Lake Desolation Mill D North Trail

MODERATE 376 reviews

Lake Desolation Mill D North Trail is a 7.7 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
7.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,988 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

Please Note: No dogs allowed. This lake is part of the protected Big Cottonwood Canyon watershed, so swimming in any lake or river is prohibited.

4 days ago

Great Hike go early gets a little warm this time of year.

8 days ago

I have gone on this trail several times and each time, the lake never disappoints. It is rather hilly but is a wonderful experience with amazing views of the mountains and some meadows! I would highly recommend it!

9 days ago

This is one of my most favorite hikes.

hiking
12 days ago

The lake was really low and not too exciting. Seeing the lake at the end of Beartrap Fork is a better view. The best part of my hike was watching two bull moose eating about 8 feet away from the trail. A female moose was down below them keeping an eye on me and a buck was running around, probably away from me.

hiking
22 days ago

Great hike the day after upper Red Pine lakes. A bit easier, nevertheless, a challenging two days. Hope everyone’s okay on Red/White Pine. Cops had trailhead closed earlier today. We looped over to Dog Lake coming down & recommend the same.

hiking
24 days ago

A nice hike to a quiet lake. The trail itself is pleasant with a mixture of low, moderate, and steep inclines throughout. We were passed by 2 mountain bikers and several hikers coming up as we were descending. Definitely worth checking out.

hiking
26 days ago

Hiked with my 9 year old. Round trip in under 4 hours. Highlight was seeing a water snake in the lake!

hiking
27 days ago

Really enjoyed the hike up! Super beautiful and a nice, strenuous hike without feeling like you’re going to die. For the return, we hiked up the crest and down bear trap. I did not enjoy the hike down. SUPER steep and loose rocks/dirt caused me to slip and fall several times. It was pretty, but I was so sick of how steep it was coming down that I barely noticed. It was also a mile and a half walk down big cottonwood back to the parking lot. I’d recommend going back down Mill D!

27 days ago

Absolutely beautiful! Lake is well worth it but be prepared to have some sore legs.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

This hike was the perfect challenge. 9 Miles RT and 2,500 elevation gain. It gradually climbed and was flat in some areas. Beautiful meadows and wildflowers everywhere. We hiked to desolation lake, up on top of the ridge and across.. I believe that’s the crest trail-and there’s beautiful views of park city on one side and desolation lake on the other side. We descended down bear trap fork. If you go early, you will see a ton of wildlife. We came across a bear going down bear trap right off the side of the trail(so be aware). This hike was amazing and we will be back!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike! Super green right now. Steady uphill but not bad. Also, almost no shade mid afternoon so take plenty of water to drink. Should also note that lake is part of watershed and violations, such as swimming or taking dogs, are a class b misdemeanor.

hiking
1 month ago

lots of mountain bikers but they were courteous and announced their presence. If you are up for it, hike past the lake up to the crest for a beautiful view

backpacking
1 month ago

Started the trail around 5pm on July 3rd and parking was pretty empty. Long steady uphill all the way to the lake but not terribly strenuous. Lake was beautiful. Wildflowers in bloom all along the trail. Only wildlife we saw were a few deer. Spend the night there. Some great spots to camp that have been well established. Temperatures were perfect for hiking, but the night got pretty cool (high 40s). Next morning we left around 9am and got back to the parking lot by 10:30am. Several hikers celebrating Independence Day! As has been mentioned, this is a popular biking trail, so use caution. We even saw/heard bikers going down at midnight! Overall, great hike and one I'd definitely return to hike/bike again!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike! The wildflowers are still in bloom, lots of butterflies on the trail and saw a few moose. Parking is tight but the trail itself wasn’t too busy. Keep an ear out for cyclists both ways!

hiking
1 month ago

Mellow trail (except for speeding bikers), pretty lake

hiking
1 month ago

Went about 10 AM and the parking lot was full, but the trail didn’t have too many people on it. Lake at the end is worth the climb. Lots of mountain bikers so be aware of them.

1 month ago

awesome hike

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike with some elevation gain. I suggest leaving early as the trail gets crowded. Had a few issues with mountain bikers descending and passing with no bel or no warning. This could make things a little hazardous. All in all, I recommend this hike and look forward to running it.

2 months ago

Great hike. Even better if you go past the lake to the ridgeline above. Great views. Also a short side trip to Dog Lake to the west is worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

Easy to follow trail. There's two obvious forks, just follow the signs that point right to Desolation. Tennis shoes are ok if you're confident in your ankles. Right now most the snow has melted and the trail is pretty dry. The lake is absolutely beautiful right now. Decent amount of shade, not too many bugs. Would recommend for an afternoon hike. Give yourself 4-5 hours so you have time to walk around the lake and take in the sights

2 months ago

Ran this this evening. It’s a climb, but really doable if you’re looking for something with a little elevation.

hiking
2 months ago

Really like this hike as it is some distance but workable. The lake this time of year is nice, and the temperatures are usually pleasant at altitude. There were just a few small patches of snow but easily doable in tennis shoes. I like the previous poster would recommend a sweater or shell as if the weather changes it could get slightly cool. Great hike .

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing trail with a gorgeous ending point. The lake isn’t frozen anymore and there is very light snow, if any. We went yesterday and there was a lot of fog towards the end but it was breathtaking. When we got to the lake the fog slowly rolled away. My favorite part is walking over to the East side and hearing the echo when you yell. :) I would recommend bringing a sweater just in case because it started raining and it was a little cold. This trail was really enjoyable and I would recommend it to everyone!

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked this on 5/26 and there was hardly any snow at the end - my sister was in regular Nike tennis shoes and was completely fine without more protective boots. Logged 8.0 miles. Gorgeous hike!

hiking
2 months ago

The hike was great, the parking lot was full but the trail wasn’t to busy once we got past the dog lake split off. The lake was beautiful the aqua blue, there was still snow in patches on the trail. The lake was partially frozen still. The weather was perfect with no clouds.

hiking
2 months ago

I made a loop hike out of this one. Went up Mill D North to Desolation Lake and then over the ridge to descend via Bear Trap Canyon.
The trail to the lake is fairly easy and the snow is almost gone. Lake is still frozen. Very beautiful. I was the only hiker at the lake.
The descend via Bear Trap is not for the faint of heart. lots of snow and the trail keeps disappearing. without the app I could not have found my way down the mountain. There's really not much to see that side of the ridge. I recommend that you turn around at the lake and go back the same way you came.
This will also save you hiking along Big Cottonwood Road for 1.5 miles to get back to your car.

3 months ago

Just finished this trail-I hike this several times a year. Don’t let the traffic in the parking area scare you. 99% of those people are going across the street to hike donut falls. Even with hundreds of cars up there, I only saw a total of about 15 groups total between going up and down. The last half a mile is still really snow packed and the lake is mostly frozen over and incredibly beautiful! Love this hike!! (Just watch out on the way down for mountain bikers flying down and nearly hitting you)

Nice hike with lots of flat areas. The lake is still frozen and it’s really cold at the lake. Bring a jacket. Lots of snow at the very end. I’ve done this hike later in the year and it’s worth it to wait for the lake to be unfrozen, the color is breathtaking.

hiking
3 months ago

No snow for about the first mile then hit a slushy monorail all the way to the lake, minus a .25 section of no snow. Ok trail and ok views from the lake. Not much post holing and the trail never was steep enough to warrant spikes. If you can take the trail up to desolation peak, do it. It was the best part of my hike by far

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