The Information Center (which in winter is the ticket and rental office for the Solitude Nordic Center) is located at the trailhead. During the summer months the US Forest Service operates the Information Center over weekends and on holidays between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Both the Information Center and walkway are wheelchair accessible.
Everyone should carry a one liter of water. Water is plentiful in this area, but all water taken from lakes and streams should be filtered before drinking. Insect repellent is a good idea as mosquitoes can be bothersome during certain times of the year. A mosquito repellent that contains DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) is highly recommended.
Navigation for this route is almost non-existent. But for those who want to know all the usual details the USGS 7.5' Map titled "Brighton" shows the lake. You might also find a map of Brighton Ski Resort and Solitude Ski Resort useful or at least fun to look at. All waypoints and maps for this route use the WGS84 datum. It should be noted that the USGS maps are not accurate for trails in this area. The trails are correctly located on the map provided. This route is suitable for beginners, seniors, handicapped and children with adult supervision. The trail is 1 II using the Yosemite Decimal System.
Big Cottonwood Canyon is within Salt Lake City Watershed, therefore special restrictions apply and are strictly enforced. No domestic animals (dogs, cats, horses) are permitted in Big Cottonwood Canyon.
From anywhere in the Salt lake Valley take I-215 East until you reach the 6200 South Exit (Exit 6). Signs are marked for the ski areas, you will be heading towards Brighton and Solitude Ski Resorts. Drive east on 6200 south and the road will become Wasatch Boulevard. Follow Wasatch Boulevard south to an intersection with Fort Union Boulevard (7200 South). The intersection is located 1.7 miles after exiting I-215.
All mileage is taken from the intersection of Wasatch Boulevard and Fort Union Boulevard. This is known locally as the "Mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon". There is a large Park and Ride lot with restrooms located near the north east corner of the intersection.
From the intersection drive east up Big Cottonwood Canyon. After driving 14.2 miles up canyon the road will fork into a one-way loop. follow the one-way loop right (west) and drive 50 yards to the signed Silver Lake Trailhead on the right (north) side of the road. The trailhead is designated with a large paved parking lot, restroom, information kiosk and visitor center. The Silver Lake Trailhead is the beginning of several popular hikes.
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