Mt. Olympus (9,030 ft) is the prominent peak above Murray/Millcreek, Utah and is recognizable from anywhere in the SLC valley due to its two long, rocky spines on the West face. Though it’s not the tallest summit in the area, hiking Mt. Olympus is sure to give your legs a workout. Gaining 4,100 ft in just 3.3 miles (one way), your legs will feel like jelly quickly. The rise of this peak from the valley floor to summit impresses locals as well as visitors alike. The trail also quickly changes from city to backcountry, as you enter the Mt. Olympus Wilderness in just 30 minutes of hiking. Hiking Mt. Olympus is a popular trail year-round, especially for Peak Baggers.
Here are some tips for hiking this trail
Dogs are allowed off leash on this trail; however, I only recommend that dogs who have experience hiking in this kind of terrain, steepness, and mileage go. Dogs also need to be fairly comfortable hiking up the last 600 feet, which is a class 3 scramble. If you bring your dog, bring plenty of water, as there is only one water source at the first stream 2 miles in.
From SLC head east on I-80 then than I-215 south. Take exit 5 for 4500 South, and turn right. At the next stop light (Wasatch Blvd) turn right. Drive south for 1.5 miles, then look for the left turning lane that takes a very sharp left turn uphill, which leads you into the parking lot. If this lot is full, you can also just park along Wasatch Blvd then walk up to the TH. Here’s a driving map. There are no restrooms at the TH.
Distance: 7 miles RT
Elevation gain: 4,100 ft
Time: 6-8 hours
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? No
The new parking lot was finished Summer 2020.
Now you enter the parking area as a one-way road, entering from the South end. There is now also a port-a-potty.
New parking area from above. You can still park along Wasatch Blvd, and especially in summer you will have to due to the popularity of this trail.
The trail begins right from the parking lot. If you parked along Wasatch Blvd, you’ll need to hike up to the official TH.
Your heart gets pumping very quickly as you make your way up the stairs.
You’ll hike past this rocky outcropping, popular for people working on their rappel skills.
Follow the main trail, and within 10 minutes you’ll see your first trail split sign – turn right up the switchback. Hiking straight/left follows the Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST), and leads you over to the neighborhood below Neff’s Canyon.
The trail offers pretty amazing views the entire time. This is looking South towards Cottonwood Heights.
Pass the official Mt. Olympus Wilderness sign.
You’ll come to another trail split area with a sign. Stay right again. Going left will connect back down to the BST.
At 2 miles, you’ll cross the first stream. This is a great place to take a quick break and let the dogs drink. This stream is usually dry by October.
After the first stream is where the trail begins to get even steeper. Hike up roughly 12-15 small steep switchbacks. This is where we began to see a mix of snow and mud, but we didn’t need to put our microspikes on just yet.
Near this narrow rock crossing you’ll hear the 2nd stream down to the right. It’s a little hard to get to, so I don’t recommend hiking over to it. Past this point is where the trail gets even steeper.
We finally needed to put our microspikes on.
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The trail alternated between mud and snow, but we just kept out spikes on since the distances between each were pretty short.
I actually felt like hiking Mt. Olympus in a bit was snow was easier because you don’t have to hike over all the rocks, just packed snow.
Looking down to the valley – almost to the saddle!
Charlie smells a peak nearby…
Finally at the saddle! Whew! The last little bit leading to the saddle is by far the hardest part in my opinion.
From the saddle, turn left and continue following the packed trail. The green arrow points to the gully you will be scrambling up. If you don’t want to attempt the scramble but your friends do, I recommend waiting at the saddle. A fun idea would be to bring a hammock and kick back while your friends summit.
You’ll pass through this small rock.
And here begins the scramble! The last 600 feet is a class 3 scramble, but it’s not as bad as it looks. The very first time I summited Mt. Olympus in 2014 as a solo hike, I was able to get up and down by myself.
Looking down from where we came from. The snow was starting to get a little slushy and my friends punched through a few times. Make sure you test each step before placing your full weight on it.
Charlie only needed a boost in two areas of the scramble. Otherwise he was able to do it on his own without slipping.
The last 50 feet to the summit.
Finally! 3 hours 23 minutes later we made it to the top. This view is looking East towards Wildcat Ridge.
Mama was pissed Charlie took her seat on my friends lap! LOL!
On the summit looking down to the valley. This was my first peak for 2017, and my 3rd time on the summit.
Total hiking time, including our break at the top, was 6 hours 32 minutes. Gaia GPS is the best tracking app!
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