Beartrap Fork Trail is a 4.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Salt Lake City, Utah that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from April until September.
cross country skiing
Directions from Salt Lake City: The trail begins about 10 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon (7000 South Wasatch Blvd.) on private land. The trail is not marked.
Snowshoes very fun
This was a great hike for New Year's Eve. I was using snowshoes, but I followed the track of someone who wasn't. Looks like post hole hiking without snowshoes for sure, so be prepared. Great views from the saddle and Desolation peak looking over Park City Resort. Started early in the dark with hopes of reaching the summit for sunrise but I underestimated my time and it took a full 2 hrs with stops for pictures to reach the top. Will definitely be back in the spring for another go.
Lovely trail up to the Wasatch Crest and beautiful desolation lake. Relatively easy grade lower down, then climbs sharply after passing through a lovely meadow. As others have said, the lack of traffic is a real advantage. I made a nice loop up beartrap and down Mill D, and did not see a single soul on Beartrap while I was passing people all the time on the lower section of Mill D. There was snow on the ground as low as 8100' in the deep slot that makes the upper canyon. I imagine snow holds there well into spring as well.
If you are looking for a different route to Desolation Lake than Mill D North, than Beartrap Fork is the way to go. Basically zero traffic, so the trail will be all yours.Once you get up to the Wasatch Crest Trail, you can follow it towards the lake and overlooks of the Park City area. Although there is no trail, you can very easily hike up the hill to Desolation Peak (9990 ski lift is there too). The view of Little Cottonwood Canyon is great!
this was a fun trip and I enjoyed the hiking at the first mile is pretty easy through Forest and Aspen Grove. the Second Mile and got progressively steeper and the last quarter mile was pretty steep. the view from the top is really nice looks out over the Salt Lake Valley to the Solitude ski resort and down to Desolation Lake. not too many bugs some wildflowers with lots of bees. The best part was we only saw three other people the entire day good hike but they take some time and is fairly difficult if you're not used to hiking at this altitude.
You access the trail by parking on the side of the road about a half mile above spruces campground. No markings but there is a closed gate on the north side that leads to an old road which you walk up until you see the trail. This is a really nice trail through evergreen forest and aspen groves. The first mile is pretty easy but it gets steeper as you go. The second mile and half get progressively steeper and the last quarter mile is a bit of a climb through a wide open meadow. It meets up with a single track bike trail called the Wasatch Crest trail and you definitely need to walk up to the small knob off to the west so you can see down to desolation lake. The views are wonderful and a great place to lunch. This is a longer hike than the 4.2 miles it says on the description. I used two GPS trackers and one had 6.1 miles and the other had 5.7 miles. You can see the my track somewhere on here. Great views, no people ( we only saw three), and beautiful groves and meadows along the way. Worth the effort but not a good one if you don't hike very often.
My favorite trail ever!
Ended up coming down this trail from hiking up to Desolation Lake. It is a beautiful, quiet side canyon. Would be very steep going up, and was somewhat difficult in places coming down (especially closer to the ridgeline). There were several downed trees and some creek crossings along the way.
this hike was awesome. it was very much up hill but when you get to the top the view is awesome and you can see the lake. we went down to the lake and coming back up was very steep. even though it kicked our butt's it was still worth it!
Safe to snowshoe up in the winter if you avoid the open spaces on the west side of the canyon.
Fun to hike and join with the Wasatch Crest/Park City Ridgeline in the summer
Hiked to the ridge overlooking the Canyon Ski resort. Great hike.
Loved this hike. Went over Labor day weekend with my hiking buddy and saw NO ONE else on the Beartrap Fork Trail. Once we hit the Great Western trail we saw shared the trail with a few mountain bikers, a couple of trail runners and a few hikers. It is worth following the Great Western Trail to overlook Desolation Lake and down into the Canyons ski resort. The views are spectacular. We were startled by 2 bull moose bedding near the trail on the way down. They seemed unimpressed with us and were more likely letting us know they were around and to keep walking. The trail head is hard to find. If you are driving up Big Cottonwood look for a road named Beartrap Fork road to the left just as you enter the Brighton cottage area. You can park on the side of the road and hike the paved road to the end where you connect with the trail. Take a right and keep hiking up and up and up. The trail has some shady areas as well as open meadow. As stated the trail is well maintained but it is steep ( we were thankful for trekking poles). The stream bed was dry this time of year. Took us 3.5-4 hours in total with a break for lunch and to enjoy the views.
Zhou (Joe) Y.
This is another route to Desolation Lake and Trail. This one is much less traveled and more steep. Route is not cleared marked at the end due to erosion. It is also shorter in distance. You end up on top of the lake. It gets more windy and much cooler there.
When you reach the top, you are on Wasatch Crest Trail/Great Western Trail. You may see some bikers there.
Nice, quick, quiet and somewhat inclined hike. I got charged by a mother grouse. The views from the top over to Canyons is great. It is somewhat tricky to find though if you don't know what to look for.
We started at the very bottom and hiked the 3 or so miles up to where you can see Desolation Lake. The hike from the start was pretty up hill and was consistently so though the whole way up. The 0.5 miles down to Desolation Lake are definitely worth it! Going back down the trail was a little tough due to the gravely trails so there was some slipping going on. But I would definitely recommend the trail!
This is a beautiful trail! Not too challenging until the last mile where the incline is a bit steeper. Still totally doable and totally worth it. Saw two deer on the way up and one on the way down. You meet up with with the Wasatch Crest trail at the top of Beartrap Fork and can head up to Desolation Peak (which you should do, it's a very short climb!) or continue along the Wasatch Crest to a gorgeous view of Desolation Lake, Gobbler's, Raymond and Kessler.