“A moderate route visiting two small lakes, a relaxing hike in the woods!”
— Kevin L
Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers
Challenging but not difficult terrain.
Dogs are not permitted in Big Cottonwood Canyon.
This route is great in that it's challenging without being too difficult, a happy medium among other technical/steep and short/sweet hikes on the Wasatch Front.
The trail starts at a parking area about 9 miles from the entrance to Big Cottonwood Canyon on the Mill D North Fork Trail
. It follows a river until meeting the Desolation Trail #19
, at which point you can head left or right to either Dog Lake or Desolation Lake, respectively.
A 1-mile connector trail has been established to join the two lakes, and is reflected on this map.
The trail is pretty heavily trafficked, as the scenery of the canyon and lakes themselves is incredible. Also keep an eye out for mountain bikers; it's a great trail for biking, and they can really get moving in parts!
Hiking in early August affords wildflowers and relatively cool air along the Mill D. North Fork River.
Flora & Fauna
Wildflowers, deer, squirrels, hummingbirds!