The Wasatch Front consists of the mountains that border the major cities in Utah, from Ogden in the north to Provo and beyond to the south. Trails in the Wasatch are often within easy reach of many and tend to be popular, especially on a weekend. The popularity is deserved, however, as many of the trails offer excellent hiking and big views. Be warned, however, many trails in the Wasatch have a fair bit of elevation gain! Expect 1000' per mile or more on many trails.
Don't expect solitude, especially right along the Wasatch Front, but once an hour or so away from the metro areas, the crowds thin and more solitude can be found.
Looking for things outside of the Wasatch Front? Check out the rest of Northern Utah.
Camping along much of the Wasatch Front is best done in campgrounds that require reservations fairly early in advance. Dispersed camping is possible in a few spots, but the crowds tend to make it not very practical.
Many areas do not have a use fee, however, Millcreek Canyon and American Fork Canyon do have a use fee.
Lower elevation hikes in the foothills make for excellent early spring and late fall hikes. By summer, the lower elevation hikes are hot, dry, and not very appealing. In summer and fall, head to the higher elevation hikes to escape the oppressive heat of the valleys.
Winter brings much snow to the backcountry. Some of the trails described here are used by snowshoers and backcountry skiers. If venturing out in the winter, be sure to be avalanche savvy. The backcountry is prone to avalanches.
Many canyons, such as Big Cottonwood, Little Cottonwood, Lambs Canyon, Upper City Creek, etc.. are classified as watershed and off limits to dogs. Dogs are generally allowed in the foothills on leash, and up Millcreek Canyon. Millcreek is the most dog-friendly area and allows dogs off-leash on odd numbered days.
Millcreek Canyon and American Fork Canyon require a day use fee. Millcreek is a separate fee from the National Park Pass (currently $3 a day), however park passes are accepted in American Fork Canyon.