If you want a quick but steep hike to some seriously incredible views, Reynolds Gulch is a great stop. It is an easy way to get away from the crowds that are common at Donut Falls and Mill D North.
Reynolds Gulch starts off near Mill D North, but it continues straight up the gulch rather than heading east with the normal trail. Mill D North takes a right at the marked fork heading east and then north toward Dog and Desolation Lakes. This route heads straight and left at the fork, or due north from the road. The path here hugs the creek up the gulch and starts off gradually before becoming much steeper. The switchbacks carry you to the northeast and slowly reveal some seriously incredible views.
Kessler Peak, Mount Superior, Cardiff Fork and the view down Big Cottonwood Canyon begin to show themselves as you head further up the trail. There is no actual trail, but the paths carved by snowshoes and backcountry skiers make the desired direction pretty obvious. Aspen trees and rocky snow-covered outcroppings keep the wow factor pretty high. The further you head up, the better you can see Cardiff Fork and Mount Superior and the more lines open up for additional hiking options.
There is a decent potential for an avalanche here, and you should always check the Utah Avalanche Center before you head up. Use the buddy system or let someone know your destination because any location this far up the canyon has an element of risk. This hike is much shorter than Mill D North, with which it shares a trailhead, but the views are much prettier and face the sunset, and the hike tends to attract fewer people.
Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.