Dog Lake Trail

Salt Lake City, Utah 84184

Dog Lake Trail

Dog Lake Trail Professional Review and Guide

"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."

Dog Lake Trail Reviews

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This is a well used and easy trail. The first couple of miles are the prettiest.
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".
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.

Dog Lake Trail Photos

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Trail Information

Salt Lake City
Nearby City
1,680 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
3.75 hours
Summer through mid-fall
7,120 feet
Trailhead Elevation
8,740 feet
Top Elevation
Mount Olympus Wilderness Area, Salt Lake Ranger District, Wasatch-Cache National Forest
Local Contacts
Mount Aire (USGS)
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018