Trail difficulty
Elevation Gain
1,271.00 ft (387.40 m)
Trail type
6.00 mi (9.66 km)
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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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee


Huge vistas. Shady. Cool in summer. Fast.



Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

8,239.00 ft (2,511.25 m)


Big vistas
Old-growth forest

Typically multi-day


Suitable for



Nearby Lodging + Camping


This is a beautiful place!!!
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