Picnic Hikes Perfect for the Whole Family!
1. Stewart Falls
Enjoy a relaxing picnic at one of the most stunning waterfalls in Utah. A family-friendly, 2 mile one-way hike through the forest will get you there!
1) To enjoy this waterfall without the crowds, go earlier in the morning for a Breakfast
Picnic OR go during a week day morning, if possible, since more people arrive later
in the day and on the weekends.
2) Don’t set up your picnic in or near the foliage since there is some stinging nettle in
this area. Not to worry though, since there is PLENTY of wide open space to set up
3) Like any beautiful waterfall in Utah, there is a temptation for some to hike up to the
cliffs at the top of the waterfall. Don’t do it. Even if you see others doing it, don’t go there. Stay on well maintained trails. Waterfalls in Utah can be very dangerous IF good common sense is ignored. Enjoy this spectacular waterfall safely from the ground below.
4) There is a small fee for parking at this trailhead.
Location: Utah County, Provo Canyon, 3 miles further up the canyon from Sundance Ski Resort, near the Alpine Loop.
2. Lake Solitude
This is a “TWO for ONE” picnic hike! ONE hike with TWO beautiful high alpine lakes! Walk half way around Silver Lake before getting to the intersection that will point you to Lake Solitude. This is an easy, high altitude hike, approx. 9000 ft. above sea level, 1.5 miles in length, one way and only 400 feet elevation gain. Smell the fresh evergreen pine trees all the way to the lake.
Look for the ski lifts above you as you approach the boundaries of Solitude and Brighton Ski Resorts. Keep your eyes open for moose and deer.
1) Remember, this is higher in altitude, which means the air is thinner. You’ll find
yourself short of breath. Stop often and take photos while you are catching your
2) There is plenty to see, so stop and look around every now and then.
3) There is a short steeper area just before you get to the lake. This section is less than
60 feet long or so. Hiking poles really do help a lot when going up and down trails. Hiking poles can be inexpensive “ski poles”, found at a thrift store for just a few dollars OR even a hiking stick will help you go up and down terrain a lot easier.
4) Do not feed any wild life, whether large or small. Do not pet a moose, for example. Unfortunately we see this every so often. This is WILD LIFE. You are in a wilderness area. Keep a distance of at least 75 feet from any large animals, like moose. Enjoy photos of wild life from further away.
￼Picnic Hikes Perfect for the Whole Family!
5) Once you arrive at the lake, you’ll be tempted to set up a picnic immediately. Hold off for a bit. There are some great views of the lake from different angles and you won’t be in the middle of traffic, as others arrive at the lake. Stop for a minute to enjoy the entrance to the lake but keep walking clockwise around the small lake so you can discover your own perfect picnic spot with added peace and quiet.
6) As you walk clockwise around the lake, don’t miss the cool cave that is on your left. The lake is on your right.
7) We’ve spotted moose many times in or near the water, so keep your eyes open and find a spot with a view of the whole lake.
8) Don’t ever set up a picnic ON a trail
Location: Salt Lake County, Top of Big Cottonwood Canyon, Park at Solitude Nordic Center, near Silver Lake and Brighton Ski Resort
3. Hidden Peak
This is a rare “high altitude” picnic outing that is extremely unique! It’s so incredible that I have been organizing and promoting this annual event every July AND August for several years. I call it “Picnic on the Peak”! With a group of 20+ family and friends, we generally all ride the tram up to the peak with our food. Some STRONG hikers in our group will leave 2 hours earlier and hike up to the peak. Plan on 3 miles, one way, with 3000 ft. elevation gain if you want to hike. Anytime you hike 1000 ft. elevation gain per mile, you will feel it, especially at higher altitudes. It’s free to ride the tram back down the mountain.
Our group likes to arrive at Snowbird Ski Resort Plaza, (8000 ft. above sea level), approx. 6 PM on a weekday, so we get the peak more to ourselves. We board the 6:30 PM tram. In a thrilling, short 10 minute ride up the mountain, you climb 3000 ft. to the peak (11,000 ft. above sea level). If you plan a head and the weather is good, you’ll be treated to a spectacular Utah sunset! This is an evening picnic you won’t soon forget and one that makes you feel like an eagle standing on top of the world! Look any direction for breath-taking beauty!
1) Call Snowbird Ski Resort in advance and ask how to qualify for a group rate.
2) This peak is VERY kid friendly. It is large, easily allowing 200 people to stand or sit
on the peak comfortably!
3) A “warming” room is available with a view for those who may get cold. There are
also modern restrooms available on the peak.
4) Bring extra layers of clothing including a hat and gloves since it’s much warmer in
the valley, then cooler at the Snowbird Plaza, and even cooler on the peak. Don’t wear flip flops. Our group comes prepared to stay until the last tram goes down the mountain (approx. 8 PM).
5) Find out a head of time, when the sun sets, in order to capture the best photos.
6) Always check weather conditions prior to leaving.
￼Picnic Hikes Perfect for the Whole Family!
7) As a group, I invite everyone to bring a favorite edible treat i.e. main or side dish, pasta salad, dessert, appetizer, etc. that will be easy to transport. Everyone brings their own plate and utensils. It’s a super fun, easy, delicious buffet Picnic on the Peak.
8) Provide a blanket specifically for the food OR bring a table cloth in case you are able to use one of the few picnic tables on the peak.
9) Don’t forget your camera.
10)Bring a camping chair or blanket to sit on as well.
Location: Salt Lake County, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Snowbird Ski Resort
4. Armstrong Trail
Enjoy a peaceful picnic looking down into a city….. Park City! Relax as you sit, eat and soak up all the beauty down below you! Park City is one of those magical places that has plenty of trails in the mountains above, which is why it’s a favorite of mine. Hike up a comfortable trail through an aspen forest and look for your desired picnic spot with a view.
1) Watch for occasional mountain bikers.
2) Never set up your picnic too close to the trail
3) Look for opportunities to sit in the shade and be cool 4) Don’t forget your camera.
5) Bring a blanket or camping chair to sit on.
Location: Park City area, Summit County
5. Mueller Park
Even though Mueller Park is a popular trail and 7 miles long (Round Trip), there are PLENTY of spots, less than one mile from the trailhead, to set up a picnic. Many popular trails like Mueller Park have easy hidden, secluded picnic spots. You just have to be alert and aware of your surroundings. As you are observant, you’ll find your own private scenic picnic paradise without seeing much traffic on the trail!
1) Find a spot at least 10 feet from the trail.
2) When searching for your picnic site in a forest, always look up and be aware of the
trees above you. Never set up a picnic under a “Half-fallen” Tree. These are called “Widow makers”. They could fall at any time.
Picnic Hikes Perfect for the Whole Family!
Location: Davis County, Above the city of Bountiful
Hiking Picnic Ideas
• Keep it simple
• Whatever you bring, it needs to fit inside of a backpack.
• Don’t use many hard plastic storage containers since they take up extra space.
• Use heavy duty, zip lock storage bags i.e. sandwich, quart or gallon size.
• Use light weight plates, bowls, utensils, glasses, made of plastic, for example.
• Bring an extra bag for quick clean up of any paper products or dirty dishes.
• Don’t leave any garbage behind.
• Your picnic area should be cleaner than when you found it.
• As a “hiking picnic” you will crave more water than sugary drinks. Plan accordingly.
• Keep ingredients separate so each person can create their own customized dish on
• Hikers don’t generally crave sugary sweets (i.e. sweet pastries, donuts, cookies,
• Hikers do generally crave fresh fruit and veggies, especially AFTER you’ve been
hiking even a little i.e. watermelon, melons, apples, grapes, oranges, bananas, sugar snap peas, carrot & celery sticks
Some of my favorites picnic choices:
• Cheese & Crackers
• Apples & Swiss Cheese
• Peanut Butter & Strawberry Jam w/ sliced bananas on Whole Wheat Bread
• Any kind of Trail Mix!
• Gourmet Trail Mix: Craisins and Pecans
• Dip pretzels in a peanut butter & jam combo OR peanut butter and honey combo
• Spice up your water bottles by adding lemon, lime or orange wedges
• Wraps made with flour tortillas, turkey, cheese and dipped in raspberry sauce
• Chips and salsa. Tortilla chips taste great because of the salt content.