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Top fall hikes in Park City

PARK CITY, Utah — Time to admire the changing color of the leaves and prepare for unpredictable weather.

These five hikes are great during fall and vary from short hikes that can be reached from downtown Park City to moderate and challenging hikes farther out.

Armstrong trail to Dawn’s Loop

This hike is for anyone who just wants to get out into nature. The easiest way to get there is to start from the Park City Mountain Resort parking lot by the First Time chairlift. To the right of the lift, you will see a dirt road headed up the mountain. About 2/3 of the way up there is a trail head and sign on your right for Silver Spur. Follow that trail until you reach a sign for Dawn’s trail.

Groves of quaking aspens, scrub oak and maple trees line the trail and give you the impression of walking through a series of tunnels. The maple trees start turning in early September. Occasionally, there are views of Park City to the southeast. View of Park City

This trail can be easily adjusted to your abilities by hiking down one of the ski run crossings to the path below and hiking in the direction you came from. It’s still a loop, just shorter.

Bloods Lake trail

This trail is in the Bonanza Flat Conservation area. Take the Guardsman Pass road from Park City towards Brighton. You will find the Bloods Lake trailhead parking area on the North side of the road. The Bloods Lake trail starts across the road towards the south.

View of Bonanza Flats Conservation Area

You will find yourself on a mildly sloping trail with elevation changes of less than 500 feet. This trail with plenty of shade is very popular, however, moose and bear still frequent the area. To the lake and back is about 2.6 miles. Be prepared with drinking water and sunscreen. You are permitted to swim in the lake, so take a towel if that strikes your fancy.

IO trail

Starting from the same parking lot, but this time on the north side of the road, IO trail starts towards the east from the parking lot. Initially you wander through aspen groves until you reach some dirt roads headed up the mountain. IO trail is less crowded than Bloods Lake trail.

IO trail views

Plan on continuous uphill climbs with little shade once you leave the Aspen groves. In early September wildflowers still border this trail and the views from the top span many mountain ridges. The aspens in this area are not likely to turn until October.

Yellow wild flowers

Ontario trail in Deer Valley

This trail is 2.7 miles one way. It provides views of Jordanelle Reservoir and can easily be combined with a lift ride up the Sterling Express lift. Views of Jordanelle Reservoir and the mountain ranges highlight this trail.

Holly’s trail to Mid-Mountain trail to Alpine Lake

This trail starts from the base of the Canyons village at Park City Mountain Resort by the Orange Bubble lift. Watch out for bicyclists on this mostly single-track trail. You start out on Holly’s trail.

Moose, deer, badgers, eagles and many smaller animals have been reported on this trail. Hike to the Alpine Lake, then around it to continue on Mid-Mountain trail through many aspen groves. Start early, since this trail is quite long and can expand depending on which turns you take. The minimum trail length is 9.8 miles and you will be hiking uphill until you reach the Alpine Lake.

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