Desolation Lake Mountain Bike Ride

All photos by Outdoor Project Contributor, Brant Hansen

Pros: Huge vistas. Shady. Cool in summer. Fast.
Cons: Busy.
Congestion: Moderate
Preferable Season(s): Summer, Fall
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required: General Day Use Fee ($3.00)
Dogs allowed?: No
Total Distance: 6.00 mi (9.66 km)
Terrain Difficulty: GREEN
Trailhead Elev.: 8,239 ft (2,511 m)
Net Elev. Gain: 1,271 ft (387 m)
Trail Uses: Hiking, Biking
Trail type: There-and-back

This trail gives you a pleasant and incredibly scenic climb through 3.5 miles of aspen groves, sprawling meadows, and thick pine forests. All this eventually leads you to Desolation Lake itself, a picturesque high-altitude lake. It’s the perfect, tranquil resting spot. From there, it’s a short climb up to the Wasatch Crest Trail that joins in just below the Spine. If you choose to ride to Desolation Lake as an out-and-back, you’re in for a fast and flowy descent. The trail twists and dives, throwing you through the same forests you just climbed through.

insert_photo Photos
Select an image to enlarge
Descending into Desolation Lake, photo by Brant Hansen
Trailhead marker off the crest, photo by Brant Hansen
Desolation Lake, your goal, photo by Brant Hansen
Dropping back into the aspens, photo by Brant Hansen
One of the switchbacks, photo by Brant Hansen

Map & Location

Mill Creek Canyon Road, Salt Lake City, UT 84109
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