The “winter gate” is still closed in Millcreek Canyon…allowing pedestrian and bicycle traffic clear passage to the end of the road without the interference of motor vehicles, excepting the occasional motorist who actually lives or stays at one of the cabins further into the greenwood. The road is closed from the first of November until the first of July…or I could say that it’s only open from the first of July to the first of November…at any rate, here’s another glimpse into the marvelousness of full Spring in Millcreek Canyon…the snow is gone and the Green has returned…and it’s a beautiful place to take a walk….. If you’d like another look at the green explosion that is MillCreek Canyon in season, you can visit my post from last July for another saturated view of the place, Millcreek Canyon in Green.
…picking-up where we left-off in “One hike…and 23 wildflowers…part one“….
To be continued one more time….
The Pipeline Trail in Millcreek Canyon, in the north-eastern part of the Wasatch Mountain front that borders Salt Lake City, runs for close to seven miles, starting just outside of the canyon (you actually start from inside the canyon, but have to go backwards to reach the closest end of it) and terminating at a significant bend in the canyon that is called Elbow Fork.
The first location to access the trail is at Rattlesnake Gulch…and it is a one mile hike back out of the canyon to get to the outside terminus (which is located at a fantastic overlook of the Salt Lake Valley). If one continues into the canyon, the trail can next be accessed at the Church Fork picnic area…or further into Millcreek, one can pick it up at the Burch Hollow Trailhead, just across from the Porter Fork trail…or one can continue up Millcreek Canyon Road until it turns sharply toward the right at Elbow Fork.
There are a couple of steeper grades, but most of the trail climbs gradually, levels out, and then continues at a slight incline for much of its length. Supposedly, it only gains just over 600 ft in total elevation from the beginning to the end.
If one starts at Rattlesnake Gulch and follows the trail up into the canyon, it is 1.6 miles to the access-point at Church Fork; it is another 2.1 miles to the access-point at Burch Hollow trailhead, and another two miles to the junction at Elbow Fork.
The trail alongside the stream that runs much of the length of Little Cottonwood Canyon has become a favorite hiking destination of mine since I moved to the Salt Lake City area almost two years ago. While there are things about the trail that I find to be less than wonderful (being able to hear the vehicle traffic that also goes up into the canyon, being a wide enough trail that allows for mountain-bikers to come flying around a corner with but a second’s notice, and being close enough to that same roadway and the nearby city so that idiots with cans of spray-paint can come out into the beautiful wild and tag the cement water-courses and picnic pavilion), there are more than enough awe-inspiring views and soul-fulfilling experiences to be had, that those detractors quickly fade into the background and become non-issues. It is literally a 15 minute drive from my house to the trail-head that leads to this natural wonder…and I simply cannot get there often enough.