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

MODERATE 12 reviews
#1 of 2 trails in

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.

8.3 miles
1,354 feet
Out & Back



mountain biking

nature trips




wild flowers


bridge out



washed out

no dogs

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.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

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

Thursday, November 12, 2015

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.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

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.

mountain biking
Thursday, April 16, 2015

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.

mountain biking
Thursday, April 16, 2015

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.

1 month ago

10 months ago

Monday, May 29, 2017

off road driving
Sunday, June 19, 2016