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Hiking Utah
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By Nate Carlisle, Jason Bergreen, Erin Alberty and Brett Prettyman

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(Jessica Miller | The Salt Lake Tribune) Wheatgrass Canyon Trail near Causey Reservoir. June 14, 2014.
Hike of the week: Wheatgrass Canyon

Getting there »From Salt Lake City, take Interstate 15 to the 344 exit at 12th Street. Turn right at the exit, continue on 12th Street heading east. The street will turn into Canyon Road. Continue up Canyon Road, past Pineview Reservoir, then turn right on Utah State Road 39. Continue on that road, past several forest service campgrounds, then turn right at Red Cliff Ranch onto a frontage road. Follow this road until you reach the gate for Camp Kiesel. Park in the dirt area in front of the gate.

Directions »The Wheatgrass Canyon trail begins just in front of the Boy Scout camp on the north edge of Causey Reservoir. The trail initially crosses over a bridge, putting hikers on the east side of the reservoir. After crossing the reservoir, the trail almost immediatlely forks — stay to the left. Hikers will then begin a moderate uphill climb, which places hikers high above the Boy Scout camp below, but not out of earshot of camp activities taking place. The trail eventually levels out, and hikers will be surrounded by trees and green shrubs. Watch for snakes in areas where rocks have piled against the mountainside. A small bridge will bring hikers over the first river crossing, where the trail again forks. Keep to the right this time.

At a glance

Destination Wheatgrass Canyon

Hiking time Less than 2 hours

Round trip miles 8 miles

Elevation gain 600 feet

Difficulty Moderate

Trail head restrooms No

Dogs allowed Yes

Bikes allowed Yes

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The initial ascent is the only uphill throughout the trail, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the hike is easy. Hikers will cross rivers multiple times (wear waterproof shoes or be prepared to shimmy across a few logs) and will climb over several trees that have fallen across the trail.

After about two miles of hiking alongside the river and through narrow canyon walls, the trail leads hikers to an open field, where wheatgrass and wildflowers fill the area. The complete trail is 10-miles long and ends in Monte Cristo, however, we turned around at the four-mile mark (where an old saw mill and campsite are located off to the right of the trail) because the trail faded away in the marshy field.

— Jessica Miller



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