Place store identification
North Mill Creek to Desolation Lake Trail
|At 1.5 miles, the Big Water Trail turns towards Dog Lake. You'll branch
off on the Great Western. At 4.7 miles, the trail reaches the crest. Turn right (south)
and continue the climb to Desolation Lake on the Wasatch Crest. You'll reach an altitude
of 9,800 feet.
Most riders do Upper Mill Creek as an out-and-back: 6.5 miles to the Desolation Lake overlook, then a lightning-fast 6.5 mile return descent down the same trail. For a little more awesome alpine views, continue another 3.4 miles along the Wasatch Crest before your turn-around, for a 20-mile round trip.
If you're up to a little rougher ride on the return trip, try a loop by dropping down the Desolation Lake trail. Intersection of the Crest with the Desolation Lake trail is GPS N 40° 39.508' W 111° 35.756'. After 2 miles and 1400 vertical feet of downhill, turn right up the hill towards Dog Lake at GPS N 40° 39.731' W 111° 37.733. This 1/2 mile is a killer uphill; about 600 vertical. Don't be ashamed to walk your bike. Ride past Dog Lake and pick up the original trail 1-1/2 miles later, then finish the last 1-1/2 miles down Big Water to the trailhead.
|Getting there: Get to Foothill Blvd on the east bench of
Salt Lake City via I-215. Exit at 39th South. Take 3800 South eastbound into the Canyon.
Drive all the way to the top of the canyon. The trail begins on the south end of the Big
Water Trailhead parking area GPS N 40° 40.922' W 111° 38.914'. (Note: the gate to upper
Mill Creek Canyon is open to cars July 1 to November 1. Mountain bikes are only allowed on
upper Mill Creek trails on EVEN numbered days!)
For a closeup of the alternate routes around the Big Water Trail, go to the Dog Lake page.
Trail conditions change, and the layout of a trail may change without notice. Use this trail guide at your own risk.