Plan Your Trip
Plan for a safe, fun and respectful visit to Millcreek Canyon. The canyon can get congested, so consider visiting at an off-peak time. Be respectful of the local neighborhood and community, park only in designated areas and pack out everything you pack in. There is a daily access user fee, which is payable when leaving the canyon, and annual passes are available.
Be sure to pack everything you will need, including a topographic map, food, water, warm layers, a flashlight and first aid kit. Cell service can be very spotty in the canyon. Keep a close eye on kids and be watchful for dangers such as snakes, lightning, extreme temperatures/weather, avalanches, rockfalls and high streamflows. Also be sure to stay on marked trails to avoid poison ivy and prevent erosion.
The upper winter gate closes to vehicles November 1 (it reopens late spring) and Millcreek Canyon Road is groomed for cross country skiing. The groomed trail is also open for hiking, snowshoeing and fat bikes. In the winter, those entering the backcountry from a trailhead should regularly consult the Utah Avalanche Center website for critical avalanche safety information.
Millcreek Canyon Inspiration
A Winter Retreat
Although it is located only a few miles from the urban hustle and bustle of Salt Lake City, the Big Water Yurt feels light years away. Located at the top of Millcreek Canyon, the yurt is open only in winter and the only way to get to it is by ski, snowshoe or fat bike.
Dog-friendly Utah: Northern
Explore the top dog-friendly places to hike and explore in the Northern Utah, including state parks, national forests and a bird refuge.
Millcreek Canyon's Desolation Overlook
Next to City Creek, Millcreek is Salt Lake’s most well-trafficked urban canyon, entrance requires a small fee but the canyon accesses some of Salt Lake’s best trails and is a lovely scenic drive in and of itself. The Desolation Overlook trailhead is easy to find.
Wasatch Crest Trail (Hiking)
Explore the Wasatch Crest trail for a strenuous day hike with five-star scenery. On even numbered days, mountain bikes allowed – be cautious while hiking.
The summits of Utah dramatic Wasatch Mountain Range stand proudly above the valleys to the west, boasting thousands of feet of prominence.
Millcreek Canyon Trails
Hike to a stunning viewpoint of the Millcreek Canyon and the Salt Lake Valley.
Dog Lake from Upper Big Water Trailhead
Access Dog Lake from the Upper Big Water Trailhead in Millcreek Canyon. This popular trail offers beautiful scenery, wildflowers and is also popular with moose (never approach wildlife). The best time to visit is July through October. Dogs are allowed to access Dog Lake from Millcreek Canyon trails but are prohibited from all Big Cottonwood trails.
Enjoy stunning views of the Salt Lake Valley and Wasatch Front. Parking is limited at the end of the road and hikers may not park in picnic area spots. Hikers have seen snakes on the trail, so be alert and prepared to hike safely.
The Pipeline Trail is a great multi-use trail with a fascinating history — it is named for the redwood pipe that once carried water down this route to the Upper Mill Creek Power Station. This is a popular mixed-use trail, so be sure to recreate responsibly.
More to do in Millcreek Canyon
Backcountry Skiing & Snowboarding
Thousands of people each day enjoy Utah's famous backcountry — the areas outside of ski area boundaries.
Cross Country Skiing
Cross-country skiing Utah is awesome! Find popular Nordic trailheads in the north, high altitude serenity in central Utah and miles of regularly groomed trails in the south.
Located on Millcreek Canyon Road, Log Haven is a restaurant and event venue with more than 100 years of history. Constructed in 1920, it was named one of the “Top 10 Romantic restaurants in the U.S.” by USA Today. Enjoy fine dining among the wildflowers and waterfalls. And in the summer, certain days allow for diners with canine companions to be seated in Log Haven's outdoor amphitheater.
Experience snowshoeing the greatest snow on Earth.
Play The Hits: Exploring Salt Lake City's Iconic Sights
Utah’s capital city boasts a unique history. It is rich in frontier history for sure but its story didn’t end (or begin) there. Experience the many layers of history, prehistory and contemporary culture.
- Temple Square
- Utah Museum of Contemporary Art
- Natural History Museum of Utah
- Red Butte Gardens
Stars by the City
Fill your days with adventure and your nights with stargazing by following this six-day itinerary from Salt Lake City through the International Dark Sky Places in Northern Utah.
- Timpanogos Cave National Monument
- East Canyon State Park
- Jordanelle State Park
- Rockport State Park
- Antelope Island State Park
- North Fork Park
Ski City Downhill + Downtown
Big city amenities support 10 different resorts within an hour of SLC International, which means the best in downhill meets the best in downtown.
- Craft coffee, dining and spirits
- Alta Ski Area or Snowbird Ski Resort
- Solitude Mountain Resort or Brighton Ski Resort
- Performing arts, après-ski and live music
A Northern Utah wellness guide from Salt Lake City to Ogden, Park City to Provo, that will have you boosting your physical and mental health with wilderness hikes, canyon drives, wellness therapies and farm-to-table dining.
- Scenic hikes in the Cottonwoods
- Stargazing at North Fork
- Yoga & meditation in Park City
- Farm-to-table dining in Provo