Mormon Pioneer Trail

Wanship, Utah 84017

Mormon Pioneer Trail

Mormon Pioneer Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The West was settled by the strong and hardy who survived the grueling work of pushing handcarts, driving wagons, and riding horses over 1,400 miles to reach the new territory. This hike follows a historic trail that was first cut by the emigrant Donner- Reed party; a year later the same route was followed by the Mormon pioneers who followed Brigham Young to their new Zion.

The trail was then used by the Pony Express, miners, California gold seekers, the West’s original telegraph line, and a host of other hardy pioneers, including 70,000 Mormons. A walk back through history, this trail climbs Little Emigration Canyon to Big Mountain Pass where Brigham Young was reported to have said, “This is the place. Drive on.” Running next to a stream with old beaver ponds and regular wildlife sightings, including moose and deer, you can hike in five hours what took the Donner-Reed party thirteen days and the Mormons six."

More Mormon Pioneer Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Salt Lake City (Menasha Ridge Press)
Greg Witt
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"The Donner Party blazed this historic trail in 1846, followed by 70,000 Mormon pioneers from 1847 to 1868. The trail also served as a leg of the Pony Express route. Still, for all its history, this section of the trail remains an inviting, tranquil, and exceptionally beautiful path through the woods of a gentle canyon. It’s most alluring in late spring and early fall. If you can do only a short portion of the hike or a round-trip, choose the quieter, more remote 4-mile section from Mormon Flat to Big Mountain, where your chances of sharing the trail with wildlife are increased." Read more
Best Hikes With Dogs: Utah (The Mountaineers Books)
Dayna Stern
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"Tell your dog he’s not going to hike the entire Mormon Trail running from Nauvoo, Illinois, to Salt Lake City—he is only doing 8 of the 1300 miles." Read more
Bicycling Salt Lake City (Falcon Guides)
Gregg Bromka
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"One of Salt Lake’s newest trails, the Mormon Pioneer Trail is quickly becoming one of the area’s most popular. Following the route of the Mormon Pioneers of 1847, the path rises up Mountain Dell Canyon to Big Mountain Pass, where vistas of the Wasatch Range and the distant Salt Lake Valley inspired the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints leader Brigham Young to declare, “This is the Place.” The lower trail from the highway trailhead to Affleck Park is moderately pitched and thus caters to novice riders. The upper section rises steeply with periodic rough tread and tight turns and is reserved for intermediate mountain bikers or stronger. Trail surface: All singletrack." Read more

Mormon Pioneer Trail Reviews

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Mormon Pioneer Trail Photos

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Trail Information

Nearby City
1,400 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Dirt path, bridges, stream crossings, gravel.
Skill Level
5 hours
Horseback Riding
Additional Use
National Park Service, Utah Office; (801) 741-1021.
Local Contacts
USGS Mountain Dell; National Mormon Pioneer route maps available from the National Park Service by calling (801) 741-1012.
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018