Mineral Fork Trail is a 9.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Salt Lake City, UT that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.
cross country skiing
Directions from Salt Lake City: Follow Big Cottonwood Canyon Road (7000 South Wasatch Blvd.) about 6.1 miles up the canyon to Mineral Fork Canyon. The trail begins on the south side of the highway where Big Cottonwood Canyon Road and the Mineral Fork road meet.
Long and hard but worth it. Trail is wide and easily followed. It can get a little hairy at times though as the best way to describe it is that it is like walking through a dried up creek bed. Lots of large loose rocks. Switchbacks towards the top aren't too steep though there is lots of loose shale. Views from the top mine location are spectacular. Even saw some mountain goats on the cliffs at the top. I tracked the trip down and it was closer to 6 miles from the top to the road. I would say the whole trail there and back is just under 12 miles.
The trail is closer to 5.8 up so total is closer to 12 miles in and out. longer than expected but great one.
lovely spring day, we went 2.5 miles up, occasionally in 1-2 inch deep water, glad for poles. as you get toward the mine, there is snow up to the ridgeline. Aspen starting to green up. next time I will bring my water filter since so much available.
Still heaps of snow pack the further up you get. It was all good till I got to a point about 1.5 miles up that had deep snow with what was essentially a small stream running under it.
Great hike. Started at 7 and hiked by headlamp for the first hour. Trash was well packed with a couple of inches of new snow. Hiked to Wasatch mine just as the cloud started breaking up and saw son blue ski. Didn't see anyone on the train until we started clown. Then it was a steady stream of people.
Rocky trail, but about 3/4 mile up the creek actually went down the trail a bit. It's worth wading through it to get so a very cool waterfall. Some spots might be a bit much for kids. Mostly easy with a couple moderate areas. Loved it!
This was a really nice fall hike. Long and steep, but the trail has some level spots which is great for relaxing for a short minute or two. This trail is up there on my favorites list due to the views and the lack of people (unlike Mill B/Lake Blanch Trail). We also saw some Mountain Goats at the top.. made it worth it.
Great trail. Very rocky and technical. Can't wait to do it on a bike
Mineral Fork is rich in the history of the Wasatch. As with many other canyons (tributary) in the Cottonwoods, there is a lot of evidence of obvious mine activity from another part of time. Mineral Fork has two notable mine ruins, the Wasatch mine and the Regulator Johnson mine. The former was clearly more successful with the foundation of the dormitory/hotel/office left behind from the old days. The waste rock is fairly substantial. The tunnel is barred. The curious mine bends to know what happened there.
The latter was a high - altitude mine camp that looks as though more energy and time were spent getting to the site than in actual time and effort digging. The remnants of the old truck torn apart to form the winch to haul ore carts forth from the depths of the earth still tells a bit of the tail. Truth is, even much of what what here has been scattered by wind, snow, and avalanche.
The trails are shared with ATVs and dirtbikes. Everyone is quite courteous. But the best time up here is winter when you have your touring skis on.
An intermediate hike that reaps rewards with overflowing streams onto the trails, cascading waterfalls, and a semi-clear rocky path all the up to the snow laden bowl. Bring plenty of water! :)
If you're adventurous, don't mind sharing a trail (narrow road) with motorcycles, ATV's, mountain bikes, and have a great appreciation for spectacular views? Do this! The hike to Wasatch Mine is comparable to Lake Blanche, however, those wanting to continue on to Regulator Johnson Mine be prepared for a very steep climb. If you get that far, do not head back down without making the 200' scramble to the ridge top, the view is worth every punishing step. Also, water water water, I took 4 liters and easily drank it all. GREAT HIKE!