Guardsman Pass Scenic Backway

Exploring the Beauty of Guardsman Pass Scenic Backway


7/21/20233 min read

Guardsman Pass Scenic Backway
Guardsman Pass Scenic Backway

Exploring the Beauty of Guardsman Pass Scenic Backway

Welcome to the breathtaking Guardsman Pass Scenic Backway, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of the Wasatch Mountains, just a short drive away from Salt Lake City, Utah. This picturesque route takes you on an unforgettable journey through stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and an abundance of outdoor activities. In this blog post, we will delve into the wonders of Guardsman Pass Scenic Backway, uncovering its natural beauty, recreational opportunities, and the best ways to experience this enchanting destination.

A Scenic Drive Like No Other

Guardsman Pass Scenic Backway is a 14-mile stretch of winding road that connects Big Cottonwood Canyon and Park City, offering travelers a panoramic view of the Wasatch Mountains and the surrounding valleys. As you ascend along the route, the scenery transforms, revealing lush alpine meadows, dense forests, and striking granite peaks. The drive is particularly awe-inspiring during the fall, when the mountains are adorned with vibrant hues of red, orange, and gold.

A Paradise for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Hiking and Trail Exploration

Guardsman Pass Scenic Backway is a paradise for hikers of all levels. Numerous trailheads dot the route, providing access to a variety of scenic hiking trails. For a moderate hike, venture onto the Bloods Lake Trail, which takes you to the serene Bloods Lake, nestled amidst the alpine beauty. If you're up for a more challenging trek, the hike to Clayton Peak offers rewarding views of the surrounding peaks and valleys.

Mountain Biking Thrills

Mountain biking enthusiasts will find plenty to explore along the Backway. The trail system offers a mix of terrain, from gentle slopes to adrenaline-pumping descents. The Wasatch Crest Trail is a popular choice, providing an epic ride through the picturesque mountains and offering glimpses of the awe-inspiring vistas that await.

Wildlife Encounters

As you traverse Guardsman Pass Scenic Backway, keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife that call this area home. Deer, moose, and elk are frequently spotted, especially in the early morning or late afternoon. Birdwatchers will be delighted by the opportunity to spot a variety of avian species, including hawks, eagles, and songbirds.

Captivating Seasons at Guardsman Pass

Spring: A Reawakening

In spring, Guardsman Pass Scenic Backway comes to life with the first signs of thaw. As the snow recedes, the alpine meadows burst into bloom with a kaleidoscope of wildflowers. Witnessing this transition is a captivating experience, as the landscape transforms from winter's white to the vibrant colors of spring.

Summer: A Cool Escape

As the temperatures rise in the valley below, Guardsman Pass offers a cool escape from the summer heat. The dense forests provide shade and the high elevation keeps the climate mild. It's the perfect time to embark on hiking and mountain biking adventures and relish the beauty of the Wasatch Mountains in full bloom.

Fall: Nature's Canvas

Fall is a spectacular time to visit Guardsman Pass Scenic Backway. The mountains are ablaze with the warm hues of autumn foliage, creating a stunning natural canvas. The air is crisp, and the sound of rustling leaves accompanies you on your journey, making it an ideal season for a scenic drive or a leisurely hike.

Winter: A Winter Wonderland

In winter, Guardsman Pass transforms into a winter wonderland, offering a peaceful retreat for snowshoers and cross-country skiers. While the Backway is closed to vehicle traffic during the snowy months, you can still access the area on foot to experience the tranquility of a snowy alpine landscape.

Essential Tips for Your Journey

  • Check Road Conditions: Before embarking on your adventure, check the road conditions and weather forecast, especially during the winter months. Some parts of the Backway may be closed due to snow.

  • Pack Accordingly: Regardless of the season, it's essential to pack the right gear, including comfortable hiking shoes, sunscreen, water, and snacks.

  • Respect Wildlife: If you encounter wildlife along the Backway, maintain a safe distance and avoid feeding them. Let them roam freely in their natural habitat.

  • Leave No Trace: Be a responsible traveler and leave no trace of your visit. Respect the environment and follow the principles of Leave No Trace to preserve the beauty of this area for future generations.


Guardsman Pass Scenic Backway is a true treasure, offering an extraordinary escape into the pristine beauty of the Wasatch Mountains. From its awe-inspiring vistas to the abundant outdoor activities it offers, this route beckons adventurers and nature lovers alike. Whether you visit during the colorful fall or the serene winter, Guardsman Pass will leave an indelible mark on your heart.

So, pack your bags, gather your sense of wonder, and embark on a journey through Guardsman Pass Scenic Backway. Immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of this hidden gem, and let the magic of the Wasatch Mountains capture your soul.