From I-215 take exit 6 (6200 South) and turn right at the light heading southeast 1.6 miles to the mouth of the canyon. No Dogs are allowed up this canyon-There is a $300 fine.
4.50 miles RT : N.40.38.306-W.111.37.267
Drive 11 miles up the canyon and park at the gate on the north side of the road just below Silver Fork. Walk around the gate and keep following the road and take the spur trail that leads to the north/east. The trail is pretty much uphill the whole way, and ends at an overlook of Desolation Lake.
Brighton Lakes Trail
The trail begins at the bottom of Brighton Ski Resort to the left of the motel. After a mile the trail will fork taking you to Dog Lake, or right takes you to another fork. Turn left here to reach Lake Martha and Lake Catherine. The trail also give you access to Catherine Pass in Little Cottonwood Canyon. The right fork leads you to Lake Mary onto Twin Lakes then to Silver Lake. From the Visitor Center you can walk back to the Brighton parking lot.
Broads Fork Trail
9.8 Miles RT
Drive up Big Cottonwood Canyon 4.5 miles and turn right at the corner of the S-Turn into the parking lot. There is a sign marking the starting point of the trailhead near the western end of the parking lot. This hike begins up a slope, after 1.25 miles of hiking through pine trees the trail crosses a stream at a bridge. The maintained trail ends at a small knoll 2.25 miles from the trailhead. The trail continues east from the knoll, crossing the stream and climbing the east side of Broads Fork. Head to the saddle, west of Sunrise Peak. From the saddle you can see the switchback trail to the east summit of Twin Peaks. To reach the switchback trail you need to drop down on the Little Cottonwood Canyon side of the ridge 200 feet and head west until you reach a gully next to the cliffs. Climb up to the ridge and ascend the switchback trail to the summit. There is a likely chance you will see some mountain goat so be ready. This is also a great hike for snowshoeing. Where you will follow the trail for 1.25 miles to the bridge and look for an old outhouse. Follow this trail and you will travel west for awhile and turn south into the drainage. Follow the trail on the left side of the stream, then cross a bridge and begin to climb. After awhile you will reach a meadow and can continue climbing for another .75 mile to the overlook point. The total distance will be about 4 miles.
Butler Fork Trail
7 Miles RT
Drive 7.8 miles up the canyon, and park on the left side of the road. This is a perfect trail for snowshoeing, but it's not very wide to snowboard back down. The trail forks to the right to meet Dog Lake or to the left to Mill Creek Canyon Divide at Baker Pass in 2.25 miles.
6 Miles RT : N.40.38.431-W.111.38.322
Turn right at the Spruces Campground turnoff 9.8 miles from the mouth of the canyon, and another right then left to the trailhead. The trail is mainly uphill and was an old mining road that takes you 2.75 miles to the Eclipse Mine. It is another .25 mile to Silver Fork Pass.
Doughnut Falls/Mill D South Fork (Cardiff Fork)
6.5 Miles RT
Follow Big Cottonwood Canyon about 8.8 miles up the canyon to Cardiff Fork (Mill D South Fork). Then 1 1/4 miles up Cardiff Fork to parking area. This old mining road takes you to Doughnut Falls in .75 miles, the Cardiff Mine in 2.5 miles, and Cardiff Pass in 3.25 miles. Doughnut Falls is a waterfall where the stream falls through a hole in the rock. This hiking and backcountry skiing trail connects with the Cardiff Fork Road, but motorized vehicles are not permitted on the trail. The Price Tunnels (West Price, East Price, and South Price) are 1.5 miles from the Doughnut Falls parking lot.
Greens Basin via Days Fork
3.13 Miles RT
Park at Spruces Campground 9.7 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon on the south side of the road. The trail takes off from the southwest corner of the parking lot. It winds south around a group of trees, and passes a restroom which is open for winter use. Shortly after passing the restroom, you will pass a trail sign for Days Fork trail. The trail winds its way west and south after the sign as it climbs up Days Fork. The trail to Greenís Basin breaks off .4 of a mile up the Dayís Fork trail. It branches sharply, almost back the way you have just come, on the left side of the trail. Use the GPS coordinate to find the exact spot to exit the trail as there are no definitive markers unless someone has broken trail before you. Once off the main trail, the trail to Greenís Basin proceeds up the west face of the mountain through the aspen and conifers. Climb this west face. At .6 of a mile the trees open up and you get views down into Big Cottonwood Canyon and the road below. After the switchbacks up this west face the trail heads across the north face of the mountain rounding into Greenís Basin to the east. The safest return trip is to head back the way you came.
4 Miles RT
Drive 13.8 miles up the canyon and turn left to Guardsman Pass just before Brighton Ski Resort. Drive up this road until you reach the turn around at the gate where the road is closed for the winter so park anywhere along the road. Sometimes this place is so packed with snowmobile trailers its hard to find a close parking spot. The hike is about 2 miles to Guardsman Pass from the gate. From Guardmans Pass the road will continue east down into Park City or Midway.
Drive 4.5 miles up from the mouth of the canyon. Park in the northern parking lot near the S-Turn, and walk north through the trees to cross the street. This hike only takes a few minutes to reach the waterfall. There is also an old mine right next to the waterfall thats gated off. This is also a great location to do some rock climbing.
Mill B North Fork Trail
6.5 Miles RT
Drive 4.5 miles up from the mouth of the canyon. Park in the northern parking lot near the S-Turn, and walk north through the trees to cross the street. The trailhead starts here on the north side of the road. Near the beginning of the trailhead you can follow the creek upstream .15 mile to Hidden Falls and an abandoned mine. There are some nice repelling spots here also. Back at the trailhead, the trail leads you to an overlook in 1.3 miles, and after another 3.25 miles you will reach the Mill Creek Canyon on the Desolation trail.
Mill B South Fork Trail to Lake Blanche
6.5 Mile RT
Drive 4.5 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon to a parking area near the lower curve of the S-Turn. There is a sign labeled Mill B South Fork Picnic Ground on the south side of the road. The paved trail goes along the creek and ends at a waterfall. The Lake Blanche Trail begins 0.7 miles up this trail. You will reach Lake Blanche first then you will walk by Florence Lake and Lillian Lake.
Mill D North Fork
7 miles RT : N.40.38.976-W.111.38.887
9.7 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon the Spruces Campground parking lot sits on the south side of the road. Park here. Directly across the road is a UTA Bus stop sign sitting next to the big rail-road-crossing road blocks that come down to close the road off during winter avalanche management. The trail to Dog Lake heads northwest up the mountain right at the crossing block and bus sign. From the bus sign head northwest through the trees. The first section of trail travels through a Mill D cabin neighborhood. The trail often appears groomed but is actually packed according to the travel going on within the neighborhood. It is primarily a summer cabin retreat, so the jaunt through this portion still affords a sense of solitude. Avalanche danger is slim to none along this trail because anchors abound in the form of trees, and slopes are gentle until you get to Reynoldís Peak above Dog Lake.
About .4 mile up the trail, you will run into the first fork in the road. In the crotch of the fork sits a big Mill D cabin-layout sign. At this fork stay left. One tenth of a mile further up the trail a green forest service gate sits off to the south. If the snow is deep this may not be visible, so go by mileage if you canít see it. Diverge from the road at this gate by heading left around the gate in a westerly direction. You should see the trail as you get around the gate. The trail forks again two miles up the road. Depending upon snow pack, there is another sign that shows Dog Lake to the left and Desolation Lake to the right. Head left. The trail is a pleasant jaunt passing near a stream at times. The last half mile is an uphill pull. As you come over the crest of the hill the depression for Dog Lake is visible. You can head to the south/left, up through the trees, and gain a vantage point that allows you to look down over Dog Lake and up at Reynolds Peak. If the snow is good you may see backcountry skiers.
Mineral Fork Trail
10 Miles RT
Drive 6 miles up the canyon, and when you reach the S curve in the canyon you will be about a mile and a half from the trailhead. You will see a large heavy steel gate across what appears to be a private driveway on the right hand side of the road. If there are several trailers parked along the road you may wish to consider riding this trail on another day because there are several places the trail is very narrow and will not permit passage by two ATVs at a time. Mineral Fork trail is the only ATV accessible trail located in Big Cottonwood Canyon, but they're in the process of deciding to close it down for good to ATV's. Starting from the gate which is always closed to keep out larger vehicles, you simply ride around it and then take the trail to the right, the left trail is for hiking only and only goes up a few hundred feet. The beginning part of the trail is a little tricky and inexperienced riders will bang up their rims if they have a larger atv. I made it through without any problems with my Grizzly 700 but it wasnít easy, I would rate this ATV ride extremely difficult. After the rock slide you ride up through more loose shale rock and then cross a small stream in two points during some switchbacks, and then again farther up. Beyond that there a mix of forest trail and rocky terrain. Continuing on the trail becomes a mix of steep rocky climbs, single track width forest hard pack with exposed roots, sharp rocks, and deep river rock filled washes. If you just bought new wheels, or you really like your wheels, this may not be the place for you. At about 3 miles up you will come to a fork in the trail. The left trail goes South East past the old Mineral Fork Mine. The mine is gated off, but worth a quick stop to see the historic site. Once past the mine, the trail gains elevation very quickly after dozens of switchbacks. Eventually the terrain turns to large rock fields and continues to follow switchbacks until you end up close to the top of the canyon. Riders are amazed at how far up the canyon the trail actually takes them. For those that are adventurous, a quick and steep hike will take you to the top of the mountain where it overlooks the canyon to the West with Lake Blanch and Sundial Peak. The view from the top is truly one of the top Utah ATV destinations and is absolutely breath taking. Most times Mountain Goats can be spotted on the rocks at the top and Moose and Deer seen lower. The best times to ride this trail is from July once the snow melts and early September before the deer hunt.
3 miles RT : N.40.37.609-W.111.44.547
Drive 3.2 miles up the canyon, and there will be a pull off with a big parking area on the left hand side of the road after crossing the creek over the bridge. The trail heads west from the parking area and curves to the north crossing the stream several times.
Reynolds Flat/Jordan Pines Area
The Reynolds Flat/Jordan Pines area sits 8.8 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon on the south side of the road. The Reynolds flat area is popular for tubing. It has a nice parking area used by skiers, snowshoers, tubers, and boy scouts. The Cardiff Fork road, the road accessed by this parking area, is gated in winter so one must park here and walk .25 miles up the gated road to the entrance of Jordan Pines Campground. Because it is flat, easily accessible, and the length is determined by how long you want to play in the snow, itís a great place for beginner snowshoers. There are a few small hills right off the road that families often sled on as well. Finding a parking spot should be doable as the lot is plenty big, but the area is popular.
Silver Fork Trail/Honeycomb Fork
6 miles RT : N.40.37.501-W.111.36.054
The trail begins at the west end of the lower Solitude parking lot 12.3 miles from the mouth of the canyon. The gates are closed at 7pm so give yourself enough time to get back before your car gets lockes in. Head west under the chairlift, and follow the dirt road all the way around the outskirts of the Resort boundary. After about .4 mile you will reach the chairlift. The trail continues south and heads up to Woodlawn Mine.
Silver Lake-Solitude Lake-Twin Lakes
Drive .5 mile past Solitude Ski Resort and park at the visitor center and Solitude Nordic Ski Center office building just before Brighton Ski Resort. The Trail walks around Silver Lake and gives you access to Solitude Lake and Twin Lakes. No Swimming is aloud at Silver Lake. From the northern side of the lake a trail leads up 1.5 miles to Lake Solitude. The Solitude Tunnel, just west and above the lake connects with mines on the Alta side in Grizzly Gulch. The Kentucky-Utah tunnel is 2,000 feet west and 870 feet below of Solitude Lake. Twin Lakes is 1.25 miles from the trailhead, and Twin Lakes Pass is another 1.25 miles further.
Spruces Campground is 9.7 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon/S.R. 190 on the south side of the road. The parking lot sits just past the big red and white road-block arms. The perfect area for beginner snowshoers, or those simply wanting an easy escape into the solitude of the forest. Make your outing as long or short as you wish.
1.25 miles RT : N.40.37.447-W.111.44.587
Drive 2.8 miles up the canyon and the trail is on the south side of the road. The trail is mainly uphill and rocky, and ends at a waterfall.
Wasatch Crest Trail/Great Western Trail
9 Miles One-Way : N.40.36.808-W.111.34.287
Drive 13.8 miles up the canyon and turn left to Guardsman Pass just before Brighton Ski Resort. Drive up this road for 3.1 miles to the turnoff on your left where you will have to park along the paved road. From the gate follow the road awhile to Scotts Pass and turn north to reach the dirt trailhead from the gravel road up this hill. You can also park at Guardsman's Pass and the trail climbs a hill and drops down to Scotts Pass continuing north to the trailhead. Once on the dirt trail it heads west mostly downhill 3.7 miles to Desolation Lake and a total of 9 miles one-way to Mill D North Fork Trailhead. You can also drop down into Mill Creek Canyon. This trail is most popular with mountain biking, and is best if you have a shuttle vehicle at the bottom to pick you up. This is an advanced biking trail. For mines and tunnels in the area click here.
2 Miles RT : N.40.37.815-W.111.36.253
This trail begins on the north side of the road just past Silver Fork 12.1 miles from the mouth of the canyon. There isn't a parking area so just park along the canyon road. The trail follows Willow Creek to a small Beaver Pond.