Silver Lake

Salt Lake City
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Silver Lake

Distance: 5.5mi
Elevation: 1,407ft
Time: 3-4h

Difficulty Rating:

A stunning alpine lake that few people walk to due to the 4.8km dirt road access. This crisp beautiful lake hike rewards you with views of the grey cliffs of White Baldy. It’s a stunning scene, perfect for a picnic or a swim.

Getting there

Head south from Salt Lake City along the I-15 for 37.0km, then take the turnoff for Timpanogos Caves (exit 284) and continue along this road into American Fork Canyon. Drive along this road for 33.2km, turning left onto UT-144 at the major junction halfway up the canyon. Drive up this road and follow signs for Granite Flats Campground. Just before the campground, turn right and follow the signs toward Silver Lake. Now the road is dirt but easily passable by sedans. Follow this dirt road for 4.8km until it ends at the north end of Silver Lake Flat Reservoir, where you’ll find the trailhead.


When to do

Spring through fall

Backcountry Campsites

At the lake


At trailhead

Family friendly


Route Signage


Crowd Levels


Route Type

Out and back


Detailed Description

The trailhead begins opposite the reservoir and follows Silver Creek for the first little while. There are no trail junctions so it’s pretty much impossible to get lost!

As you continue along the trail, the grade will begin to increase. You will start to hike into the canyon formed by Silver Creek, eventually popping out above most of the trees. From here, you will have glimpses of Mt. Timpanogos if you look back.

After crossing over the stream, the trail will start to switchback. Compared to most other trails in the area, this is actually quite well graded and there are very few very steep sections. Hiking up the right side of the canyon, you will continue climbing until you finally reach the rocky cliffs lining the south side of the lake. There is usually a small waterfall here.

The trail will pop you out on the east side of Silver Lake, but there are dozens of small trails making their way around the lake. We recommend making your way around one side of the lake to find some solitude from the small crowds that linger on the south side. You can also bushwhack around the entire lake.

Looking up, you will see White Baldy and its subsidiary peaks. The awesome grey cliffs lining the north side of the lake are truly stunning and provide an incredible ambiance for a picnic or a swim. After enjoying the alpine atmosphere, find the trail on the southeast side of the lake and return the way you came.

Insider Hints

  • Since this lake is not part of the Salt Lake watershed, you are allowed - and in our opinion, encouraged - to swim in Silver Lake.

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