Little Cottonwood Trail

Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Utah

Elevation Gain246ft
Trailhead Elevation5,384ft
Elevation Min/Max5384/5606ft
Elevation Start/End5384/5384ft

Little Cottonwood Trail

Little Cottonwood Trail is a hiking trail in Salt Lake County, Utah. It is within Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. It is 3.6 miles long and begins at 5,384 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 1.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 246 feet. Along the trail there are parkings, parking, and a pipeline. This trail connects with the following: Temple Quarry Trail.

Little Cottonwood Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Easy Day Hikes: Salt Lake City (Falcon Guides)
Greg Witt and Rob Witt
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"Starting near the mouth of the canyon near the Temple Quarry, the Little Cottonwood Trail is a popular bike and jogging trail. But this upper extension is more quiet and remote."
"“Little” Cottonwood Canyon doesn’t mean smaller or easier than Big Cottonwood Canyon. It means shorter and steeper. Unless you’re using a triple chainring, there are few places to “spin” so climbing Little Cottonwood is all about putting power to the pedals. It’s a climb that is well respected in the local cycling community, and those outside the spoked circle will just chuckle dumbfoundedly when you mention where you rode."
Bicycling Salt Lake City (Falcon Guides)
Gregg Bromka
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"This is a challenging jaunt that is scenic and historic. The trail blends smooth-rolling doubletrack and singletrack with short, steep, rough hills, so you’ll get a solid workout in just over a half hour’s time. Although the canyon’s busy highway is a stone’s throw away, the creek’s churning white water and thick riparian growth provide a natural buffer from the intrusions of civilization. The trail follows a modern-day hydroelectric pipeline, which was the same route as a railroad line that served Alta during its mining heyday in the late 1800s. Granite from the canyon’s slopes were the building blocks for the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, built during the mid-1800s. Mountain goats inhabit the canyon’s ledgy south slopes, and rock climbers perform technical moves on huge boulders edging the trail. Trail surface: Doubletrack with a touch of singletrack."

Little Cottonwood Trail Trip Reports

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This seems like a popular trail so expect other hikers and mountain bikers. I found it reasonable. I struggled with some technical sections and had to walk but not very far. I also found it less steep than the guidebook hinted at.

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Trail Information

Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
Nearby City
Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
USFS Salt Lake Ranger District
Local Contacts
USGS Draper, Dromedary Peak, Brighton
Local Maps

Trail Log