Desolation Lake Trail

Salt Lake City, Utah 84141

Desolation Lake Trail

Desolation Lake Trail Professional Review and Guide

"Desolation Lake is a popular destination for mountain bikers, so you are bound to see a few of them on this hike. But don’t expect all of them to be riding-there is a 2,000-foot elevation gain from the trailhead to the lake, and riding a bike uphill is much harder than walking.

The lake itself is located at the bottom of what, at first glance, looks like an old volcanic crater. The 550-foot-deep crater is actually a large bowl that was scooped out at the head of Mill D North Fork Canyon by a glacier during the last ice age. The view from the crater rim can be quite spectacular, especially in early September when the aspen trees on the northwest side of the lake are displaying their fall colors. On weekends one can often see fifteen or twenty mountain bikers parked on the trail above the lake, pausing to enjoy the view before their long downhill ride back to Big Cottonwood Canyon."

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Trail Information

Salt Lake City
Nearby City
2,500 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
5 hours
Summer through mid-fall
7,260 feet
Trailhead Elevation
9,760 feet
Top Elevation
Salt Lake Ranger District, Wasatch-Cache National Forest
Local Contacts
Mount Aire (USGS), Park City West (USGS)
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018