Terraces: Elbow Fork Trail

HARD 102 reviews

Terraces: Elbow Fork Trail is a 4.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Salt Lake City, Utah that features a great forest setting and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
4.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1646 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

cross country skiing

forest

views

over grown

snow

washed out

Directions from Salt Lake City: Access #1: Follow Mill Creek Canyon Road (3800 South Wasatch Blvd.) about 4.5 miles up the canyon to Terraces turnoff on the south side on the road. Follow the road up and then to the north end loop. Trail begins on the north end of the picnic area. Access #2: Via Elbow Fork. Take Mill Creek Canyon Road 6.1 miles up the canyon to Elbow Fork, the sharp right turn near the dam. Trail starts on south side of the road where the foot bridge crosses the creek.

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DIRECTIONS:
While the trail on the map is correct, if you use the directions it will not take you to the correct area! It has you stop at a small parking lot on the south side of the road and is super confusing because there is a green sign that says Terraces and Trailhead. This is not the correct spot. You need to continue up the canyon a couple more miles, you're looking for the Elbow Forks Sign which will come right at the end of the road going east, then it starts to head south. There is a rest room with a small dirt area. This is not where the trail starts, this is where the Mount Aire Trail starts. If you go across the road and south a little there is a smaller dirt area and a small wood sign that says Elbow Forks Trail. It took us forever to find and asking several people and consulting the posted maps.

Another thing you should know about this trail is that it starts on one road of the canyon, and ends back at the road further down. You reach the lookout area, the best spot for views, at a little more than 2 miles in. From here it will continue on and then start to head back down. So if you were to go out and back it would be more than 8 miles. While the views from this lookout were beautiful the rest of the trail was rough. Roots, overgrown quite a bit so that you only have a very small narrow path the last bit and then it goes pretty steeply down on dirt.

The leaves were already starting to change on some of the bushes, which was pretty but overall I don't think I would do this trail again. Really more of a Hard trail, than a Moderate one.

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3 months ago

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3 months ago

This is a nice hike. It has a great view and half the traffic of the Desolation Trail (that goes to the SL Overlook). We went in the mid morning and had shade much of the way, which was great. On the weekend it can be challenging to find a place to park near Elbow Fork, but there is usually plenty of parking off of the Millcreek Rd. end.

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4 months ago

Little on the steep side as you get in but still a wonderful hike. 2.3 miles to the lookout. Great dog trail with shade and stream.

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