Bloods Lake

Park City, Utah
Bloods Lake
Length : 2.7 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain : 430 ft.
The Bloods Lake hike in Utah is a beautiful and scenic trail located in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. The trailhead is located near Guardsman Pass, and the hike itself is a moderate 2.7 mile out-and-back trail that leads to the stunning Bloods Lake. The trail follows a winding path through a dense forest of pine and fir trees, with occasional views of the surrounding mountains. Along the way, hikers will cross several small streams and may even catch a glimpse of local wildlife such as deer and birds. The final destination, Bloods Lake, is a peaceful and serene alpine lake that is a popular spot for fishing and picnicking. Overall, the Bloods Lake hike is a great option for outdoor enthusiasts looking to experience the natural beauty of Utah.

Directions

The Bloods Lake Trailhead is situated on the Guardsman Pass Road and can be reached via going through Big Cottonwood Canyon and past Guardsman Pass, or from Park City via Marsac Ave/Highway 224 (before reaching Guardsman Pass). Note, the road is closed in the winter.

Parking

There is a relatively small parking lot available at the trailhead which fills up quickly on weekends and other popular times to hike. No passes or fees are required. Spill over parking is not allowed around the parking lot, and will likely result in a parking ticket. There is parking available a mile away at the junction of Guardsman Pass Road and Pine Canyon Drive, however that will add 1.5 miles and 400 feet of elevation gain to the trip.
 

June 26, 2022 Trip Report

 
Type : hike
Length : 4.8 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain : 900 ft.
High Point : 9,540 ft.
My parking spot luck ran out on this trip. As we circled the Bloods Lake parking lot a couple of times, it became clear we were not going to find a spot - we probably should have arrived a couple of hours earlier. I had noticed some cars parked down at the junction between Guardsman Pass Road and Pine Canyon Drive, so I dropped off our group and headed back down the road to find parking.
I easily found a parking spot, and began walking up on the side of the road, passing an ambulance and what looked like a road bike crash - hope everyone was ok. I was definitely feeling the elevation, as I climbed up the road and tried to catch up with the rest of my group.
I finally reached the Bloods Lake trailhead and set out on the trail, passing through a mixture of shrubs, aspen stands and grassy fields with wildflowers (they may have been dandelions, but it was still pretty, and I’m going with wildflowers!). I encountered a couple of groups along the first mile, but not a ton of people, likely due to the limited parking.
Beginning part of the Bloods Lake Trail
Beginning part of the Bloods Lake Trail
Aspen stand on the Bloods Lake Trail
Aspen stand on the Bloods Lake Trail
Wildflowers, also known as Dandelions, on the Bloods Lake Trail
Wildflowers, also known as Dandelions, on the Bloods Lake Trail
I eventually caught up with Gunjan, Winter, Katrina and Jon and we continued hiking at a more leisurely pace. My wife and son commented on the fact that his trail had more elevation gain than they were expecting. It didn’t have that much, it just felt like it because of the high altitude. Good thing they didn’t have to park down the road and hike up to the trailhead like I did.
Ascending the Bloods Lake Trail
Ascending the Bloods Lake Trail
Shortly before reaching Bloods Lake, the trail split and we noticed a sign saying dogs were not allowed - I had thought dogs just weren’t allowed to swim in the lake and I had planned on bringing my parent’s dogs on the hike. I ultimately opted to keep them at home, as one of the dogs was having back issues, and good thing, because it would have meant skipping the lake. It looked like the trail continued onto Lackawaxen Lake, and maybe dogs are allowed there as I did see a person with a dog continue down the trail.
First view of Bloods Lake
First view of Bloods Lake
We arrived at Bloods Lake, and started looking for a nice place to rest. We passed a bench overlooking the lake, but it was too small for all of us, so we kept moving along the lake. On the other side of the lake we found a nice log in the shade to take a break, hydrate and eat some food. We were startled when a chipmunk or maybe a pica scurried across our feet looking for food.
Other side of Bloods Lake
Other side of Bloods Lake
After a nice break in the shade, we began our journey back down the trail. I had read that there was another alternate trail one could take back to the parking lot, but I couldn't remember the details and we decided to return on the same trail we had come in on. We passed a small number of groups, but again, it wasn't a particularly busy trail (there were less people on this trail than on my hike to <a href='/tripreport/lake-blanche/'>Lake Blanche</a>).
Final ascent to the road
Final ascent to the road
Full parking lot at Bloods Lake trailhead
Full parking lot at Bloods Lake trailhead
We reached the end of the trail and the parking lot was still completely full. We walked about a mile down the road back to the car.
It was a nice family hike relatively close to Park City. Obviously it’s a popular hike with limited parking, so plan on getting there very early on a weekend to secure a spot, or be willing to add a couple of miles and about 400 vertical feet to your hike by parking lower down the road.