Dog Lake from Mill Creek

Salt Lake City, Utah 84060

Dog Lake from Mill Creek

Dog Lake from Mill Creek Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Dog Lake is a centerpiece in the maze of trails that run between Mill Creek and Big Cottonwood Canyons. Sitting below higher peaks, it is often passed by on the way to other destinations, but well-worn trails from both canyons leading to the aspen-lined respite nestled into the mountain attest to its destination-worthy status.

The wide, packed trail from Mill Creek is easy to follow and climbs amidst a lush alpine environment. Well-traveled by dog walkers, bikers, and hikers, the trail is a Mill Creek favorite."

More Dog Lake from Mill Creek Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Utah's Incredible Backcountry Trails (Rincon Publishing)
David Day
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"The prettiest part of the Dog Lake loop is probably the first two miles of the hike, along Butler Fork. Butler Fork meanders northward through a narrow canyon filled with dense groves of quaking aspen, eventually emerging into a more open forest of Engelmann spruce and Douglas fir along the ridge above Mill Creek Canyon. Although Dog Lake itself lies outside the Wilderness boundary, Butler Fork is part of the Mount Olympus Wilderness Area. It is not uncommon to see moose along this part of the trail. Look for their hoof tracks along the path-similar to deer tracks, but two to three times larger. The Lake itself is located in a shallow, heavily forested basin just south of the ridge that separates Mill Creek Canyon from Big Cottonwood Canyon. It is aptly named, since it is very popular among hikers who like to bring their dogs with them. Although Big Cottonwood Canyon is an important water catchment area for Salt Lake City, Dog Lake has no surface outlet; hence there are no rules against dogs." Read more
60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Salt Lake City (Menasha Ridge Press)
Greg Witt
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"A small, peaceful lake ringed by quaking aspens lies at the junction of several trails leading to other peaks and canyons. A well-used mountain-biking trail, the Dog Lake Trail is wide and easy to follow." Read more

Dog Lake from Mill Creek Reviews

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Good hike, started at sunrise on Tuesday morning and ran into very few people.
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This is a well used and easy trail. The first couple of miles are the prettiest.
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This hike is a good hike to begin your hiking season with. Very gentle, worn path that is great on the non-biking days. I would forget hiking it when there are bikers. I've hiked to Dog Lake both from Millcreek and Big Cottonwood, the Millcreek trail is gentle and good for kids. The Cottonwood side is a lot rougher and a little more challanging. No dogs on the Cottonwood side makes the trail a little less "sticky".
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I heard dog lake was a short simple hike, so I decided to take my 3 oldest kids at ages 4, 6, & 8 on it. The trial climbs at the begining fairly quickly, but it is mostly in the shade of large pine trees. There where quite a few people on this trail as well. The trail is also popular with mountain bikes. By the time we got to the lake it was warm hiking and the kids were tired. We had a lunch and headed back to the trail head. I ended up carrying each kid at least once on the way back. The oldest had blisters, seconed was just tired, and the four year old fell asleep while carrying him on my shoulders. It is a beautiful trail, but the lake somewhat reminded me of a very large puddle. I would recomend it for families, with kids at least 6 or older. I would also leave early in the day, at least during Summer months, because it can get warm on the trail.

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Trail Information

Salt Lake City
Nearby City
974 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Packed dirt path and bridges.
Skill Level
2 hours
Horseback Riding
Additional Use
Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation, (385) 468-1800.
Local Contacts
USGS Mount Aire
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018