To reach Big Cottonwood Canyon from Salt Lake City, take I-215 to the 6200 South "Canyons" exit and then continue east on U-152, following signs to Solitude and Brighton. This 15-mile scenic byway takes about one hour round trip.
From the main road, this canyon narrows almost immediately into dramatic alpine scenery. This 15-mile drive provides access to excellent hiking, fishing, picnicking, rock climbing, and camping. During the mid-1800s, Old West miners sought their fortune in gold and silver ore here. Remnants of old mines can be spotted from trails winding up the slopes. Located in the Uintah-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Big Cottonwood Canyon is home to Solitude and Brighton ski resorts. Both have full-service, year-round facilities. From Brighton there are several easy trails leading to various lakes, including Twin Lakes, Lake Mary, Lake Martha, and Dog Lake. The canyon is a protected watershed area and no dogs are permitted. Wilderness areas are located to the north and south.