Snowshoeing the Days Fork Trail
The Days Fork Trail Head is located in the Spruces Campground approx 9.7 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon. Although I have hiked this trail many times in the summer, snowshoeing in the winter was a new experience for me. Even though Utah's snow fall was below average this year, there was still plenty of snow to provide a fun filled day of snowshoeing. The Days Fork Trail begins on the southwest corner of the campground. As you make your way from the parking lot you will pass the restrooms. These restrooms are open year-round. Shortly after the restrooms you will see the sign for the Days Fork Trail.
The beginning of the trail starts off with a short but steep climb and then levels off for a more leisurely climb with gradual elevation gain. Surrounded by pines and aspens the trail makes its way through several groves of trees and offers wide open spots allowing the untouched powder to glisten in the sun. The lower portion of the trail is free from avalanche shoots. The upper section of the trail; by what is called the Lower Meadow is considered prime avalanche country. Once you enter this section of the trail you’re in serious avalanche terrain on both sides of the trail. If you choose to push on be sure you’re equipped with the proper gear such as a beacon, shovel, and a probe. Be sure to always check the avalanche conditions before you venture into Utah's back country during the winter season. Our group was just out to enjoy the unseasonably warm temperatures and get some exercise so we choose to stay on the lower portion of the trail. After hiking for an hour or so we decided to turn around and head back down to the parking lot.
The beauty of the Days Fork Trail in the winter was amazing. My first experience snowshoeing will not be my last. I will for sure visit this trail each winter to enjoy the unique tranquility that only winter in the back country can provide. If you're looking to get out in the winter, try snowshoeing. You can rent snowshoes at many locations and for cheap. This makes for a fun affordable outdoor activity the whole family can enjoy.
Driving Directions: From Salt Lake City travel on I-215 to the 6200 South "Canyons" exit and then continue east on U-152, following signs to Solitude and Brighton. The trail head parking lot is located 9.7 miles from the base of the canyon. There is a day use fee to use the parking lot.