Utah Hike of the week: South Fork of Deaf Smith Canyon in Cottonwood Heights
Directions • From the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon, take Wasatch Boulevard south for 1 1/2 miles. Then turn east onto King Hill Drive. Follow the drive for one-half a mile and then turn east again onto Golden Oak Drive. The trail head is at the dead end — GPS coordinates 40.594612, -111.791779.
You will probably think you're lost on this shaded, narrow, brush-covered trail. But stay on the path and you'll find a hideout with a makeshift rock fort along a creek. From the parking area, go around the barrier and walk south and southeast on the gravel trail. In about a quarter-mile, the path ends at Golden Hills Canyon Road. Turn east and walk past the red brick home and you'll enter the canyon. A few yards into the canyon, you'll reach a junction. Go right to enter the south fork. The trail will gradually ascend while staying parallel to the creek. The trail is overgrown with brush in many places. Pay attention and you'll be able to distinguish the trail. The last quarter-mile requires traversing two rock piles. After the second pile, you'll cross a man-made bridge and find a wooden bench next to a fire pit and a rock fort someone erected against the canyon wall.