Bell Canyon and Lower Bell Canyon Reservoir
Tucked away in the foothills of Lone Peak is the Lower Bell Canyon Reservoir, and the Sandy City Bell Canyon Nature Park. This beautiful spot offers hikers and fisherman a secluded place to visit, close to home. Sandy City purchased 220 acres surrounding Lower Bell Canyon Reservoir to protect the watershed in this area and to create a nature park in the area. The nature park provides two trailheads to hike into the area, a public fishery at Lower Bell Canyon Reservoir, and trail access into the Lone Peak Wilderness Area via the Bell Canyon Trail.
Hiking and Trailhead Information:
There are two trailheads that provide access to the Bell Canyon area. Directions to both trailheads are provided from the intersection of Wasatch Boulevard and E. Little Cottonwood Rd. To get to this intersection from Sandy, continue going East on 9400 South as it turns in to E. Little Cottonwood Rd. The intersection with Wasatch Boulevard is at approximately 3400 East.
The Granite Trailhead, located just East of the intersection of Wasatch Boulevard and E. Little Cottonwood Rd., provides 23 parking stalls and restrooms. The Granite Trail, which heads up to the reservoir, is a longer but not as steep trail as the Boulders Trail. The trail to the reservoir is .71 miles long and has a vertical gain of 560 ft.
The Boulders Trailhead is located .6 miles south of the intersection of Wasatch Boulevard and E. Little Cottonwood Rd. on the East side of Wasatch Boulevard, on the North side of the entrance to the Boulders at Bell Canyon housing development. The Boulders Trailhead has about 20 parking stalls. The Boulders Trail up to the Lower Bell Canyon Reservoir is shorter and steeper than the Granite Trail. The trail to the reservoir from this trailhead is .5 miles long and has a vertical gain of 578 ft.
Parking at either trailhead may be limited during the early spring and on holidays. During these times, please use the overflow parking at the Salt Lake County parking lot just west of Wasatch Boulevard on the north side of Little Cottonwood Road.
Hiking in Bell Canyon
Hikers who get to the Lower Bell Canyon Reservoir can follow a loop around the reservoir or follow the forest service trail up Bell Canyon. Those who proceed up the Canyon may see a waterfall or two. The formal trail dwindles out after about 1.9 miles above the lower reservoir. At the top of the Canyon, 3.7 miles and 3800 vertical feet above the lower reservoir and beyond formal trail access, is the Upper Bell Canyon Reservoir on the North flank of the Lone Peak summit.
All hikers in the Bell Canyon area should be prepared for the conditions. This includes wearing appropriate footwear, having plenty of water, not entering the wilderness alone, and being aware of risks and surroundings.
Fishing at Lower Bell Canyon Reservoir:
The reservoir is stocked by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. An expected catch is primarily cutthroat trout. Anglers 12 years old and older must have a fishing license to fish. This area is a catch and release fishery only.
Climbing in Bell Canyon:
There are some climbing routes in Bell Canyon on the large granite cliffs on the North side of the canyon. This area is called the Bell Towers. The granite is of mixed quality and the routes vary from 1 to 5 pitches and from 5.6 to 5.12 in difficulty. The entire area is trad climbing. This area is outside of the land owned by Sandy City and is in the Lone Peak Wilderness Area, thus the use of power tools is prohibited. The approach takes one to two hours. Climbers who choose to climb in this area should be aware of the significant risks associated with climbing and hiking in this area be prepared to self rescue. All watershed protection restrictions apply.
Bell Canyon is part of the protected watershed and the water from this canyon provides drinking water to residents in Sandy and the Salt Lake Valley. As such, there are restrictions for hiking in this area. No dogs are allowed on any part of the trails. Also, there is no swimming, camping, or campfires allowed in the Bell Canyon area. For more information on watershed protection, visit the Sandy City Public Utilities Watershed page.
The park is open from sunrise to sunset daily.
Download Sandy City's master plan for the Bell Canyon Nature Park.