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Desolation Lake Mountain Bike Ride

Central Wasatch Mountains, Utah

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Desolation Lake Mountain Bike Ride

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  • Desolation trailhead on Mill D.- Desolation Lake Mountain Bike Ride
  • Climbing through aspens.- Desolation Lake Mountain Bike Ride
  • Crest above the lake.- Desolation Lake Mountain Bike Ride
  • Desolation Lake, your goal.- Desolation Lake Mountain Bike Ride
  • Climbing out of the lake.- Desolation Lake Mountain Bike Ride
  • Trailhead marker off of the crest.- Desolation Lake Mountain Bike Ride
  • Descending back into the lake.- Desolation Lake Mountain Bike Ride
  • Desolation Lake on the way down.- Desolation Lake Mountain Bike Ride
  • Dropping back into the aspens.- Desolation Lake Mountain Bike Ride
  • Descending through pines.- Desolation Lake Mountain Bike Ride
  • Vistas through the trees.- Desolation Lake Mountain Bike Ride
  • One of the switchbacks.- Desolation Lake Mountain Bike Ride
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Huge vistas. Shady. Cool in summer. Fast.
Cons: 
Busy.
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Region:
Central Wasatch Mountains, UT
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,271.00 ft (387.40 m)
Parking Pass: 
General Day Use Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking
Trail difficulty: 
Green
Total Distance: 
6.00 mi (9.66 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
8,239.00 ft (2,511.25 m)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

There are a variety of ways to access the Desolation Trail for great Wasatch mountain biking. You can drop into it from Wasatch Crest, climb up from Mill D, or start at the Great Western Trailhead in Mill Creek Canyon, climb up to Dog Lake, and take the connector down to where Mill D connects into the Desolation Trail.

Either of the latter options gives you a pleasant and incredibly scenic climb through 3.5 miles of aspen groves, sprawling meadows, and thick pine forests. All this eventually leads you to Desolation Lake itself, a picturesque high-altitude lake. It’s the perfect, tranquil resting spot. From there, it’s a short climb up to the Wasatch Crest Trail that joins in just below the Spine. If you choose to ride to Desolation Lake as an out-and-back, you’re in for a fast and flowy descent. The trail twists and dives, throwing you through the same forests you just climbed through.

Near the of the Desolation Trail ride you’ll hit some flat and tight switchbacks. Be careful not to blow through them. However, as you slow down to make the turn, you get a great opportunity to take in the mountainous vistas around you.

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Field Guide + Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(19 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(169 within a 30 mile radius)

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