Temple Quarry and Little Cottonwood Creek Trail

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(295)
Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest

Temple Quarry and Little Cottonwood Creek Trail is a 8.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Sandy, Utah that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

Length8.7 miElevation gain1,778 ftRoute typeOut & back
Wheelchair friendlykid friendlystroller friendlyHikingMountain bikingNature tripsSnowshoeingWalkingBird watchingRunningPartially pavedRiverViewswild-flowersRockyHistoric siteNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (4)

Know Before You Go. This trail accesses or travels through potential avalanche terrain. For more information and to read the daily avalanche forecast please visit: https://utahavalanchecenter.org This trail has three bridges, lots of fun kickers for bikes, and a rock garden. At the top, there is an old structure that looks like it was an old mill back in the day. Accessibility: Users have reported that the first 0.3 of the trail is paved and has an estimated grade of 5% or less so is partially wheelchair and stroller friendly, but past that the surface turns to gravel (with some large rocks) and the grade increases (over 12% in multiple areas). Where the grade begins to increase has been marked on the trail map with a waypoint. The trail is typically at least three feet wide. Use caution, some parts of the gravel/dirt trail get washed out and very uneven due to rain or snow. Just the paved, more accessible loop can also be viewed on its own trail page here: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/utah/temple-quarry-loop

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (298)
Photos (600)
Recordings (271)
Completed (1,346)
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Sandra Berzinis
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Hiking

Traffic noise but still pretty. Fat bikes on trail and remains of power plant that closed down on 1940.Also went to Lisa Falls accessed to left of trail and across the street.

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Tyler Howe
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Hiking

Nice hike that parallels the road and stream for several miles. You never quite get that left-it-all-behind feeling as you can hear the road most of the way. The ruins of the old power plant are really cool. The trail above that is very tricky to follow in the snow, but the downloaded map helps a lot.

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Esteban Peralta
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HikingGreat!
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Alex Stark
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Hiking

Good trail for running or mountain biking. The last ~1 mile after the mill is the toughest part (steepest, rockiest terrain, hardest to follow trail). Nice fall colors.

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Lance Wade
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Mountain biking

All uphill one way. Plenty of rock gardens. The descent is fun and fast. Lots of trees and near the canyon road. No water in the creek this time of year. I saw several bikers and only two hikers.

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Alejandra Godoy
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WalkingGreat!Rocky

This trail is very easy but long to walk, there are more people in bikes than walking. The parking lot is a little confused, the directions take you to a parking lot at front of the right one, so you have to cross street. I would love to come back to finish it, I spent 6 hours walking and I didn’t finish it!

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Mina Whalen
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HikingGreat!

I love the creek all along the trail. It's so beautiful with fall colors splashing. It doesn't seem difficult enough to rate moderate, I've done many moderate trails and they are much harder than this one. Anyone can hike this trail.

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Rebecca Calandro
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HikingGreat!

Honestly, I bike this trail and it’s fun. I don’t see the draw to hike this and wouldn’t even want to given the number of riders and number of other options out there. I hiked a portion of it with my elementary school aged daughter and she liked when we found hangouts and rock hopped by the water, but was otherwise unimpressed.

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Ethan Breyer
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HikingGreat!Rocky

A very accessible trail, right at the base of the Canyon, with plenty of parking throughout the day, both at the trail head itself and at the Little Cottonwood parking lot. It sits just a mile or two up the road from the Lower Bell Canyon trail head. The first mile or so is open and hot, but relatively easy going. As you continue you'll begin to parallel the river and soon pass through a neighborhood. From then you'll continue following the crystal clear river up to a stone ruined building. From then it continues on toward Tanner's flat, although is then less passable by bike. As a bike trail it is wonderful, the ascent being somewhat difficult with many large rocks scattered throughout the trail, but the descent being well worth it. Overall it is a great trail, and great for some off-trail exploration.

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Kevin Lathrop
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Hiking

First mile of the trail is exposed and hot but after that it’s great. Follows the creek through the forest up to Tanners Flat campground. Last mile is a typical single width trail unlike the wide dirt and gravel path that represents the first 3.5 miles. Lots of interesting stuff from the industrial use of the canyon- inoperative and current power generation, mining remnants, all the temple stone quarry evidence. Very cool walk through some Utah history.

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Praveenkumar Radhakrishnan
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Hiking

Paved path for Kids to enjoy...

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Joe Kim
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Hiking

For Trail Runners: gradual incline and mostly flat path all the way. excellent for medium/long-run training!

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Nymisha Kakarla
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HikingRocky

This one is such a beautiful hike. We love going back here. It is so peaceful with the sounds of water all the way through.

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Kristy Allen
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HikingRocky

Once you get to Little Cottonwood and hike next to the water and see those boulders, it’s a great trail. I was in awe at the sights and sounds of the water. Bikers should call out something on approach downhill because they’re going fast and by the time you hear bike sounds, they’re up to you. If you move the wrong direction, you’ll be hit.

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Sarah BG
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WalkingRocky

This is my favorite hike yet! Stunning views & a fun sight to see the Old Mill Ruins! I recommend this hike to all who are able to walk, hike, bike etc. We went early, arrived around 7am. It was the perfect time, not a lot of people, the path was shaded & the river gives off a cooling breeze. If you keep your eyes peeled you will see small lizards, snakes, mountain goats, birds, hawks, deer etc. So much wild life! I can't wait to go back!

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Garet Hawley
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HikingRocky
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Scott Rosevear
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Hiking

Terrible trail, especially for mountain biking. Completely washed out in several sections and so choppy that it’s difficult to ride. You are much better off riding Millcreek Canyon or Corner Canyon. Don’t waste your time on this dopey trail.

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Amanda Anderson
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HikingMuddyRockyScramble

After the Columbus plant building, the trail becomes rocky, and more difficult to follow if you don’t have the app. Also, I didn’t see any bikes or hikers after this point all the way up to Tanner Flats and back down, so it’s not well trafficked in that section but was the best part of the hike.

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sloane campbell
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HikingRocky
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Laurel O
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Hiking

From the Temple Quarry trailhead, the first part of this trail has a .3 mile loop that is paved and accessible for a wheelchair. There is a very slight incline which was only noticeable as we were pushing a manual wheelchair. The rest of the trail appears to be an old gravel road but did have some rocky places. Most likely it would be passable for a jogger stroller or a wheelchair w/a freewheel type attachment. The water flow was up and it was pretty.

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John St. Clair
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Hiking

Hiked the middle section of the trail, relaxing with a gradual incline in most spots. Some areas with loose rocks and a little steeper. Great views of Little Cottonwood Creek during the runoff. A few water crossings, which were fun. Shade most of the way.

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Joel Scott
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HikingSnow
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Ben Fox-Shapiro
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HikingIcySnow

The trail is mostly covered in snow and ice starting at the trailhead going all the way up. Very slippery.

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Deanna Johnson
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Hiking

Easy parking at the base of the trail. Creeks and river running beside the trail pretty much the entire way up, some small waterfalls, making for beautiful views and enjoyable sounds. Nice shade from the trees about 80% of the hike. Friendly people and polite/conscientious mountain bikers.

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Georgeta Williams
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Hiking

Everything is dry. seriously is the strangest thing ever as we come here once every 2 weeks and it was awesome but is no more running creek.

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