Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Hiking the Emigration Canyon Miners Trail

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Hiking the Emigration Canyon Miners Trail
The Miner's Trail in Emigration Canyon is a lesser known trail in the SLC area, and therefore a nice, quiet hike to do with your dogs. The trail leads to a great overlook of Red Butte Canyon, and along the way you'll follow the old jeep trail the miners used to access mines, now gated off. The trail is pretty exposed to the sun, so if you are looking for shade, this isn't the trail for you. The Miner's Trail follows the contour of the hillside, and passes by rocky outcroppings, crosses a stream, cuts by a meadow, and towards the end, offers the hardest part of the hike up a few hundred feet to the ridgeline. This hike is safe to do year round, but my favorite time of year is Fall.

Drive North on Foothill Drive, and turn right on Sunnyside Blvd, which leads you into Emigration Canyon. You'll pass by the Hogle Zoo and Ruth's Diner on your right. Drive up the canyon until you reach the hairpin turn. As soon as you see the hairpin turn, turn left into Pinecrest Canyon. At the "Y" in the road, keep left for Pinecrest Canyon. Drive up another 1.3 miles past the "Y", until you see the very small parking lot on your left, with a big sign that says "Attention: Big Game Hunters!" There is enough parking for 5-6 cars. NO parking is allowed along the road (it's all private property and you will get towed). Here's is a driving map. As a side note, be careful when driving up Emigration Canyon - it's really popular for cyclist and runners to train here for it's gradual elevation gain that leads to Little Mountain Summit.

Distance: 5 miles RT
Elevation gain: 1,158 ft
Time: 2-4 hours
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? Yes
Fees/Permits? None
Hiking the Emigration Canyon Miners Trail
This is where the trail starts. Parking is extremely limited, so plan to hike here really early in the morning or mid-week. Parking is also hard to get during hunting season (it's a popular spot for bow hunters August 20th - October 31st).
Hiking the Emigration Canyon Miners Trail
The trail begins by heading south. Pass by the old gate. The trail is pretty level for the first mile, and wraps around the south end of the mountain.
Hiking the Emigration Canyon Miners Trail
Eventually, the trail wraps around the mountain, and you'll then be hiking North. This is the first time you'll have a view of the canyon you'll be hiking up. It's also called Brigham Fork.
Hiking the Emigration Canyon Miners Trail
The trail vegetation changes from scrub oak to more forested as you gain elevation. You'll also hike over some red rock.
Hiking the Emigration Canyon Miners Trail
At 1.9 miles you'll cross a very small stream that flows year-round. Perfect spot to let the dogs drink and rest!
Hiking the Emigration Canyon Miners Trail
Just after you cross the stream you'll see a very big tree and a rocky area. If you know where to look, you can find the old min entrance. 
Hiking the Emigration Canyon Miners Trail
Continue North again.
Hiking the Emigration Canyon Miners Trail
The trail curves to the right, through a forested area. I put Charlie's Ruffwear Track Jacket on, since this is a popular hunting area. Always be prepared with some kind of blaze orange for both you and your dogs when hiking during hunting season.
Hiking the Emigration Canyon Miners Trail
The open meadow. Continue right, where you should now be hiking West.
Hiking the Emigration Canyon Miners Trail
The last 1/2 miles is STEEP and the hardest part of this trail. Charlie sits and waits for me to catch my breath! Hiking poles will be helpful here.
Hiking the Emigration Canyon Miners Trail
After the steep section, you should now be on the ridge. But you can't see very much, so turn Right and hike up a little further.
Hiking the Emigration Canyon Miners Trail
About 100 yards up the trail you should have an awesome view looking down into Red Butte Canyon! This is where I usually turn around, but if you wanted to keep hiking, you can actually reach Lookout Peak. The more popular route to Lookout Peak is via Killyons Canyon, but this way works too. If you were really feeling on point, you could create one big loop. Start at the Miner's Trail, work your way up to Lookout Peak, then come down Killyons Canyon. You would need to drop a car or have someone pick you up but it can be done. My partner ran the loop with a friend in around 4-5 hours.
Hiking the Emigration Canyon Miners Trail
Panorama of the overlook at the end of the Miner's Trail.
Hiking the Emigration Canyon Miners Trail
On the way back down, Charlie and I found a quiet area to set up our new hammock and rest for a little bit.
Hiking the Emigration Canyon Miners TrailHiking the Emigration Canyon Miners Trail
My trail stats (one way) via Gaia GPS (my favorite trail app!).
Hiking the Emigration Canyon Miners Trail trail map
Trail map for the Miner's Trail - Emigration Canyon.





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Hiking the Emigration Canyon Miners Trail

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3 comments:

  1. Glad Charlie was decked out in his orange jacket! Love your hammock rest:)

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  2. Is that little parking area that you have as your first picture still available for parking? I just read your Lookout Peak blog entry and it said there isn't parking in Killyon Canyon anymore. If you can't park at that trailhead (pictured above) anymore, what's the situation - is there a sign or something blocking it? Thanks!

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