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Guardsman Pass

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Guardsman Pass road connects Big Cottonwood Canyon up over the mountains and down to Park City. Guardsman Pass is only open seasonally in summer and fall because of the high snowfall in the winter. Occasionally it is mispronounced as Guardsman’s Pass.

Big Cottonwood Canyon Entrance

Only a 1/2 mile from the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon and Silver Lake, there is a turn off to Guardman Pass Road. It’s worth stopping 0.8 miles up at the small pullout with a small structure. It is called “East Guardsman Pass Outhouses and historic marker” on Google Maps. The views a few steps beyond the parking area are gorgeous!

I love the combination of the golden aspens, green pines, snow-capped peaks and blue sky!

Continuing along this road is lovely in the fall!

Guardsman Pass Overlook

Just over 3 miles from the Big Cottonwood entrance is the Guardman Pass Overlook. It has a small parking area with only short-term parking allowed. You can jump out and take in the magnificent view looking toward Park City.

There is a barrier along the lookout.

Bloods Lake Trailhead

The Bloods Lake Trailhead is a parking area (with huge demand) across from the trail to Bloods Lake (2.8 moderate miles) and beyond to Lackawaxen Lake (4.6 moderate miles). Loopine (0.6 moderate), and Kalamazoo (2.0 moderate) are also trails from the Bloods Lake Trailhead. One minute into the trail you get expansive views!

The whole trail is gorgeous in both summer and fall!

Here are some photos of Bloods Lake! Every time it looks a bit different!

Lake Lackawaxen is beautiful too!

Here are a few more of the road towards the Park City side.

Junction to either Park City or Midway

There is a split in the road 0.7 miles beyond the Bloods Lake Trailhead. If you head left you will be in downtown Park City in 14 minutes or Jordenelle Reservoir in 30 minutes.

Big Cottonwood Trails near Guardsman Pass

Back on the Brighton side, some of the trails near the junction are Willow Lake (2.2 moderate), Silver Lake (0.9 easy), Twin Lakes (2.3 moderate), Patsy Marley Peak (3.2 difficult miles), Lake Solitude (3.3 moderate miles), Lake Mary (2.6 moderate), Brighton Lakes (4.4 moderate miles), Sunset Peak (5.8 moderate miles) and more!

Guardsman Pass Road stats:

Distance – 4.8 miles one way
Approximate driving time – 15 minutes (one direction and longer if including hikes or during peak times)
Permits needed – None
Pets allowed – On the Park City side and Lake Lackawaxen


We have so much beauty in Utah to explore! I love hiking and photography and can help you find your next favorite hike! All photos were taken by me!

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