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Mill Creek Pipeline

Basics
Location:
Mill Creek Canyon
Length:
14 mile roundtrip
Difficulty:
Beginner,
Advanced
Elevation Change:
600 feet
Season:
Mid-April to November

Description

In the lower half of Salt Lake City's Mill Creek Canyon is the Mill Creek Pipeline trail. It's a great lower-altitude alpine bike ride. This narrow single-track is usually open by mid-April and stays clear of snow until November. Several trails connect the Mill Creek road to the trail, allowing riders to pick up the trail and bail out at four locations. Out-and-back, it's 14 miles. In this picture, you're looking across the canyon from the trail.

Details

Location:
Mill Creek Canyon
Length:
14 mile roundtrip
Difficulty:
Beginner
Advanced
Elevation Change:
600
Season:
Mid-April to November
Additional Details:
Much of the trail is smooth hard-pack dirt. But the narrowness, exposure to steep hillsides, and occasional tricky terrain make it an intermediate technical trail. Much of the trail is shaded cruising through the woods, while the western third is exposed to wind or heat on steep slopes.

The trail bed is firm, giving good support to your tires even when wet. This is an excellent early-season ride.

Dogs are allowed in Mill Creek Canyon. Be sure Fido is compatible with other mutts. You''re sure to run into a few of them. Even on weekdays, the trail sees fairly heavy use. Be courteous. And be smart. The ER sees occasional head-on collisions by bikers speeding on this trail.

Except for the descent into Burch Hollow (about 600 feet vertical), there isn''t much elevation change on the Pipeline trail. At the Salt Lake end of the trail, there''s a fabulous overlook of the valley.

While most of the Pipeline is easy cruising, we wouldn''t recommend taking a newbie down Rattlesnake Gulch. This descent is advanced technical. When the dust gets deep and slippery, Rattlesnake can be a white-knuckle slide for the best riders.

Fiscal Note: There''s a $2.25 fee per car, payable as you leave the canyon. It doesn''t cost anything if you ride your bike up -- it only costs if you take a car into the canyon.

Information provided by utahmountainbiking.com.

Map + Directions

Basic Directions
Get to Foothill Blvd on the east bench of Salt Lake City via I-215. Exit at 39th South. Take 3800 South eastbound into the Canyon. Our favorite strategy is to do the first segment as a road and single-track loop, and the rest of the trail as an out-and-back: Drive 3.5 miles past the fee station. Park near the gate 1/4 mile past the Burch Hollow trailhead, at GPS N 40° 41.958' W 111° 42.752'. (Note: the gate to upper Mill Creek Canyon is open to cars July 1 to November 1, but you can pedal or hike up the road any time.)

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