Difficulty: More Difficult ◼︎◼︎
Length: 8 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 2,220 feet
Dog Friendly: No
Trailhead coordinates (copy + paste): 40.5753, -111.6812
Directions: The coordinates will bring you to a mid-sized parking lot in Little Cottonwood Canyon. This trailhead allows access to multiple other hikes, so on a busier day you may need to park along the road. Walk past the bathrooms and across the broken bridge. After a mile you will reach a fork where you can turn left to White Pine Lake, but instead of turning, keep on the trail that runs parallel to the river. You will reach a bridge a few steps later—cross it, and follow the trail until you meet a second river at the 2.5 mile mark. This time, follow the small wooden sign for Maybird Gulch, which directs you to cross the bridge (fourth photo below). From here, follow the same trail all the way to the lakes.
An often overlooked escape from the more heavily trafficked lake hikes in the Cottonwoods, the Maybird Lakes are quaint, quiet, and stunning. Much smaller than their close neighbors White Pine and Red Pine, the Maybirds share the same majestic alpine beauty, while enjoying far fewer visitors. The first half of the trail follows the popular route to Red Pine Lake, and is the relatively easier leg of the journey. This section of the trail switches between smooth dirt and rockier sections, gaining elevation at a manageable incline while winding through groves of tall aspens. Around 1.5 miles in, the path swings South and opens up to big views over Little Cottonwood Canyon. From here, the trail starts to gain elevation more quickly as pine trees take the place of the aspens.
The moment you cross the small bridge at the Maybird junction, you'll have left the crowds behind and will likely have the place to yourself from here on out. The trail becomes somewhat steeper, rockier, and more overgrown at this point, reflective of the minimal traffic. The path is easy to follow and stops short of being overly difficult, and will lead you over into the neighboring canyon and up all the way to the quaint lakes, with no deceptive forks or real opportunities to stray. The two lakes (one of which encircles a small island) are separated by a small boulder field about 150 feet across, so once you reach the first one the second will be hard to miss. Enjoy the serenity of the Maybirds and the dramatic view of Pfeifferhorn looming above before returning home the same way you came. Note that dogs are prohibited in Little Cottonwood Canyon due to watershed restrictions, so remember to leave the pups at home today.