Desolation Trail to Salt Lake Overlook

MODERATE 556 reviews

Desolation Trail to Salt Lake Overlook is a 4.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Salt Lake City, Utah that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
4.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1325 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Please note rules regarding pets: Dogs must be on leash on even days and can be off leash on odd days. It is important to bring proper bags to clean up after pets.

hiking
3 days ago

I love this hike with my little doxie, we head up this trail multiple times a year and he’s always really happy to go the whole way. It airs on the side of easy-to moderate, especially when the temps are still under 80 degrees.
I actually did continue on to the Thayne canyon loop today, and I don’t recommend it. I loved the hike all the way up to the part where desolation connects with Thayne’s, but the Thayne trail is miserable, muddy, (still a bit of snow on it May 20th) and pretty ugly if you ask me. I’d much rather head back the way I came and get to hike down the SL overlook again.
As far as hikes go, this one is great and not crowded once you pass the overlook, and even up until the overlook there aren’t too many people. Maybe a dozen other hikers and a lot of doggos.
One of my favorites as long as you stay off the Thayne canyon portion. I’m hoping to make it to desolation lake later in the summer.

hiking
4 days ago

Went mid-April, still a little snowy from last weekend but watch your footing and you'll be just fine :) Go around early morning to afternoon to avoid slipping on ice!

For first time hikers, the hike up feels a lot longer than it actually is. Give yourselves about an hour (to an hour and a half) to get up, about 45 minutes to get down (unless you're taking the Thaynes trail). Somewhat steep and winding with a few places that necessitate climbing over rocks. Would recommend griping shoes during colder weather, water bottles and snacks once you reach the top, and hiking poles to help in difficult areas.

The view is always worth it!

hiking
5 days ago

I did this hike during a weeknight evening, starting just before 7PM. The weather was gorgeous and the air crisp but not too chilly. The trail is well-covered for a large percentage of the distance. It starts steep with a series of short switch backs, mellows out a bit, then goes back to more switchbacks.

You will find some rocky obstacles that are fairly simple to overcome but watch out for traffic in some of these areas as the drop off the trail is steep. Stop a moment and take in the surrounding environment when you find yourself away from traffic as this area calls to what many of us look for in a mountain escape.

Overall the hike is very beautiful with lots of pine and spruce the whole way up. There was some traffic going up and down but not too heavy. The trail is accurately rated as moderate but may be on the more difficult side of that rating for some people.

hiking
8 days ago

What a lovely trail! Missed the turnoff to Desolation and went a ways up Thayne Canyon Trail, but followed Desolation back down. Much of the trail was in the shade, which surprised me. I’m looking forward to doing this one again!

hiking
9 days ago

We just conquered this hike, on 04/29/2018 and it was gorgeous! highly recommended dry only 2 mud spots through the hole hike. Dog friendly which is a plus!

10 days ago

So much fun !!!!!

12 days ago

I'm a short fat chick and I loved this hike. it was on the easier side of moderate. it's a mild incline with random really Rocky spots. all snow melted. took me about an hour each way. saw rattlesnack at top on rocks. lots of dogs on trail. lots of shade.

hiking
13 days ago

Really lovely time to go up now - no snow on the ground at all and a beautiful view. Switchbacks the whole way up. Took me about 1 1/2 hours RT.

I started at about 7PM and thankfully didn't run into any bug problems!

16 days ago

I did this hike yesterday. It was fairly enjoyable! Good hike for solo hikers because it's very straightforward where to go. I prefer hikes with goals to get to like lakes or waterfalls, but the view was beautiful and it was pretty easy. But bring bug spray!! The bugs are ruthless and follow you everywhere. Overall pretty decent for a short hike day.

17 days ago

Great easy to moderate trail. Dog friendly. Awesome view. Easy parking. 130 flights to the top and around 6 miles round trip. Go early on weekends - got pretty crowded on the way back down.

Not too terribly busy for a Saturday morning (we got lucky). I hiked this trail yesterday and there was no snow on the trail.

walking
21 days ago

Amazing view at the top!! I'm not a fan of switch backs but it was such a fun hike. It probably took us about 2hours but it was well worth it!! I highly recommend this to anyone who wants a easy hike with a great view!! :)

24 days ago

gorgeous views at the top!

hiking
24 days ago

I love this hike. Gradually uphill the whole way but never strenuous. I clocked 4 miles RT. All the snow has melted and the views are amazing!

hiking
25 days ago

110-ish minutes round trip (for me at least) 5 miles, 140 flights of stairs (according to my Fitbit). Always a great hike - you’ll run into a lot of other hikers and dogs. No snow left on the trail and it was mostly dry.

1 month ago

Hiked this trail yesterday. Absolutely stunning weather! Trail is dry with maybe four spots that still had ice. I’m sure it’s melted off by now. Beautiful overlook all the way out to The Great Salt Lake. Switchbacks make the elevation easy to handle. Highly recommend.

1 month ago

Love this hike! The snow has melted enough it’s in great condition.

hiking
1 month ago

It’s a fun hike and the view at the top is definitely worth the climb up. I would definitely bring water and a few snacks. The ice was almost all melted so regular hiking boots were fine.

hiking
1 month ago

I'm looking to do this hike tomorrow and I am wondering what the trail is like. I've done it in the Spring before, but the weather has been so unpredictable lately.

1 month ago

I had my three kids with me and they loved it. it was definitely a challenge with the snow and mud so I had to carry my 4 yr old on the way back down part of the way cause she kept slipping. the trail is really narrow which made me a little nervous with the kids but overall it was a great hike and I would love to do it again.

hiking
1 month ago

I started the hike at 12:30pm today - the trail was everything from snowy/slushy/icy/muddy and dry (overall I think it was mostly slushy due to the warm weather we had today). I wasn't sure whether to wear Yaktrax or not, but I decided to bring them along and I'm glad I did. I think the extra traction helped on the icy/slushy parts on the trail. However, I also passed numerous people who were not wearing spikes, and they seemed to be fine. The trail is both shady and sunny. I had on a long-sleeved shirt and pants and I was fine. Great hike, great view!

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! There’s still snow so there’s some slick spots. Beautiful view!

2 months ago

Really lovely hike. Went mid-March and it was still pretty snowy, but we were able to get up without any kind of specific hiking gear. If you do go near the winter, I would recommend gripping shoes, though. The view at the top is very nice.

hiking
2 months ago

Great views! Very doable hike- plenty of switchbacks!

Awesome hike with a great views and scenery.

hiking
4 months ago

Great pay off at the end. Need crampons/microspikes.

4 months ago

Took my sister who’s from NY on this trail since it’s an easy trail. The trail was mostly ice so we were micro spikes the whole time.

hiking
4 months ago

Did this hike 12/28/17. The entire trail was packed snow with some icy spots. Trail crampons or microspikes highly recommended although I did see one person without it. Ran into about a dozen people so a fairly busy trail, even on a weekday.
Highly recommend this hike, it can be "easy" if done at as slower pace since it's a small incline but if you keep a good pace it is definitely moderate. Great view at the end.

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

The trail is fairly narrow majority of the way and is heavily trafficked by families, dogs, etc so be aware that a lot of the hikers are not familiar with narrow trail etiquette and may annoy you. Its the price you pay for hiking a popular trail that anybody can do.

No need to bring supplies or ropes or anything. Water and some snacks and definitely a camera for when you reach the top but other than that its a moderate 2-3 hour excursion depending on how fast you move and how many people are on the trail. Don't expect cell service in the parking lot or along the trail until you get to the top, but don't worry, you're going hiking, not surfing Facebook, right?

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