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Dog Lake via Big Water and Little Water Loop

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Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest

Dog Lake via Big Water and Little Water Loop is a 4.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Salt Lake City, Utah that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, horses, and mountain biking and is best used from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 4.4 mi Elevation gain 1,263 ft Route type Loop
Dogs on leash Hiking Horseback riding Mountain biking Nature trips Forest Lake River Views Wild flowers Wildlife Bugs Rocky Fee
Description
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Getting There

From November 1st to July 1st the summer road of Millcreek Canyon is snow-covered and closed to vehicle traffic. During these months just getting to the trailhead is a 5 mile trek. Dogs are allowed off-leash in all of Mill Creek Canyon on odd numbered days. Big Water Trail (3.0 miles) The Big Water trail may be longer than its sister trail Little Water Gulch, but Big Water is no where near as steep. Perhaps Millcreek Canyon's most popular trailhead is the Big Water Trailhead. Located at the end of the narrow summer road (approx 9 miles from the base of the canyon) is the main parking lot. This large trailhead has several overflow parking lots available but even they can and do fill up on weekends. From the upper most parking lot starts the 2 main trails, which are the Little Water Gulch and Big Water Gulch trails. These 2 trails provide access to Dog Lake, Little Water Peak, Reynolds Peak, The Desolation Trail as well as Upper Millcreek Canyon. For mountain bikers the extra distance is worth the lack of climbing over the steps of Little Water Trail. This trail tends to traverse its way across Big Water Trail as it slowly makes its approach up to Dog Lake. The large pine trees and thick forest growth that line the trail keep the summer sun and heat at bay, making this trail perfect for the dead of summer.

Millcreek is one of the few canyons (for now) that charges a fee for its use. Right now the price is $3 for a day and $40 for a 1 year seasons pass. Mountian bikers are NOT allowed on odd days on the Great Western Trail, Big Water Trail and the Little Water Gulch Trail. Dogs are allowed everyday but must be leashed on even days. When in developed picnic areas, cabin areas and/or parking lots, all dogs must be leashed regardless of what day it is. Camping is not allowed within a 1/2 mile of the road. There are pit toilets available at each parking area. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the trails.

Utah Travel Council, Council Hall, P.O. Box 147420 , Salt Lake City, UT, 84114, Phone: 801-538-1030, travel@utah.com

To get to the Big Water Traihead start by getting off of I-215 at 3900 South. Make a left and at Wasatch Blvd make another left. Drive down to 3800 South and make a right. Continue driving up the road as it makes its way up Millcreek Canyon. Drive until the end of the road and park at the well marked trailhead.

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Reviews (309)
Photos (772)
Recordings (277)
Completed (756)
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Natasha Maw
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Hiking
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Natasha Maw
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Hiking
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Amy Van Leuven
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Horseback riding

Big rigs and horse trailers stay away!!! I’m sure the trail is lovely but we couldn’t get to it! There are horse trails listed up here but I have no idea how y’all get to them on crowded days. We spent 2 hours to work our way through the crowds of cars and bikes. Super narrow road ended up having a minor car accident because it was that tight there was literally no other way but to scrape with the oncoming truck. Had to stop traffic both ways multiple times to get ourselves out. What a nightmare. No place to turn around on the way up. We finally made it to the parking lot of the trailhead just to find no place to park as it was all filled and so 2 hours more to get ourselves back out of the canyon. I live 45 minutes away and it was an over 4 hour ordeal. Woof!

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Jordan Mabey
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RunningGreat!

Fall leaves really hitting their stride now and it’s beautiful. Great trail and pretty heavily trafficked although there were few people up there at about 11:00am. Love that this is a loop rather than out and back.

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Mindy Hillman
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Hiking
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Regan Abromitis
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Hiking

Nice trail, there were a lot of bees once you got to the lake and it was looking like there was some algae on the far side of the lake so be careful with your dogs! Would’ve given 4 stars but everyone seemed to have forgotten that EVEN DAYS ARE ON LEASH DAYS please keep your dogs on leash, some people go on on leash days for a reason.:)

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Benjamin LaDue
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Hiking

For being such a dog friendly trail. Literally zero poop bags on the side of the trail. Hats off to either the responsible dog owners or trail maintenance. Had a good time.

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Hannah Ence
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HikingBlowdown

Beautiful trail! There were lots of trees fallen down on the trail from the storm this week. Easy to get over them (the poor bikers had to lift their bikes up over the trees). Not many people this morning!

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Mina Whalen
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Hiking

It's a good trail for my dog Toby, I like the Butler Fork trail to dog lake better. It's a much prettier Trail but no dog allowed. This trail rated moderate but it's a lower scale of moderate. I've done some moderate trails that are a lot harder hike than this. No need to bring water for your dog, there's plenty of water along the trail.

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Isabel Sneddon
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Hiking
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Andrew Shaw
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Hiking

Fairly easy trail to Dog Lake. Reynold’s Peak trail was super steep — considered turning back, but the summit felt like an accomplishment (and views pretty great). Busy trail to and from Dog Lake, lots of dogs today (odd-numbered days = off leash; even = mountain bikers).

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Adam Ferrario
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Hiking

Nice trail - easier to go up little water trail and come down big water trail. Definitely more bikers on the big water side. Overall really nice!

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hannah fordham
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Hiking
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Jack Wach
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HikingBugs

Hike is fine. Trail is well marked and extremely clear. Not extremely tough. Lake is underwhelming. Moderately trafficked. Hike on odd days to avoid mountain bikers.

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Shawn Beck
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Hiking
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Sam Wilson
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Hiking

It’s actually a great easy trail great for dogs and trail running!

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Tom Ewall
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Hiking

Moderate. Nicely shaded. Not Rocky. Forest, streams, lake. Will for sure be a regular hike. I went up Big Water and down Little Water, which is steeper.

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mont dutson
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Great!

got to trail head this morning Wednesday at 7:45 AM. Went up the Little Water Trail to Dog Lake and came down the Big Water Trail back to the trailhead. A few bikers few people very tranquil at the lake a great day trail mostly in the shade most of the time just a couple mosquitoes at lake,, no bug spray needed. it was a wonderful trip. plenty of parking still available at the trailhead parking above the Overflow parking even when we got back about 11:15 there were still several parking places available.

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Keith Ozanne
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Hiking

amazing! did on an even day with our dog on a leash. expected there to be way more traffic based on previous reviews given that we went on a Saturday morning around 10 am. parked near the overflow lot and enjoyed the connector trail. would love to try trail running here. little water trail seemed steeper so next time may reverse our loop and go down the big water trail side. loved this hike and can't wait to do it again!

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Frances Sorrentino
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WalkingGreat!

It was beautiful. We arrived rly early morning to beat the heat. The first side was long then at the end of loop was shorter. I would like to do friendly reminder. There were bikers riding in the trail. On odd days! Bikers can ride on even days so today as of Aug 7 - 7 is odd number. Therefore dogs can be off leashes AND no bikers! Thank you!

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Margaret Duncan
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HikingBugs

Fun loop. Very dog friendly. Lots of flies and mosquitoes. Some shade. Make sure you’re reading the signs right. Lots of trail options/forks. Wildflowers were really pretty in August.

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Chris Burch
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Hiking
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Marci Merrell
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Hiking
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Elise Carpenter
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HikingOver grown

The trail is great until the .8 mile stretch to the peak. THERE IS NO TRAIL. It’s completely overgrown and you can’t see it. I hoped to find it but made it a very short distance before turning around. Other than that, it’s a beautiful time of year to hike this area. So many wild flowers.

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Pam Jacobson
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Hiking

This was a great trail. Did not make it to the lake this time. Needed bug spray, desperately. Horse flies, biting bugs. So, take bug spray. Other than that, was great.

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Janette Swasey
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Hiking

Pretty easy trail. We went to Desolation Lake also, which added well over 4 miles, but so worth it. Much prettier than Dog Lake.

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Sean Treemen
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HikingBugsFee

loved it, and would do it again. Lots of shade it was a comfortable temp the whole way and we hiked it early afternoon. I took my niece age 7, and my 10 month old Blue Heeler Scout they were both in good spirits the whole way. the sign said at the BW trail head 7Mi to Dog Lake. We completed the BW, LW loop. Beautiful scenery, serene and not to steep. the only cons Id say are the bugs at higher elevations; they aren't bad until you take a break then its like mosquitoes in a nudist colony. and the rare biting fly. The lake is a little lack luster, but a refreshing end non the less.

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David Eggers
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Hiking

Loved this hike - lots of shade from trees, lots of beautiful views. We parked at the first spillover lot we came to, took the connection trail to Big Water trail up to Dog Lake, then back down Little Water, to the road to get back to our car. That was 6 miles! Completed with two kids (age 11 & 8), and one small breed dog (4 mos old). The upper areas, especially around the lake, were heavy with bugs (mostly flies)... annoying but no biggie. Lots of bikes, but always very friendly sharing the trail. We would do this hike again!

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Esteban Peralta
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HikingBugsFee

Beautiful hike. Fair amount of bugs though

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