Salt Lake Overlook via Desolation Trail

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Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest

Salt Lake Overlook via Desolation Trail is a 4.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Salt Lake City, Utah that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.2 miles Elevation Gain: 1,266 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

fee

Please note rules regarding pets: Dogs must be on leash on even days and can be off leash on odd days. It is important to bring proper bags to clean up after pets.

Pretty views, really nice trail. Lots of shade. Felt really short but it took me an hour to get to the top! I wanted to go further so I kept going up Desolation trail. Not my favorite trail, but not bad. I would rate this as easy.

Love, love, LOVE this view!!! If you catch it at the right time on the right day and you get the view to yourself it’s even better! Honestly one of my all time favorite hikes in Utah. Not too hard, but hard enough to get some good cardio in. Highly recommend.

hiking
6 days ago

Great hike. My 9 and 12 year old boys did it without a problem.

hiking
icy
snow
6 days ago

hiking
muddy
6 days ago

May 24, 2020

hiking
fee
9 days ago

I've been on this trail a few times and have always thought the hike to be worth the views, but I had a brand new experience hiking this with some snow clouds blowing in back in January. The majority of the hike exposes Thayne Canyon and surrounding peaks such as Grandeur with sublime views. It is also a well-covered hike. It is no wonder it attracts such a high volume of traffic. I would certainly recommend the hike views when precipitation is in the air: the way the clouds hug the walls of Thayne Canyon as they descend makes slogging through the slippery sections well worth the trouble.

hiking
11 days ago

Loved this hike. Like a couple people have said, the trail is actually longer than the mileage listed here. I marked 4.8 miles by the end. Beautiful views at the top!

hiking
fee
scramble
12 days ago

Great trail! I loved the path and being consumed in all of the trees. The trail is shaded well and pretty clear, with tons mild switchbacks. I’d say an Easy(ish) hike for any type shoes and for some kids. Tons of dogs.

hiking
14 days ago

Great hike! Minimal mud. No snow left.

hiking
15 days ago

Great trail with an excellent view at the end. Single track and tight most of the way up.

hiking
16 days ago

Love this trail. One of my favorites in salt lake, which is the reason it can get a bit crowded. Did this on a Friday afternoon, started around 5:15 and was shaded the entire hike. Gradual, steady incline the whole way up but amazing few of the canyon and valley at the top. Mileage comes out to a little less than 5 round trip. Would definitely recommend!

hiking
rocky
scramble
17 days ago

Nice hike but the dog poop smell the first 1/2 mile isn’t so great. Gradual incline took us about 2 hours. FYI the mileage is about 5.2 miles not 4.4 start to finish

hiking
19 days ago

Super pretty hike! It’s all uphill to the top but very doable and great work out. Lots of sunflowers this time of year. You do get exposed to sun for a lot of the hike so make sure to hydrate and wear sunblock! Saw a rattlesnake on our way up, good thing the pup was on a leash because he almost attacked it.

hiking
19 days ago

Such a great trail! Conditions were perfect today, though a bit windy at the overlook. Trail has just the right balance of incline to provide a solid workout without having to stop to catch your breath. There are some sheer drop-offs, but there is plenty of room on the trail, and people seem to be extra considerate of passing and giving room. Spotted a rattlesnake coming down about a mile up from the trailhead.

hiking
22 days ago

The trail seemed beautiful. But we were quickly disappointed. We went on an even-numbered day when dogs are supposed to be on leash. We passed dozens of dogs, none of which were leashed. I love dogs, but I don't love YOUR dog sniffing me, jumping on me and walking between my legs as I climb a narrow trail with sheer drop-offs beside me! About every 50 yards or so dog owners had left little green bags of poo along the trail. I stopped counting at 20 bags. The flies attracted to these deposits made an interesting accompaniment along the trail. While this trail is rated as moderate, trekkers should be aware there are more than a few places where the narrow trail slopes both down and off-mountain with no protection between the trail and steep, sheer drop-offs. This was not helped by the numerous "shortcuts" of people short-circuiting the switchbacks creating significant degrees of erosion. The forest is gorgeous, the smells divine, and the views breathtaking. Just be aware that you are sharing the trail with people who treat it without regard or care for anyone but themselves and their instant concerns.

Really fun easy trail lots of dogs not muddy! Very crowded tho would suggest an early start to have a little more solitude

hiking
fee
26 days ago

Great trail that is fun with an amazing overlook. The trail is cleared up but a couple of times you will have to climb up some rocks. Pay attention to the signs pointing to desolation hike. Overall, it was shady and not snowy.

hiking
bugs
fee
scramble
26 days ago

Really enjoyed this hike. Trail was not too steep or rocky. Seemed popular for trail running. We saw plenty of people doing that. Opportunity for some bouldering and exploring at the top. Also saw lots of people with their dogs on this trail. Good mix of sun and shade. Saw plenty of birds.

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