Backpacking to Lower and Upper Bells Canyon Reservoirs

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Let’s just start off this post by saying, this hike was sweet! Bells canyon is one of the most beautiful canyons in the Salt Lake area. There are two crystal lakes up this steep canyon. Granite peaks rise above you one both sides of this canyon and snow melt turns into a fast paced stream that cascades its way down it, turning abrupt cliffs into extraordinary and violent waterfalls.

I think this hike has something like seven different large scale waterfalls, and if you hike it in the late spring, you are in for some gnarly water flow.

The hike starts at a trailhead off the side of a road in Sandy. It starts off steep and stay steep whole hike. The trail is wide and popular to get to the lower reservoir and the foliage is sparse like a desert.

But as you round the north side of the smaller, lower reservoir you enter green, dense plant life. This greenery continues up the canyon and eventually reaches the Upper Bells Canyon Reservoir.

Bells canyon utahWe hiked this canyon in early summer and even though it was extremely hot at the trailhead, the upper reservoir was high enough up that it was still partially frozen and snow covered.

We hiked in a few miles and set up camp next to a large waterfall. The next day, we left our camp and took a day hike to the upper reservoir.

We reached the upper lake just in time for a large thunderstorm to hit. The rain was intense and we decided to hike back out. On our way down, the rain caused the water levels to raise and the waterfalls to become more intense. The trail was flooded in some areas and we had to wade across a swift flowing river.

When we reached the bottom of the canyon, and back to the car, we were soaked and freezing. At the time it wasn’t the most fun experience, but looking back, it was pretty awesome!

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