Monday, May 27, 2013

Mill D North Fork Trail

On Saturday, May 25, 2013, my friend, Mandy, and I went to Big Cottonwood Canyon near Salt Lake City to get a little exercise.  We had planned to hike up to Lake Catherine which is accessible through Brighton Ski Resort, but after traveling to the end of the road to the Brighton Ski Resort parking lot, our suspicions were confirmed -- too much snow still on the ground.  So we headed back downhill about 6 miles to the turn off for Donut Falls.  Donut Falls is an easy hike, very family friendly.  Being a holiday weekend, everyone along with their young children were here.  No parking was too be found and way too many people for my comfort, so we decided to head back to the main road to the Mill D trailhead.

After looking at the trail map, we started our way along Mill D North Fork Trail to Desolation Lake.  Round trip would be 7 miles, elevation starting at 7352'.

At this elevation, Spring is just beginning.  The aspens are just starting to have leaf growth.  The wildflowers are beginning to appear, not blooming yet.  One thing I learned on this hike was when I stopped to gaze at nature's beauty, I needed to turn around because something more spectacular was behind me.  However, we did not make it to the lake!  Almost, but not quite all the way.  We had to turn around about 1/2 mile short due to snow fields covering the trail making it impossible to know which way to go, especially since neither one of us had hiked in this area before.

We ended up hiking about 5.8 miles with an elevation gain of 1880 ft.,  hiking up to 9232' elevation.
To see a topo and elevation map, here's a link to the trail route on

Here are some photos of our outstanding hike:

Near beginning of trail.  You can see the main road.

The aspens at this elevation are leafing out.

Heading higher, aspens not leafing here.

A few spots of snow in the trail in the shaded areas.

Shortly after this section of trail, we stopped for lunch (PBJ sandwiches).

Aspen grove.

On our way back down in an aspen grove.

Stunning beauty everywhere.

Many layers of the Wasatch Mountains.

After a great day of hiking, tired muscles and weak legs were our payment for absolutely gorgeous views, fresh air and stunning nature.

I know I am looking forward to Summer hikes in My Mountain Green this year.
Come on along with me as I venture out.


Roy Norris said...

Absolutely stunning scenic images Kathryn, thanks for posting these.

Kathryn said...

Roy, glad you liked the hike. I took 46 photos, hard to figure out which ones to include in the post!

grammie g said...

Hi Kathryn...Oh I love those Aspens shots...reward for the climbing !!
Awesome scenery, and a great time for hiking cool, and no bugs...well maybe
you could do without the snow : )))
Have a good week!!