South Fork High Creek Canyon

 4 votes

5.6 Miles 9.0 Kilometers


3,096' 944 m


-107' -33 m


9,013' 2,747 m


6,024' 1,836 m



Avg Grade (6°)


Max Grade (24°)

All Clear

95 days agoUpdate

A gradual trail through a beautiful canyon with views of cliffs, evidence of glaciation, and flowers

Tomsen Reed


The road up to the parking lot marked on the map is closed until Memorial Day at least almost every year, so you would need to hike up the road to get to the trailhead before then.
Features: Birding — Fall Colors — Lake — River/Creek — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife


From the trailhead, cross the first bridge across High Creek, and then continue on past the remnants of the bridge that failed (about a quarter of a mile or less from the trailhead). You'll continue on the south side of the canyon for another half mile until you reach the first (and most difficult) stream crossing. The trail continues and slowly ascends up to a point where the old trail crosses the creek where it is pretty wide - do not cross here, because there is nothing on the other side, and the trail actually continues up to the left for a short distance and then crosses the stream where it is smaller and has an actual bridge over it.

After this crossing, you'll continue up through forests and brushy areas and encounter several other stream crossings until you reach a section where things level out for a little bit as you pass several beaver ponds. From here, you'll be able to see the north face of Cherry Peak, an impressive set of cliffs. As you ascend the trail you'll get closer and closer to Cherry Peak, and then the trail will turn left and start inclining more steeply. About a tenth of a mile from this point where the trail starts going east, there is an overlook to a very pretty waterfall, about 20 feet tall.

Once you get back on the trail, it continues switchbacking up and steepening but the views keep getting better and better as you start to see the head of a glacially carved valley filled with wildflowers (in season). The trail continues up until you reach the glacial moraine that dams High Creek Lake's outlet and from here you can see the headwall of this spectacular cirque that envelops High Creek Lake. The trail from here steepens even more as you get to the junction of this trail with the Cherry Creek Trail, but it's only about a half mile to get there from High Creek Lake.

Flora & Fauna

If you go in season (May-July) you will spot plenty of bluebells, columbine, indian paintbrush, glacier lilies, and other beautiful wildflowers.


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5.0 from 4 votes

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Aug 5, 2017
Sierra James
Jul 23, 2017
Andy Bayles
Jun 17, 2017
DJ Ransom
Great trail. Very easy to follow. It gets a little steep near the waterfall. Rocky and muddy in a few places.

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 4 votes


  5.0 from 4 votes
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in Utah


88 Views Last Month
857 Since Jul 29, 2015
Intermediate Intermediate



All Clear 95 days ago
Some Mud
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