Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mill Canyon Peak

Mill Canyon Peak

Mill Canyon Peak

The trail to Mill Canyon peak is mostly a loose dirt trail that is well marked due to the number of dirt bikes that traverse it on a regular basis. It can be steep in places, and it is mostly uphill the whole way. It is a very pleasant hike, and the views of the surrounding mountains are quite breathtaking, as are the forests of aspens you'll encounter. At an elevation of 10,349 feet, Mill Canyon Peak is comparable to Loafer Mountain near Santaquin, Utah Valley.

GPS: 40.2947N 111.3433W
Distance: 2.6 miles
Difficulty: 4
Hike Time: 2-4 hours

  • From the I-15, take Exit 272 (800 N in Orem)

  • Follow this for 3.6 miles, then veer left into Provo Canyon

  • After 7 miles, turn left at UT-92 to Sundance

  • After 8.5 miles, turn right at the three-way intersection of UT-92 (Alpine Highway)

  • 3.4 miles later, you'll see your first left turn onto a dirt road. Turn left here.

  • Follow this dirt road for 2.4 miles until you reach the trailhead. You'll see a "parking lot" which is basically an open field of grass where cars park. The trailhead is marked as trail #157.

Detailed Description:
Trail #157 is actually a common road for dirt bikers, and after some distance, you need to turn off this trail to make it to the peak. It's easy to tell when you need to head off this trail though; once you come to the junction where the trail forks (near a rockslide) take the right trail, marked by the sign that reads "East Ridge Tr. No. 038." (shown in the pictures below) This part of the trail will take you over what looks like an old wire fence, which actually follows the trail in many places. Once you reach the ridge, you'll have a view of Deer Creek Reservior, Heber and Waltsburg. At this point, look for a trail that heads up the ridge. (also shown in the pictures below) This isn't an official trail, and there are times when it nearly disappears, but keep heading up the ridge with the summit (or one of the three false summits) in site, and you can't go wrong. This trail passes over a few terraces built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s, and through many fields of wildflowers.

Note: We hiked this the first weekend in August 2010, and we were passed by not one, not two, not even three dirt bikers, but 16! Not exactly the solitude we were hoping for.



One of the 16 dirt bikers we saw along this trail.

When you come to this sign and rockslide, take a right onto trail #038.

This is what the trail along the ridge looks like. Take a left here to catch the ridge trail.

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