Donner Reed Party and Mormon Pioneer Route (Little Emigration Canyon)

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East Canyon State Park

Donner Reed Party and Mormon Pioneer Route (Little Emigration Canyon) is a 8.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Morgan, Utah that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from February until October.

Length8.3 miElevation gain1,354 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingMountain bikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeBridge outBugsMuddyRockyWashed outFeeNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Getting There

Please note that there is a $2 parking fee at the trailhead. This single-track trail follows the path of the Donner Party, Pony Express, and Mormon pioneers from East Canyon up to Big Mountain Pass overlooking Emigration Canyon. This is a section of a larger trail called "The Mormon Trail" or "Donner Reed Party Route." The trail starts at the pioneer camp site just off the East Canyon road. (Cross the narrow footbridge to the other side of East Canyon Creek.) After meandering through willows, the trail climbs gradually up the side of a small creek. The trail climbs up Little Emigration Canyon, from sage and cottonwood to spruce and aspen. Along the trail, Mule's Ear blossoms in early summer, giving way to sticky geranium and daisy. This is one of the few places where the original pioneer trail can still be followed. It's a moving experience to follow the footprints of Utah's pioneers, erasing them with bike tire tracks. The trail usually clears of snow in May, but wet spots and high creek-flow make the ride IF-y until late June. Snow covers the trail by November.

Parking and Facilities across the street from trailhead.

From Interstate 80 in Parleys Canyon, take Highway 65 to East Canyon. From the exit, drive nine miles up the canyon and park at the summit of Big Mountain Pass

Weather
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Reviews (54)
Photos (20)
Recordings (53)
Completed (98)
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Donald Roll
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Hiking

Nice hike. Try it next year from Jeremy Ranch road end.

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Rebecca Roper
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Hiking

Start this trail at the east end and you can bring your dogs. Dogs aren’t allowed in the west parking lot because of the watershed, but everything east and they can come. I would rate this an easy trail, a bit of climbing at the west end, but overall a lovely hike. At the beginning there is water for dogs to play in, but mostly dry creek beds this time of year. Lots of shade, but it started getting hot as the morning went on so lots of water for everyone is essential.

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Brad Romney
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Hiking

Nice downhill trail. Best with a pickup on the other end.

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Patty Murphy
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HikingScramble
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Jennica Hess
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HikingBugs
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Tyler Zitar
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HikingMuddy

Beautiful trail! Lots of shade and wild flowers. The trail crosses the creek many times, but there are logs and rocks to get across without getting wet.

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Brig Dunsmore
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HikingFloodedSnow

Pretty hike. Snow still on the trail higher up. Several creeks are flowing right down the trail at various points.

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Tim Welsch
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HikingBlowdownBugsFloodedMuddySnowWashed out
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Shugga Bear
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Mountain bikingBugsOver grownRockyWashed out

This trail was certainly a moderate for bikes. We did it downhill from the top of east canyon to jeremy ranch road one way. It was a nice ride mostly with some technical rock sections log hops and wash outs peppered in for good practice. We will definitely do this one again for good practice.

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Michelle Thompson
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Hiking

We've always called this Little Emigration and have started from the Jeremy Ranch end of things. This is such a lovely walk - easy peasy for kids/dogs/just about anyone. We went around 10am on Friday and didn't run into anyone until we were on our way back down around 11:30am. Mountain bikers and dogs are free to use this and there was water when we were there, plenty at the parking lot and then little streams throughout.

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Nicholas Miller
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Hiking

Loved this hike. Steep switchbacks to start off, then goes to ridge hiking which eventually leads to a couple meadows. Very relaxing and the scenery/views from top to bottom were enjoyable.

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Temperance M
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Hiking

fairly easy terrain after the initial climb - follows the ridgeline & you can go up to Big Mountain summit or continue on the Great Western Trail.

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Ryan Penman
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Mountain biking

Out for a day of down hill mountain biking with my buddy Ratwaffles. Neither of us are very good on a mountain bike and this trail proved it. We were presented with many trail obstacles and for the most part we over came them. This was a very fund trail to bike down and I am sure it would be just as good hiking as well. Lots of history with this trail, evidence of the past is presented at certain points along the way.

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Rat Waffles
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Mountain biking

We staged our cars at the top and bottom, and did a downhill bike ride. This was my first single track, and it wasn't a good idea - there are numerous portions where the trail is washed out and you're riding on a very thin ledge, and other parts where you jump your bike over fallen logs. It requires moderate technical ability for mountain bikers, which I did not have at the time. That being said, I loved the trail itself, and thinking this same trail that I struggled with was used by wagons and handcarts made me stop and think. There are the ruin of a fort near the bottom of the trail if you can find it - it will require some bush whacking up the hill, but it a cool little extra bit of history.

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Breck Tuttle
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Hiking
First to Review

Hiked this with scouts from top to bottom with scouts a few years back. Had a car shuttle waiting at the bottom.

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Ben Castro
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Hiking
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Michael Minder
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Mountain biking
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George Thomsen
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Hiking
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Lisa B
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Hiking
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Yoshiko Kandori
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Hiking
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Yuyu Lin
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Hiking
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