From Salt Lake City, Silver Lake Interpretive Trail was about 14 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon Road. Hiking and fishing were the main activities because dogs, bikes, and horses were not allowed. Parking was free. The trailhead had restrooms and the visitor center had water. My cell phone service was weak.
After hiking to Doughnut Falls, we made a quick trip to Silver Lake and walked the short loop around it. It was less than a mile long with an elevation gain of less than 100 feet; between 8,700 and 8,800 feet. The path had several interpretive signs that explained the area’s ecology (e.g., fish) and dendrology (e.g., plants).
The following picture was taken from the high point on the loop. Shortly after this point you can connect to another trail that leads farther up the ridge.
We saw a lot of people fishing. Native fish in Big Cottonwood Canyon include Mountain Sucker and Bonneville Cutthroat Trout. Non-native fish include Brook Trout, Rainbow Trout, and Brown Trout.
The highlight of our evening walk around the lake was seeing a Moose slowly approach the path. I had never seen one before so it was a real treat.
In August 2013, I hiked from here to all of the Brighton Lakes and saw another moose. The next picture was taken during that visit.
In addition, on our drive to Silver Lake we saw the following Moose near the side of the road (photo credit: Sari Soutor).
In sum, Silver Lake was a family friendly place with numerous outdoor activities and an educational focus. Another nearby trail was Willow Heights.