Location: Mill Creek
Level: 4 out of 5 – it’s not that difficult of a hike, but it is long
Water: Yes, the lots of cute little waterfalls as you get to the trailhead and plenty along the beginning, but gets very dry once you get higher
Popularity: Plenty of people but not overwhelming
Parking: Park on the canyon road, very limited up by the trailhead and the rest is for picnics
Shade/Temp: Awesome trail for hot days – plenty of shade and cooling water at the beginning
Gear: I wore shorts but I there were a few scratchy points as you get pretty high up. I’d do it again.
Flowers: Not that kind of trail!
I’m a big lover of “bite off more than you can chew” when I hike, but the girls beg to differ. I loved exploring and attempting to reach the top of this beast of a mountain, but after about three hours I got a little nervous about being able to get the girls back down!
We had Erik join us for this week’s hike. He is leaving to hike the AZ Trail tomorrow, so we should have taken it easy, but it’s hard to resist the Wasatch. The last time he visited he hiked to the top of this mountain from the other side and it was cloudy and snowy, so he was thrilled to check out the other side, complete with clear views. He was the only one who got all the way up top on this hike, but we girls hung in there until the “faux overlook”, where we took a little break and then went up a bit further to meet Erik on his way back down from the top.
PHOTO: That is Erik holding little Coco who ran up the trail to find him.
This trail is not for the weak of heart, but the beginning is so beautiful, that everyone should at least hike up an hour or so. You will need to park on the main canyon road because all of the parking spots are for picnics and there are only a handful up top by the trailhead. Plus it’s a super tight squeeze and pretty steep hill to drive. You don’t want to deal with having to pass other cars. Just stay on the road. Plus you’ll love the little trek up through the lot as it is surrounded with mini waterfalls, dogs and families.
The beginning of this trail is divine. You cross little bridges, go up large steps, walk through some runoff water and of course pass through some gorgeous trees. After all that wonderfulness, you’ll start up some switchbacks and arrive above the tree line. You can see for miles around the canyon and if you’re nervous with heights, it will take your breath away!
PHOTO: This trail lures you in with pretty water features at the beginning.
As we continued climbing in this section, Erik noticed a big juicy rattlesnake on the side of the trail. It was obviously quite content curled up along side of the trail, but there was no way in hell we were going to walk so close to him. There were two additional hikers coming from the other direction that were equally nervous, so we found the longest branch ever – probably about 7-8 feet – and gave him a teeny nudge. He begrudgingly made his way down into the foliage, but none of us really know how far. For all we know, he got a kick out of hanging out by the trail, enjoying the company. We picked up the girls and kept going. I’m pretty sure we picked them up again going back down. We will forever remember that spot on the trail!
After the switchbacks we went through a super rocky area, stones of all sizes. I’m glad they ran the trail through that as it was nice to have a little change in scenery. Then it was back on the red dirt trail, headed up to the top.
PHOTO: The girls were happy to pose with Erik in front of the big mountain rocks. They are like little mountain goats with their shepherd.
After the rocks we continued across the side of the mountain to start the ascension to the peak. We reached a fork in the road where I took the girls to the overlook of the neighboring canyon and the city and Erik continued to climb. We established our meeting place and time, but I decided I would continue to go up after watering and snacking the girls for about ten minutes. This is where the trail narrows and maybe jeans would have been nice, but we enjoyed climbing up the rocks and the steeper trail. We continued up and I let the girls off leash to play a little bit and to greet Erik on his way back down. They are so cute trying to climb up the big rocksteps!
After our reunion, we headed back down, much more quickly than our trek up! We began late morning and got down around 330pm. It was getting hot down at the bottom, but we couldn’t have asked for a better day. We had a lot of cloud cover and even had some tiny sprinkles on the trail!
All in all, the hike was wonderful! I would be a little nervous to do that entire trek by myself, but I saw other women doing it, so if they aren’t afraid of the snakes and moose, then I shouldn’t be either. It’s an intense trek, but definitely worth it!
Whenever I compose a design, I like to make sure there is a point of interest. That point is represented in this photo by the curve in the tree trunk. This quirky little twist and turn draws the eye to this point, making it the point of interest. If I was creating a design with that tree, I would make that curve gold and sparkly to really make it pop. Because every design should have something wildly interesting about it!