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How To Spend a Day in Cottonwood Heights

By July 16, 2019March 17th, 2020Living Along The Wasatch Front

Cottonwood Heights is Salt Lake’s gateway city to the mountains. Peacefully sitting between Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon, the city was once a resting point for traveling lumber wagons. Today, Cottonwood Heights offers the best of canyon life, a fast commute to Downtown and Silicone Slopes, and convenient access to local and national shopping and dining. Cottonwood Heights is an outlet to all mountainous recreations and a family-oriented community offering a lower cost of living.  Here is how to spend a day in Cottonwood Heights like a local.


Ski, Bike and Hike the “Big 4”—Possibly the biggest attraction of Cottonwood Heights is the near proximity to four world-renowned resorts: Alta, Brighton, Snowbird and Solitude.  Don’t be dismayed if you’re not a snow enthusiast. These resorts offer year round activities including mountain biking, rock climbing, disc golfing and of course invigorating hiking trails. On a low-traffic day you can be up to the top of the canyons in less than 15 minutes.

Hike Donut Falls—Donut Falls name comes from the mountainside natural hollow Big Cottonwood Canyon creek flows through. It is an easy-to-moderate 3-mile back and out trail and attainable for all skill levels and children. Highly trafficked, it is best done in the morning or on a weekday. 

Yoga Sunne—Stretch out after your epic canyon ride or run. An inclusive and accepting sanctuary, Yoga Sunne offers a variety of Hatha classes including traditional Ashtanga and hot yoga. Zen out in the morning or come back at the end of the day for their “candlelight flow.”

Alpha Coffee—Grab a cup of Joe with Cottonwood Heights best of the best. Alpha coffee is owned and operated by LTC(R) Carl Churchill and military wife/coffee lover Lori Churchill. They are dedicated to dripping premium coffee and giving back to the military and veterans. A noble and tasty way to start your day.


Fort Union Shopping—All the big box retailers and food chains you love in a half-mile radius. If its a national chain and it’s in Utah, it’s here. Find favorites like Target, Trader Joe’s, Home Depot, and World Market.

Ski N See—A Utah institution that offers quality gear at reasonable prices. Reserve rentals and purchase discount lift tickets online. Stop here first before going up the Canyons!


Lone Star Taqueria—Indulge in a “fiesta of flavors” with authentic Mexican cuisine. We highly recommend the fish tacos.

The Protein Foundry—Dedicated to providing robustly healthy food on the go. Who says fast food can’t be wildly healthy? 


Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center—Combat boredom with active year-round options at one of the state’s largest recreational facilities. The center boasts indoor and outdoor pools (including diving tanks and water slides), an Olympic-sized ice arena, and on site child care. We dare you to jump off their 7-meter outdoor diving platform.

Mountview Park—The entire family could easily spend an entire day entertaining themselves in this park. Recreate with two playgrounds, two soccer fields, a basketball court, splash pad, walking path and plenty of restrooms and picnic areas.  


Porcupine Grill—High votes for dinner (see below). But also worth stopping by just for this delicious and adorable speciality chocolate porcupine.

Crumbl—Truly a Utah favorite. Grab a gourmet cookie (baked fresh daily) and you’ll understand how this institution has successfully franchised in five other states since opening its original Logan store in 2017. 


Porcupine Grill—Outdoor enthusiasts, families and friends gather to eat, drink and relax at the base of Big Cottonwood Canyon. Their diverse pub menu offers something for everyone and plenty of local brews on tap. We highly recommend their weekend specialty-brunch menu. A fan favorite for locals and out-of-town skiers.

Market Street Grill—Utah’s most well-known and iconic seafood restaurant. Locals, visitors and newbies alike will enjoy the coastal vibe and fresh fish flown in daily. Cottonwood Heights Market Street offers idyllic outdoor dining and reserves dining rooms for conferences, large groups and special events.

Cafe Trio— Casual, fine Italian dining. Perfect for large groups, weekend brunches and holiday parties.


Hog Wallow Pub—Located in a historic tavern on Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, this cavernous watering hole is old-school, rustic cool. Also the spot to enjoy live folk and rock music.


Silver Fork Lodge and Restaurant—Indulge yourself with a visit to the sauna or wine tasting with a mountain backdrop overlooking Honeycomb Canyon and Solitude Ski resort.

The Yurt at Solitude—A guided snowshoe traverse ends in a mongolian yurt with one of the most unique fine-dining experiences Utah has to offer.

Want to learn more about Cottonwood Heights? Get a better feel for the neighborhood with our Cottonwood Heights Photo Tour.

Interested in moving to Cottonwood Heights? Our Cottonwood Heights page has more neighborhood information and current listings.

Niche Homes is a full-service real estate agency specializing in Salt Lake neighborhoods and enclaves. Contact us if you are interested in buying or selling a home.

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