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Utah Hiking Trails Near Salt Lake City: Grandeur Peak

Updated on June 12, 2013

Grandeur Peak

The Grandeur Peak trail is very popular, moderate level trail within 20 minutes of Salt Lake City. The trail itself is very pleasant with plenty of shade for approximately the first mile. As the trail approaches the summit, there is less shade, but beautiful views of the canyon to make up for it. Because this is a shorter hike (compared to all day summits) that still rewards hikers with a peak to bag and great views of the Salt Lake Valley (along with views of Mountain Dell and Little Dell reservoirs to the east), this can be a very busy trail. Particularly on weekends and holidays, you may be unable to find parking at the trail head and may need to park on the street outside of the Church Fork Picnic area.

To reach the trail head parking you'll need to drive through the Church Fork picnic area. This is a beautifully shaded picnic area with multiple smaller waterfalls and a stream passing through. If you have time to stay and picnic before or after, this area is highly recommended. On holidays and weekends, there may not be parking places. Early in the spring there may also be a gate blocking the picnic area. If this is the case, you will need to park on the road and hike an additional 0.3 miles to the trail head.

The trail initially follows Church Fork Creek up the canyon. This part of the trail has a very wooded feel and is very shaded. In less than a mile, the trail begins to climb with switchbacks. The trail will be less shaded from this point on. If you go in the spring or early summer, there are often wildflowers covering the slope.

At approximately 2.5 miles, there is a false summit. You can have your first views of the city by walking just a few feet off the path at this point. The last 0.2 of a mile is steep with a couple areas that may require easy scrambling. There may be some snow in this area in the spring.

Upon reaching the top, you will find many places to sit and enjoy the view. To the west is Salt Lake City and the Salt Lake Valley. To the east are Mountain Dell and Little Dell reservoirs.

View on the way to Grandeur Peak.
View on the way to Grandeur Peak.
View of the Salt Lake Valley from Grandeur Peak.
View of the Salt Lake Valley from Grandeur Peak.
View of the Mountain Dell and Little Dell Reservoirs from Grandeur Peak.
View of the Mountain Dell and Little Dell Reservoirs from Grandeur Peak.

Length: 5.62 miles roundtrip (add 0.3 miles each way when parking on the road)

Elevation Gain: 2,566 feet

Ending Elevation: 8,237 feet

Best time to go: Grandeur Peak is done in the Spring, Summer, or Fall. There may be some lingering snow in the spring.

How to get there: From Salt Lake City go onto I-215 East. Exit at 3300 South/3900 South (Exit 4). At Wasatch Boulevard, turn left. At 3800 South turn right and continue up to Mill Creek Canyon. Turn left into the Church Fork picnic area approximately 2.3 miles after the toll booth.The parking lot will be at the end of the picnic area.

Fee: Upon leaving Mill Creek Canyon there is a $3.00 fee.

Other info: Dogs are allowed in Mill Creek Canyon. They must be on-leash on even numbered days.

GPS Track

If you need a trail map, you can click on the MotionX link below to download the GPS track to your IPhone or IPad. You may also follow the link to view the GPS track in GoogleMaps.


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