Lake Desolation Mill D North Trail

MODERATE 280 reviews

Lake Desolation Mill D North Trail is a 7.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Salt Lake City, Utah that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October.

DISTANCE
7.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1961 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

cross country skiing

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Directions from Salt Lake City: Follow Big Cottonwood Canyon Road (7000 South Wasatch Blvd.) about 9.5 miles up the canyon to the Mill D North Fork Trailhead about 0.2 mile before Spruces Campground. Trailhead sign marks the beginning on the north side of the road.

Nice long hike. Gradual incline is nice for this longer hike. Trail nice and packed down, brought snowshoes but got by with microspikes no problem.

hiking
1 month ago

Took the trail 11/24/2017. Quite a bit of ice, snow and mud for the first 2 miles. Snow up to a foot deep after that. Lake was frozen (don't recommend walking on it). It was about 40 degrees on top so be prepared for the temp chsnge this time of year. Lovely trail with some nice views.

backpacking
2 months ago

I love coming up here! 3rd Time in less than a year. Its a great get away from SLC and perfect for after work backpacking that is not too intense.

Was up here 11/3/2017 the lake was really low and there was a bit of snow (but the trail was mostly clear) we were prepared for the low temps and had an amazing time!

3 months ago

awesome hike

backpacking
3 months ago

Good hike. Great views. Lake is smaller than I expected though. Camped on the far side of the lake. Low temps. Woke up and 3/4 of the Lake had a sheet of ice on it. Make sure you have the right gear if you plan to stay up there at night. Lots of ground covered with snow as you reach the top.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice trail, head up to dog lake first at the fork its about 2 miles up? Once at dog lake there is a new trail you can follow back to the desolation trail it’s about a mile

hiking
4 months ago

A very nicely maintained easy use trail. Most of the surface is dirt with occasional small rocky areas. The top of the trail features a lake, which you cannot go into at all as it is part of a watershed. Please watch out for speeding trail bikers.

hiking
4 months ago

We enjoyed our hike today on this well maintained trail. A dirt trail most of the way, with rocky areas. I felt this trail is on the easier side of moderate. Please watch out for speeding trail bikers. Suitable for trail running. This is a nice lake at the end of the trail, however you cannot go in at all as this is a watershed area.

4 months ago

Well traveled, beauiful hike with steady climb. Can't wait to go again when the aspen are changing. Took me four hours round trip which includes a half hour lunch at the lake.

4 months ago

Great hike to Desolation then up to the summit looking down on Park City. Then down the trail and back up the new trail to Dog Lake. 10 miles round trip. 2400 elevation gained. Beautiful views

trail running
5 months ago

Another one of my favorite Wasatch trails. Largely runnable trail up through pines and aspens with a few steep climbs. Incredible wildflowers. You can stop at Desolation Lake, or continue up onto the Wasatch Crest trail and take ridge trail all the way to Brighton at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon (so long as you've got a way to get back down to your car at Mill D). You have to listen and watch for descending bikers coming fast around corners. I love the upper meadows as you get near Desolation Lake.

hiking
5 months ago

This is a great hike!! The hardest part is the first 1.5 miles and even that is not that bad. Go early, be on the trail by 8am and you'll be in the shade of the mountain until reach the beautiful Aspen canopy that covers most of the trail. It took us 2 hrs up and 1.5 down. Be sure to listen for bikers as it's a popular downhill in the morning. The wildflowers are amazing right now too!!

5 months ago

Great hike overall! It was a good combination of wooded (shaded) areas, meadows, inclined and flat stretches. It took us 3.5 hours to go roughly 8 miles round trip (we ate lunch at the lake and stopped to take pictures along the way).

hiking
5 months ago

Pretty easy. Beautiful scenery. On the way down we saw a large bull moose grazing in a meadow. The lack of trees along the lake shoreline is unique but unimpressive.

hiking
5 months ago

Moose and deer and wildflowers!!

5 months ago

My fave trail in BC -- mtn bike up to the spine then zip down. Try to be first on trail to see all the wild life ... today: 5 moose, deer. A few weeks back a black bear. Sundays better than Saturday if you're a 7th Day Adventurist.

hiking
5 months ago

Nice stream and wild flower all along the trail. And the lake is such a nice cool fun place. Bring your swimming pants lol. If you are lucky, you will see tons of tiger salamanders there in the corner of lake.

hiking
5 months ago

This is probably one of my new favorite hikes. I got to the trailhead at about 8am on a Saturday morning. I was afraid it would already be buzzing with people, but it wasn't! I passed only one person who was also headed up...she was so busy talking on the phone that she couldn't really do the trail running it seemed that she had planned on doing there. So annoying. Can't people just disconnect for a few hours? Anyway, saw a few people coming down...mostly trail runners. Also saw quite a few groups of mountain bikers, but all of them were very nice and let me know how many people were behind them as they each passed me. Saw a moose mama and a moose baby, which was terrifying. A group of bikers were headed down and scared them so they came barreling through the woods and across the trail between me and the bikers. I was so afraid the mama would charge me, but I don't think she saw me. They are huge!!! Other then them I didn't see any other animals. The lake was nice and peaceful. I was alone at first and then only about 5 other people came before I left. Morning really is the best time to come. You miss a lot of the larger groups and families. I did the whole hike in 4 hours. Will definitely be back.

5 months ago

The trail and views from the trail are beautiful! And the lake is awesome! We were basically the only people at the lake. We didn't see any moose, but we did see moose tracks near the water. We did see a lot of salamanders in the water though!

backpacking
6 months ago

Moderately strenuous for sure. Beautiful views throughout. We saw a ram and some smaller wildlife. It was fairly busy though. Lots of people on bikes blazing through, so you got to keep your eyes out. Once you get to the lake it isn't very busy.

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