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Silver Lake, American Fork Canyon

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Silver Lake is a beautiful mountain lake in American Fork Canyon that you can get to with a moderate hike. Silver Lake is an Alpine Lake above Tibble Fork Reservoir and Silver Lake Flat Reservoir. Those two have roads that allow you to access them, although the one to Silver Flat Lake is unpaved.  Silver Lake requires hiking to access (this post).  This Silver Lake is different than Silver Lake in Big Cottonwood Canyon

Here is a view of a Tibble Fork on the way up to the trailhead.

You will want to park on the north side of Silver Lake Flat by the restrooms (pit toilets).  Make sure to walk over and admire Silver Lake Flat Reservoir.

The first half of the hike is an easy path through the aspens.

About halfway the trail starts to get a little steeper with larger rocks.

Soon you will come to a river. you will need to cross the river and then head to the right on the far bank.

As you follow the path you will see beautiful views of the canyon.

As you continue you will see Silver Lake Flat down below.

There is one area with some yellowish shale-type rock. Here is a shot looking back after crossing.

As you keep hiking you can hear and see a large waterfall in the distance.

It’s easy to miss the trail near the end. when you get to this point head right and keep going until the switchback.

If you miss it you will be climbing up more steeply by the boulders. This picture shows the path winding around the mountain after I just took it.

At the very end some steeper climbing by the boulders is inevitable.

Silver Lake in American Fork Canyon is very beautiful!

American Fork Canyon is not a watershed, so you can jump in the icy lake if you dare!

The cold will take your breath away, but once you come out it’s refreshing.

There are wildflowers if you go during the summer.

There were also lots of butterflies!

It is also stunning with a dusting of snow when I hiked it in late October.

Stats: Distance – 4.7 miles round trip 
Approximate hiking time – 2-4 hours
Elevation gain – 1433 feet
Difficulty – Moderate
Trail – well maintained trail of dirt and rocks
Bathrooms – At trailhead
Seasons to hike – April -October
Permits needed – $6 day pass per vehicle or National Parks Pass
Pets allowed – Yes

This is the link to the other Silver Lake at Brighton up Big Cottonwood Canyon. If you want somewhere warmer to swim, try Fifth Water Hot Springs. Other trails nearby are Silver Lake Flat Trail, and Tibble Fork Loop.


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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