Outdoors In Utah Logo

Bob Bouldering at Joe's ValleyBob Skiing at SnowbasinBrett on the Rim of Coyote GulchBob Hiking in Little Wild Horse Canyon
Outdoors In Utah Home PageCampingSkiingGuide Books

Exploring:  Mill Creek Canyon

Mill Creek Canyon is one of Salt Lake City’s most popular recreation areas. The recreation opportunities abound. Picnicking, hiking, biking, or just plain old lounging Mill Creek Canyonin the outdoors are all available here. The canyon begins off of Wasatch Boulevard on 3800 South. The road winds from approximately 4900 feet to about 7400 feet. The scent of pines and colors of flowers both increase the higher you go. In the spring and all throughout the summer one can see any number of colors in the flowers habitating the upper meadows.

Mill Creek hasn’t always been in the shape it is now. Back in the late 1980 ’s the canyon had been overused and trampled enough to become a hangout for a bit more of a rowdier crowd than today. The watershed had been affected as well, many riparian areas were being hurt by erosion.

That all changed when the city of Salt Lake and the Forest Service entered into an agreement to change the canyon into a fee area. Vehicles are charged $2.25 or Pipeline Trail$22.00 for a year's pass. These fees have been instrumental in recovering the canyon into the fantastic recreation area it is today.

Most days will find the canyon full of picnickers, hikers and bikers. Mill Creek Canyon has the most picnic sites of any canyon near the city. There are 10 picnic Babbling wind through the area.areas with each having at least several picnic tables. All of the picnic sites feature a table, fire ring, and nearby bathrooms.

Church Fork is the largest and most popular area. It is also the first picnic area you will encounter when driving up the canyon. There are many picnic sites and babbling brooks winding through the area. Church Fork is also a great place to begin your hike on the Pipeline Trail or the hike to Grandeur Peak.

Church Fork is also a great place to begin your hike on the Pipeline Trail or the hike to Grandeur Peak.Box Elder and Upper Box Elder are the next picnic areas. This area is also fairly large and contains many sites. Many of the picnic spots are located right next to Mill Creek, the children can have fun frolicking in the water. (In the late summer, stay away from the creek in the early season.)

The fishing dock is situated on a small pond before a spillway.
About .6 miles from the Box Elder picnic area is a boardwalked trail and fishing dock that is handicapped friendly. Those not able to hike on the more rugged trails will like this short stroll down the boardwalk next to the stream. The fishing dock is situated on a small pond before a spillway.

The Terraces Group Area can be reserved.The Terraces group area has a number of group picnic sites located a bit higher on the side of the canyon. There are great views and the elevation ensures a cooler temperature. The group sites can be reserved by calling (801) 483-5473.

Maple Grove is the next picnic area encountered, this is also the spot of the upper gate. The gate is open from July 1st to November 1st. Maple Grove features many picnic sites and isn’t quite as busy as the Maple Grovelower areas.

White Bridge, Maple Cove, Evergreen, Fir Crest and Clover Springs are all located in Upper Mill Creek. These picnic areas each feature several picnic sites and one can usually always find an open site. These areas are located at a bit higher elevation so be prepared for cooler temps and the possibilities of summertime afternoon thunderstorms.

Mill Creek CanyonAt the end of the canyon are the parking lots to access the Big Water, Little Water, and the Great Western trails. These trails are covered by the even/odd, dog/bikers ordinance. On even days bikes are allowed on the Upper Mill Creek trails. Dogs are allowed on the trails on any day, but on even calendar days they must be leashed. On odd calendar days bikes are prohibited on the Upper Mill Creek Trails. So, on odd calendar days bikers can’t drop down from the Wasatch Crest trail into Mill Creek.

Mill Creek is an excellent quick getaway for Salt Lake residents, be sure
and get up there soon.

Nearby Area: Big Cottonwood Canyon



Wasatch Front/Strawberry Valley Trail Map

Wasatch Front/Strawberry Valley Trail Map

More than just a map - National Geographic Trails Illustrated topographic maps are designed to take you into the wilderness and back. Printed on durable tear-resistant waterproof material this map can go anywhere you do! Each map is based on exact reproductions of USGS topographic map information updated customized and enhanced to meet the unique features of each area. Folded and printed on plastic for durability.

Picnic Areas

The Terraces group sites may be reserved by calling (801) 483-5473.



Get the 2005 Trailer Life Directory for 50% off the cover! 


Was this page helpful?




Return to Exploring Index






Nearby Areas

Exploring Index

  Start Your Free Trial Now!









Home      Camping      Skiing     Guide Books     Shop      Site Map

Outdoors in Utah   6875 South Kiesta, West Jordan, UT 84084
 http://www.outdoorsinutah.com   mailto:bob@outdoorsinutah.com 


© Copyright, 2000-2013, Bob McMann                                                   Website Design and Marketing by Julie McMann      Contact Webmaster