which includes tranquil scenes and a gorge or canyon

Beloved by Salt Lake City visitors and citizens alike, this ancient canyon beginning just outside city limits offers numerous ways to enjoy its beauty.

Visit Big Cottonwood Canyon to leave the city behind, perhaps to forget it altogether. A short drive from downtown Salt Lake City, the canyon feels a world away. With a wide variety of outdoor activities, the state’s famous hospitality is evident. In winter, skiing and snowshoeing are available, in summer rock climbing, biking and hiking. Year-round this is one of the most picturesque scenic drives of the western United States.

Even if your trip to Salt Lake is primarily in search of urban delights, hop in the car for a quick tour of this astonishing geological formation.

Drive along the road, winding through the V-shaped canyon and stopping at any moment for a view or short walk.

In summer, continue across the mountains through the Guardsman Pass, once the only connection between Salt Lake City and Park City.

In winter, take advantage of the closed roads to go snowshoeing on the frosted slopes. Go a bit faster down the snow-covered slopes at Brighton and Solitude, the canyon’s two ski resorts, which offer a variety of trails for all levels of skiing.

Visit the canyon in summer for a peaceful sanctuary that is a retreat from the bustle of the city. Take on the challenge of a hike up the 3-mile (5-kilometer) path to Lake Blanche, Lake Florence and Lake Lillian. Reward yourself for this difficult climb with a cooling swim in the mountain lakes.

Get views of nature in the foreground and city lights beyond by scrambling up the rock-climbing routes to the tops of the peaks.

Big Cottonwood Canyon is southeast of central Salt Lake City. The 15-mile (24-kilometer) scenic drive starts about 20 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City and takes about 1 hour round-trip. Salt Lake International Airport is a 20-minute drive away.

Note that the mountain pass to Park City is closed during the winter. Check online for the status of any activities of interest before coming.

Because Big Cottonwood Canyon is part of Salt Lake City’s watershed, no dogs are allowed in the area.

Top Hotels Close to Big Cottonwood Canyon

Courtyard by Marriott Salt Lake City Cottonwood
Courtyard by Marriott Salt Lake City Cottonwood
3 out of 5
7341 Canyon Centre Parkway, Salt Lake City, UT
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $125 per night from Dec 9 to Dec 9
Situated in the mountains, this hotel is 0.2 mi (0.4 km) from Big Cottonwood Canyon and within 9 mi (15 km) of Fashion Place Mall and Loveland Living Planet ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (56 reviews)
"good"

Reviewed on Nov 21, 2021

Courtyard by Marriott Salt Lake City Cottonwood
The Cliff Lodge and Spa
The Cliff Lodge and Spa
4 out of 5
9385 S. Snowbird Center Dr., Snowbird, Sandy, UT
The price is $299 per night from Dec 12 to Dec 12
Located in the mountains, this ski-in/ski-out resort in Salt Lake Mountain Resorts is within a 5-minute walk of Wasatch-Cache National Forest and Snowbird Ski ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (463 reviews)
"Beautiful setting"

Reviewed on Dec 1, 2021

The Cliff Lodge and Spa
Cottonwood Hgts Apt- Mins. to Brighton/Alta
Cottonwood Hgts Apt- Mins. to Brighton/Alta
Salt Lake City, UT
Situated in the mountains, this apartment building is steps from Wasatch-Cache National Forest and Big Cottonwood Canyon. Fashion Place Mall and Rio Tinto Stadium ...
4.9/5 Exceptional! (16 reviews)
Nice basement
"The good. The house is in a nice location, the basement was super clean, everything seemed new and nice, the beds are super comfy. heated bathroom floor. The not so good. It was hot in the basement and we couldn’t control the temperature so it made it hard to sleep. They had nest. We turned it down ..."

Reviewed on Sep 6, 2021

Cottonwood Hgts Apt- Mins. to Brighton/Alta
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Plan a trip to see Big Cottonwood Canyon

Westgate Park City Resort & Spa
Apex Residences, Park City - Canyons Village
Park City Peaks Hotel

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Best Lodging Options Near Big Cottonwood Canyon

Courtyard by Marriott Salt Lake City Cottonwood
Courtyard by Marriott Salt Lake City Cottonwood
3 out of 5
7341 Canyon Centre Parkway, Salt Lake City, UT
The price is $125 per night from Dec 9 to Dec 9
Courtyard by Marriott Salt Lake City Cottonwood
The Cliff Lodge and Spa
The Cliff Lodge and Spa
4 out of 5
9385 S. Snowbird Center Dr., Snowbird, Sandy, UT
The price is $299 per night from Dec 12 to Dec 12
The Cliff Lodge and Spa
Cottonwood Hgts Apt- Mins. to Brighton/Alta
Cottonwood Hgts Apt- Mins. to Brighton/Alta
Salt Lake City, UT
Cottonwood Hgts Apt- Mins. to Brighton/Alta
Hyatt Place Salt Lake City/Cottonwood
Hyatt Place Salt Lake City/Cottonwood
3 out of 5
3090 E 6200 S, Salt Lake City, UT
The price is $127 per night from Dec 10 to Dec 10
Hyatt Place Salt Lake City/Cottonwood
Lodge at Snowbird
Lodge at Snowbird
3 out of 5
9385 S. Snowbird Center Dr., Snowbird, Sandy, UT
The price is $429 per night from Jan 4 to Jan 4
Lodge at Snowbird
Enjoy Big Cottonwood  Canyon
Enjoy Big Cottonwood Canyon
Brighton, UT
Enjoy Big Cottonwood Canyon
The Inn
The Inn
2.5 out of 5
Utah Highway 210 , Entry #3, Sandy, UT
The price is $225 per night from Dec 7 to Dec 7
The Inn
BRAND NEW 3 Bdr Ski Condo w/ hot tub minutes to Alta,Snowbird,Solitude,Brighton
BRAND NEW 3 Bdr Ski Condo w/ hot tub minutes to Alta,Snowbird,Solitude,Brighton
Salt Lake City, UT
BRAND NEW 3 Bdr Ski Condo w/ hot tub minutes to Alta,Snowbird,Solitude,Brighton
Ski-in/ski-out modern gem w/ private balcony, shared pool/hot tub, & mtn view!
Ski-in/ski-out modern gem w/ private balcony, shared pool/hot tub, & mtn view!
Brighton, UT
Ski-in/ski-out modern gem w/ private balcony, shared pool/hot tub, & mtn view!
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.