Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Hiking to Mt. Aire

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Hiking to Mt. Aire
Mt. Aire (8,621 ft) may not be the highest peak in Millcreek Canyon nor the surrounding area, but it does offer a fantastic view in all directions.  This short but steep trail is great to do as an after work hike with your dogs or friends, since it only takes about 2-3 hours round trip. The most popular route to summit  Mt. Aire is via Elbow Fork in Millcreek Canyon, and it is only 2 miles to the top. This trail is nicely shaded and there is a year round stream up until the ridge; after that, you will hike through scrub oak to the summit. Keep your eyes out for moose - they like to hang out in the lower meadow.
From SLC, drive south on I-215 and take exit 4 for 3900 South, and turn left at the bottom of the ramp. Turn left at the next light for Wasatch Blvd, then turn right at the next light for Millcreek Canyon. Drive 6.1 mile up the canyon until you reach Elbow Fork. This is the TH for Mt. Aire. Parking is limited. One restroom is available.

Distance: 4 miles RT
Elevation gain:  2,000 ft
Time: 2-3 hours
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash on ODD days. Dogs must be leashed on EVEN days.
Kid friendly? Yes
Fees/Permits? There is a $3 upon exit, or FREE if you have an annual Millcreek Canyon pass ($40/year). Millcreek does not accept National Park Passes.
Hiking to Mt. Aire
 The trail begins by heading North from the parking area.
Hiking to Mt. Aire
 At the first trail split, stay left. The dogs are going right here, but they ran back to catch up with us.
Hiking to Mt. Aire
 Cross the first bridge, and in another 5 minutes you'll cross a 2nd bridge. It's nice to take the dogs on this trail since there is a stream that runs year round. Always carry water for them in case it is dry.
Hiking to Mt. Aire
 The trail is very well shaded, but steep.
Hiking to Mt. Aire
 Working our way up the really steep sections.
Hiking to Mt. Aire
 We made it to the ridge in about 30-40 minutes.
Hiking to Mt. Aire
 Once on the ridge, turn right (North). You can't quite see the summit yet, but you'll hike up about 3 long switchbacks up this hill on the south facing side.
Hiking to Mt. Aire
 As you hike up the switchbacks, you'll notice the trees have changed to scrub oak. I recommend wearing pants to keep your legs from getting scratched up.
Hiking to Mt. Aire
 Getting higher on the switchbacks, you can see the pass to the bottom right where you just hiked up from, and across the canyon to Gobblers Knob (the high point on the left), and Mt. Raymond (the high point on the right).
Hiking to Mt. Aire
 We made it to the summit in 1 hour 10 minutes. 
Hiking to Mt. Aire
 Looking out across the canyon to the East.
Hiking to Mt. Aire
From Mt. Aire, you have a great view of surrounding peaks, including Summit Park Peak and Murdock Peak.
Hiking to Mt. Aire
Hiking to Mt. Aire
The best part about hiking down from Mt. Aire? The sunset and looking out to the Great Salt Lake.
Hiking to Mt. Aire trail map
Trail map to Mt. Aire.
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Hiking to Mt. Aire

2 comments:

  1. I need to be in the area to do a hike with all these dogs. I would love that! Since I don't have a dog, I'll bring the treats:)

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    1. That would be so awesome!!! They would all love that lol. - Alicia

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