Hike to the Salt Lake Overlook

Utah Desolation Trailhead

Added by Rebecca Jones

Get great views of Mill Creek Canyon throughout the trailThe hike is 3.5 miles roundtrip with a 1200' elevation gainYou can let your dog off leash on this hikeThe trail is close to the city, making it a good after work hike

This popular trail follows a portion of the Desolation Trail leaving from Mill Creek Canyon. The trail to the overlook is 3.5 miles round trip with a 1200 ft elevation gain. You begin at the Desolation Trailhead and then turn around once you have a view of the Salt Lake Valley. It is a perfect hike to do in the evening after work because it is so short and very near the city. It is also wonderful because dogs can be off leash on odd days in this canyon and they love that.

It is a popular trail year round. I have done it multiple times in every season and they are all great! In fact, in the winter, since so many people snowshoe it, all you need is crampons because it is so packed down. Fall is definitely my favorite time though, crowds are smaller, weather cooler and the leaves in this canyon are amazing! I have included one photo from each season.

The entire trail consists of long gradual switchbacks and a majority of the trail is shaded. There are great views of Mill Creek Canyon throughout the trail and the view of the city is fantastic. This is a great place to watch the sunset.

Pack List

  • Trail Shoes
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Daypack
  • Camera
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Fitness, Hiking, Photography, Running, Snowshoeing

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

3.5 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1200 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Picnic Area
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

9 months ago

Nice Hike, Great Views!

A nice, simple hike with some stunning SLC views!

9 months ago

10 months ago

Peaceful Adventure

Relatively easy hike, but well worth the view- some snow still around in early April but an awesome quick hike to do when you want to get outside!

10 months ago

10 months ago

Spring!

Just did this hike a few days back and it's perfect right now! Most the snow has melted and only a few patches left on the trail.

10 months ago

almost 2 years ago

Excellent short day hike, very entertaining to continue the trail up to Thaynes Peak and Gobblers knob!

almost 2 years ago

More Adventures Nearby

Backcountry Ski Butler Fork

Utah / Butler Fork Trailhead

The trail head for Butler Fork is 8 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon on the left side of the road. Throw your gear on and head up the trail.

Jackson Smith
8 Saves

Hike and Fly-Fish Jone's Hole Creek

Utah / Jone's Hole National Fish Hatchery

Starting from the Jone's Hole National Fish Hatchery the trail follows spring fed Jone's Hole Creek 4 miles to its confluence with the Green River.

John Sunich
4 Saves

Backcountry Ski Grizzly Gulch

Utah / Alta Summer Road

To get to the Grizzly Gulch trailhead, drive up Little Cottonwood until you reach Alta Ski Resort. Keep left along the road and park in the upper Alta parking lot.

Jackson Smith
8 Saves