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Hiking Guide: Bloods Lake

Bloods Lake



Bloods Lake is a lovely little lake in the Wasatch Mountains and one of the few dog-friendly hikes that can be accessed from the Cottonwood Canyons.

The trailhead is found about a mile east of the Guardsman Pass Overlook on the north side of Guardsman Pass Road.

It’s known for its quintessentially Wasatch pine and aspen forested scenery and summer wildflowers.

Because Salt Lake City gets its water from Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, swimming in lakes is not allowed and almost every trail doesn’t allow dogs.

Note: Dogs are not allowed at Bloods Lake itself, so if you hike to it with your furry friend, be sure to turnaround once the lake is in sight.

Bloods Lake. July 2020
Bloods Lake. July 2020

Quick Facts

  • Distance: 3.1 miles
  • Hike Time: 2 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 345 feet
  • Fee: Free
  • Dogs: Yes
  • Difficulty: Easy

Hiking to Bloods Lake

From the parking lot, walk southwest and cross Guardsman Pass Road to reach the trail. The first half mile is a gentle descent.

About a mile into the hike, the incline steepens as you follow switchbacks up to the lake. Just remember, these don’t last long! Before you know it, you’ll be there.

Me (the author), Maia, and Arrow on the way to Bloods Lake
Me (the author), Maia, and Arrow on the way to Bloods Lake



From Salt Lake City, hop on the I-215 beltway and take exit 6 for 6200 South.

Continue east on 6200 South for 1.7 miles, then turn left onto Utah 190.

Continue for 17.9 miles (Utah 190 becomes Big Cottonwood Canyon Road then Guardsman Pass Road).

The parking lot is on the left.

Get Directions




Bloods Lake just before sunset
Bloods Lake just before sunset
Aspens along the Bloods Lake Trail
Aspens along the Bloods Lake Trail

Want to hike Utah’s best trails? Check out our other Utah Hiking Guides.


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