Hike of the week: Big Water/Little Water loop in Mill Creek Canyon
Published: August 31, 2012 03:08PM
Updated: August 30, 2012 10:14AM
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Lindsay Whitehurst | The Salt Lake Tribune View from the Big Water/Little Water trail loop in Mill Creek canyon on the east side of Salt Lake City.

Directions • Hike starts at the top of Mill Creek Canyon, about 7 miles from the entrance located at 3800 South and Wasatch Boulevard in Salt Lake City. Entrance fee is $3.

This short hike has just enough elevation gain to get your heart pumping and presents beautiful views of the mountains and aspen groves. The temperature at the higher elevation is blessedly cooler than the baking valley in late summer and the hike runs near Mill Creek.

The loop starts at the Lower Big Water trailhead, which is smaller but typically a bit less crowed than the Upper Big Water trailhead nearby (though the bathrooms are located at the Upper). Take the well-marked Big Water Trail entrance. At the intersection about a mile and a half in, switch to the Great Western Trail briefly (about .10 of a mile) until the intersection with the Little Water Trail, which will take you back to the Upper Big Water trailhead.

For a little bit more of a challenge, take the same route, but start on the Little Water Trail, which has a steeper elevation gain. For a longer hike, take one of the trails to Dog Lake or even Lake Desolation.

Destination Big and Little Water loop

Hiking time 1 hour

Round trip miles 3.3 miles

Elevation gain 792 feet

Difficulty Easy

Trail head restrooms Yes

Dogs allowed Yes

Bikes allowed Yes