Mill Creek Canyon’s easy accessibility and cooler summer temperatures make it a locals’ favorite. Just remember your $3.00 and make a day of it.
What Makes It Great
From the lower lots, you have your choice of mountain biking, hiking, and trail running on several paths. The Pipeline Trail is a favorite and often carries every kind of outdoor enthusiast imaginable - stay alert and be courteous to your trail mates.
These trails tend to cross or follow streams and are sometimes only sparsely shaded:
- Rattlesnake Gulch (aptly named - keep your eyes and ears open!)
- Burnt Hollow
- Church Fork Peak
- Burch Hollow
- Thayne Canyon and Peak
- Elbow Fork
- Mount Aire
The upper parking lots and trails range further, are higher in elevation, and offer more of a challenge to experienced hikers. They also connect through to several hikes in Big Cottonwood Canyon. These trails tend to be more heavily forested and therefore shady, but they also can be closed in the fall and winter due to snow. Keep in mind while planning your hike, visitors who are accustomed to the oxygen levels at sea level may find that they fatigue quickly. The Mill Creek Trails are pretty mellow, however, and you’ll be relatively close to civilization if you bonk.
The upper trails include:
- Soldier Fork
- Gobbler's Knob
- Little Water
- Big Water
- Dog Lake
- Desolation Lake
- Great Western Trail
- Reynolds Peak
- Circle All Peak
Dogs are allowed in Mill Creek Canyon and up to Dog Lake from this side only. Check the Parks page for day restrictions, and access information for bikes and horses as well. Be sure to bring plenty of water for each person, the recommended amount being 2 liters each. Restrooms are available at several of the trailheads, and most are clearly marked with a map and distances. Mountain bikers, there's great access to the Crest Trail and Midmountain trail from several of the upper routes.
Who is Going to Love It
Mill Creek Canyon has something for everyone with a love for the outdoors.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
To reach Mill Creek Canyon, you'll follow E. Mill Creek Canyon Road up through the foothills until you reach the park entrance.
The $3/car fee goes to maintain the restrooms, parking lots, and trails that we all enjoy. Annual passes are $40.00. Seniors (age 60 and over) are charged $2 per day, and may purchase an annual pass for $20. The inter-agency pass available from the national park service is not accepted in Mill Creek Canyon. To learn about rental fees for the picnic areas and yurts, visit the Salt Lake County Parks page for Mill Creek.
Before or after, a great stop is Blue Star Cafe, at the entrance to the Canyon Rim neighborhood. With fresh juice, local coffee, and some of the craziest breakfast sandwiches in town, Blue Star is a great place to get caffeinated before a hike or fill up after. Plus, they're open 6:00 am - 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday, and 8:00 am - 6:00 pm on the weekends.