Hike the Mineral Fork Trail

Mineral Fork Trailhead - Search Nearby - Added by Dan Barr

Tucked away in the Wasatch Mountains east of Salt Lake City, Mineral Fork Trail is a great challenging hike with magnificent scenery and solitude.

The trailhead begins along Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, with a relatively small parking lot at the trailhead. Starting early in the day is advised, as on nice summer days it will fill up quickly. The trail has a steady ascent for the first 2 miles starting around 6700' through aspen forests and criss-crosses streams as it makes its way up the valley.

After 2 miles the valley opens up into a wide meadow that in May-June are filled with blooming wildflowers. In 0.5 mile the trail passes one of two old mines located along the trail: The Wasatch Mine, around 8700', was proposed as a gold and silver mine until little was found there. The mine tailings are piled up outside the mine entrance, and for a rockhound make for a great mineral hunting experience.

From the Wasatch Mine, the trail begins to steepen in grade and become more strenuous for the final 2.1 miles. The trail ends in a large rock-strewn amphitheater carved into the mountainside above 10,000' that in summer retains a significant amount of snow. The second of the mines, the Regulator Johnson mine, is located here. If you want a spectacular view down Big Cottonwood Canyon towards Salt Lake City, scrambling the final ~200' up the side of the bowl with give you breathtaking views of the region.

Be prepared, weather can change in an instant, so make certain to bring along appropriate gear for the elements.

Distance

9.3 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

3500 ft Gain

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Fitness, Photography, Mountain Biking, Running, Hiking

Forest
River
Scenic
Wildflowers

Nearby Lodging

From $300/night

The Cliff Lodge

Sandy, Utah

Salt Lake City KOA

Salt Lake City, Utah

Springville / Provo KOA

Springville, Utah

Community Photos

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Excellent Alternative to Lake Blanche

Venture up the Big Cottonwood Canyon another mile past the Lake Blanche Trailhead and skip all the crowds. On a Saturday afternoon, we were the only ones at the trailhead and only saw a few others on our way back. We hiked it in late June, so we could only reach the first mine.

Crowds Are Few

I have done this trail a few times after work in the summer. I love that there are not large crowds. I didn't get to finish the hike one time because a moose and her calf were blocking the trail and didn't want to move.

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