Guardsman Pass is a scenic mountain backway connecting Heber City and Park City to Brighton and on to Salt Lake City. The road and trails are flanked with lush mountain foliage including aspens, pines and wildflowers. My friend Pam and I did Blood Lake Trail, one of the more popular hikes on the pass. It’s a little less than 3 miles round trip.
The trail starts at 9,724 feet in a wonderful aspen grove. There were so many that I commented how beautiful it must be in the fall when the leaves turn a golden hue.
Once out of the aspens, you are treated to a view of a wildflower-filled meadow. You’ll dip in and out of pines and meadows for the first three-quarters of a mile.
You’ll see a rock outcropping and likely spot some people above it. You hike a series of switchbacks, that are not too steep, and continue back into the forest. The view from there is beautiful if you need a breathe brake after hiking up the switchbacks. It’s just a short hike to the descent down to the lake.
Before you know it, you’re at Bloods Lake. Take a picnic or fishing pole. There’s a small island you can get out to for a little sunbathing. We walked all the way around the lake before hiking back. The hike to this high altitude oasis is dog friendly and great for families. Because it’s easy to get to from Park City or Salt Lake City, the hike is very popular. Go early if you want to beat the crowds.
After our hike, we headed over to Deer Valley Grocery Cafe for lunch. Both of us ordered the grilled cheese made with granny smith apple, white cheddar, brie cheese, apricot chutney, provolone and fresh jalapeño toasted panini-style in Stone Ground Bakery challah bread. We split a bag of their housemade chips and I paired mine with a lavender lemonade for a stellar lunch combo.
Author Jennifer Broome has hike a lot in the Heber City, Utah area with friends living in the area. Check out blog on Foreman Hollow Trail for more hiking inspiration in the Wasatch and Uinta Mountains.