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Hiking to Mt. Aire, Hiking in Utah with Dogs

Hiking to 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.

Here is a driving map.

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 $5 fee upon exit, or FREE if you buy the Annual Millcreek Pass ($50). Millcreek Canyon does NOT accept the National Park Pass, American Fork Pass, nor the Mirror Lake Highway pass. No permit is required to hike this trail.

Hiking to Mt. Aire, Hiking in Utah with Dogs

 The trail begins by heading North from the parking area.

Hiking to Mt. Aire, Hiking in Utah with Dogs

Immediately surrounded by green!

Hiking to Mt. Aire, Hiking in Utah with Dogs

 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, Hiking in Utah with Dogs

 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, Hiking in Utah with Dogs

A watering hole for the pups.

Hiking to Mt. Aire, Hiking in Utah with Dogs

 Working our way up the really steep sections.

Hiking to Mt. Aire, Hiking in Utah with Dogs

 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

From Mt. Aire, you have a great view of surrounding peaks, including Summit Park Peak and Murdock Peak.

Hiking to Mt. Aire, Hiking in Utah with Dogs

Charlie has to be on the very top!

Hiking to Mt. Aire, Hiking in Utah with Dogs

Pano!

Hiking to Mt. Aire

The best part about hiking down from Mt. Aire? The sunset and looking out to the Great Salt Lake.

February 2018


Same trail, but in Winter! In Winter Mt. Aire is totally doable, but will require first walking up the road since the gate is closed from November – June. Always check avalanche conditions before hiking here in Winter. Typically you either need just microspikes or snowshoes, depending on snow levels. Winter 2017-2018 has been extremely dry so I didn’t need either in early February.
Trail stats in Winter
Distance: 7 miles RT
Elevation gain: 2,400 ft
Time: 3-5 hours

Hiking to Mt. Aire in Winter, Millcreek Canyon

Hiking to Mt. Aire in Winter, Millcreek Canyon

Solo hike with the pups!

This is the Winter trail map for hiking to Mt. Aire, which starts at the Millcreek Winter gate.

Church Fork Peak, Millcreek

Hiking to Church Fork Peak, Millcreek Canyon

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Hiking to Mt. Aire, Hiking in Utah with Dogs

 

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