Nothing says summer like a scenic mountain hike or a cold, sweaty brew, so why not combine the two? Here’s a list of some wild Wasatch drinking spots, each matched with a local beer to accompany the view. As always, drink responsibly and leave no trace in the backcountry.
The Living Room
Paired with Epic Brewing Co.’s Mid Mountain Mild Ale
A milder brew does you well at this popular, sunny hangout above the U, so replenish with Epic’s super-drinkable Mid Mountain Mild Ale. As you kick back in a rock throne and survey your city, the pleasant hops tickle your tongue, and your sweat-soaked shirt sends welcome chills down your spine.
Getting There: Take Wakara Way toward Red Butte Garden, but turn right and park on Colorow Road. Take the Shoreline Trail south for about a quarter-mile. Take the last trail (of many) on the left before the Shoreline Trail crests a hill. Bear right and follow the established trail through the drainage for half a mile before it gets steeper and exposed for the final half-mile, eventually turning back toward the city and the Living Room.
Hike: 1.5 miles, 900 feet elevation gain, medium difficulty, dog-friendly
Beer: 22 ounces, 4.5-4.8 percent alcohol by volume
Iron Mountain Lookout
Paired With Shades of Pale’s Publican Pale Ale
The Publican’s bright, citrusy hops kick it up a notch, while the mellow 4.0-finish quenches your thirst, letting you savor the relaxing view of Park City as the afternoon shadows stretch into a long summer evening. Both the beer and the hike are local PC favorites, but why let the Parkites have all the fun?
Getting There: Drive toward downtown Park City, take a right onto Payday Drive and then a right onto Iron Canyon Drive. Drive as far up the mountain as you can and look for street parking. Once you find the trail, it’ll lead you through a dense aspen and pine forest. After a mile or so of climbing, the forest opens up near a ridge. Take a spur trail to the rocky ridge, where a memorial bench looks across Thaynes Canyon to Park City.
Hike: 1.2 miles, 1,000 feet elevation gain, medium difficulty, dog-friendly
Beer: 22 ounces, 4 percent alcohol by volume
Paired With Squatters’ Big Cottonwood Amber Ale
The meditative meadows and aspen groves of the Willows call for Squatters’ thoughtful Big Cottonwood Amber Ale. Its harmonious balance of flavor, body and strength reveals itself quickly, but kindly. The malty hops sizzle on your tongue like aspen leaves in the breeze and the aftertaste lingers as you take in the statuesque Fantasy Ridge.
Getting There: Drive up Big Cottonwood Canyon toward Solitude. When you get past Silver Fork, look for an engraved rock that marks the trailhead on the left. Park on the road’s shoulder. The trail climbs 0.7 miles through the aspens to a pond. Stay right and look for a trail heading up into the pines, which leads you a half-mile into the meadows and to a perfectly placed bench.
Hike: 1.2 miles, 900 feet elevation gain, low-to-medium difficulty
Beer: 12 ounces, 5.75 percent alcohol by volume
Paired With Uinta’s Dubhe Imperial Black IPA
The unique and scenic Grizzly Gulch, at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon, provides a high-altitude summer escape and is the perfect venue for a couple of Dubhes. The scattered remnants of long-closed mines add a post-apocalyptic feel to the landscape, while the Dubhe’s bold, black coffee flavor and stiff alcohol content help conjure up Alta’s Wild West gunslinger roots.
Getting There: Drive past Snowbird and the first Alta parking lot. Park on the left, just past the town’s fire department. Find the trail, which leads you up to a dirt road. Turn right and follow the road for a quarter mile until you see the trail continue up past a gate. Take in views of Devil’s Castle as you climb, passing monstrous mine tailings. Continue up the trail to more mine remains and find a good spot to watch the sun set behind Mount Superior.
Hike: 1.3 miles, 900 feet elevation gain, low-to-medium difficulty
Beer: 12 ounces, 9.2 percent alcohol by volume