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Utah Hike of the Week: Rattlesnake Gulch in Mill Creek Canyon

Published October 28, 2013 9:37 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Getting there • The trail begins at a turnoff about 0.7 miles from the fee station at the mouth of Mill Creek Canyon. The turnoff will be on the north side of the road, with ample parking.

Directions •Rattlesnake Gulch might sound like a desert trek — and part of it sort of is — but the first half of this Mill Creek Canyon hike is a close and convenient journey into autumn color. The trail ascends the gulch, shaded by changing falling leafs, until it reaches the Pipeline Trail. Turn left at the junction to head west. The trail meanders around the hillside, which while much more sparse than the gulch, offers spectacular views of the fall colors on the sloping canyon walls and hills. As you make your way west, you get a glimpse of the Salt Lake Valley through the parting canyon walls, as well as a river of red, gold and orange treetops snaking along the road below.

The mostly level path eventually brings you to a big y-shaped piece of pipe at the end of the Pipeline Trail, where a wide-open view of the valley awaits. Turn back the way you came, and mind that there is a $3 fee for using the canyon that you pay on your way out. A sign at the shack where you pay says that exact change is appreciated.

About dogs in Mill Creek Canyon: Salt Lake County requires that dogs must be leashed in the whole canyon on even-numbered days. Dogs are allowed to be off the leash on odd-numbered days, except in developed areas.

- Michael McFall DestinationSalt Lake Valley overlook

Hiking time 2 hours

Round trip miles 3.8 miles

Elevation gain 729 feet

Difficulty Easy/Moderate

Trail head restrooms No

Dogs allowed Yes

Bikes allowed Not recommended