Terraces: Elbow Fork Trail

MODERATE 119 reviews

Terraces: Elbow Fork Trail is a 4.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Salt Lake City, Utah that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

4.8 miles
1,860 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly

cross country skiing


nature trips


trail running


bird watching



over grown


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.

1 month ago

Toured up this morning. Great views once you get through the switch backs but steep and narrow skiing the trail back down. Be much better in the summer so you don’t have to hike the road up

3 months ago

We started the hike from Terrace picnic area and ended near the Pipeline/Mt Aire trailhead. The gate to the road leading up to picnic area was closed due to snow so we had to hike extra half mile to get to the trailhead. Trail was fully covered in fresh powdered snow and we were the only ones hiking throughout. It was snowing almost the entire time we hiked. There aren’t major views but it opens up few times - the snowfall made the visibility of the valley low but made the scenery really pretty. Be careful, there were multiple trees uprooted on the trail towards last mile. It’s not 4.4 miles out and back as mentioned, I recorded 3 miles point to point.

5 months ago

Good hike but did have over growth in several spots. Not to difficult.

7 months ago

Fun hike, but it is over grown. There is a patch where youre going through overgrown branches for almost a quarter mile. There are some roots under the bratches so it get a little hard to see where you are walking. The pup had a great time though, of course. Not very busy for a Monday night. I think we saw maybe 3 other dogs.

7 months ago

Overgrown and not much for overviews... there's better out there.

7 months ago

What a great trail. We did this with our four kids (one baby in the backpack) and although there were some parts that were quite steep it was doable. beautiful views toward the top. We didn’t make it the entire 2.2 miles to the turn around so we cannot report on the upper trail

7 months ago

Butterflies in clouds all over the trail. Shaded trail in many spots. Rigorous trail in good condition. Stream running next to the trail for most of it.
Parking can be tight. Pack a picnic for the trailhead. Road leading is narfow but short with pull offs.
Excellent trail.

8 months ago

No reward at the end. Scary disliked strongly the bush. We didn’t like the bush. Hit me up if you actually like hiking in the bush. We want to know why.

8 months ago

Loooved this hike. Took my dog this last weekend and the scenery is so diverse I was in love. Great overlooks, tons of pretty wild flowers and thick forest in some areas made me want to do this hike again and again. Although probably a bit long for some people it was perfect for my dog and I on a weekend with nothing to do.

8 months ago

So pretty!

8 months ago

Gorgeous hike

9 months ago

Saturday, September 09, 2017

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.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

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.

Monday, August 07, 2017

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.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Saturday, July 22, 2017

very steep Trail beautiful lots of shade a little over grown in some areas but well worth the hike

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Great hike and you can take your dog!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Good amount of shade, steep at some parts, cool views. No streams for dogs to drink water at. Lots of great wild flowers blooming right now!

Friday, July 07, 2017

Went on July 4th. The wildflowers were a highlight!

Saturday, July 01, 2017

I loved that this hike offered lots of shade in super lush forest areas. Some of the trail is overgrown with bushes though.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Very scenic hike. Lot's of greenery and flowers. Several pretty views of the mountains and valley farther westbound.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Definitely a moderate hike. This is not easy past the first 1/4 mile. It is really beautiful and secluded. Trail gets super dense near the top and is pretty overgrown. We hiked up quite far and never reached an actual overlook or end point. That being said, I really enjoyed. It is much less traveled than many of the other trails in millcreek canyon.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Easier to moderate hike. Lots of trees and a pretty view of some other mountains nearby. Not a hike with a reward at the end like many others. Rather, this one is more enjoying being in the trees and the canyon. Great after work hike.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Gorgeous!❤️ people are saying this trail is slightly difficult, and yes it gets steep but don't let that deter you. It's a gorgeous and manageable trail. It is super lush too with the dense greenery.

Edit: this also says it's an Out and Back trail, but its point to point.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Nice trail, gets steep and a little sketchy with some rocks and trees that fell over the trail. Beautiful views and quiet. Definitely moderate, not super easy (that's probably also because I from a place below sea level ;-))

Monday, May 15, 2017

Have done this both directions. Prefer going up the road and down the trail. Nice ups and downs. Kids did well.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

This was actually steeper than I expected. Passed 4 dudes who were struggling, so it's not an easy hike. Moderate is accurate. Had to walk the road in 1/4 of a mile because the gate is still closed. I also had to turn back at about 1.6-ish miles because of snow. I tried to traverse the snow, but I didn't have spikes and I didn't see an end to it. Figured it was unsafe to continue. Trail ran back down to the bottom. I like it up there. It was very peaceful.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Didn't know you had to pay

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

With the gate closed, we decided to loop the trail heading directly on the road towards Terrace Fork- was well worth it- the loop up and back to the parking was about 4miles- it's one of my favorite hikes so far, up at 7000ft- so tranquil and the dogs loved it!

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