Mill Creek hike

Moab and Arches National Park
View Photos

Mill Creek hike

Distance: 2.3mi
Elevation: 338ft
Time: 1.5-2

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
8.7 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty

Mere minutes from downtown Moab, this mostly flat hike leads up Mill Creek into a gorgeous, secluded canyon. A stunning waterfall and swimming area is found at the trail’s terminus – a real treat on hot summer days!

Mill Creek hike Map

Getting there

From downtown Moab drive towards E S 300 St. Turn east onto the road and follow it to its end, where you will turn right on to Fourth E St. After a short while you will turn left onto E Mill Creek Drive. Past Rotary Park you will turn right to continue on E Mill Creek Dr. After a few bends in the road you will turn left onto Powerhouse Ln, where the road will turn to dirt after roughly a block. The dirt road is easily drivable by sedans. At the trailhead you will find adequate parking as well as a pit toilet.

I’ve done this 11 people have done this
I want to do this 22 want to do this route

About

When to do

Year Round

Backcountry Campsites

No

Toilets

No

Family friendly

Yes

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

Moderate

Route Type

Out and back


Mill Creek
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Mill Creek hike

From the trailhead, follow the clear path that leads along the right side of the river. The entire hike follows Mill Creek, so it is pretty easy to know if you are going the wrong way! The flat, well leveled trail leads along the river for a short while until you reach the first waterfall. This artificial waterfall is one spot to stop if you have little kids who just want to swim!

For the rest of those continuing along the route, hike the trail as it winds with the river. There are small trail markers with arrows to guide you, however they are easy to miss. Approximately halfway through the hike you will reach a fork in the river. One path clearly crosses the river to the left, while the other continues along to the right. Take the leftmost path and complete your first river crossing, entering a steep sided canyon.

Though the water is not deep, it is usually quite cold and at different times of the year can be moving at different rates. For those uneasy on their feet, hiking poles can be an asset to stabilize you on these crossings. When we completed the hike, the water levels required us to take off our hiking shoes and cross barefoot. The path continues and becomes sandier, making it often possible to continue along barefoot until the next stream crossing.

There are three crossings in total before reaching the final waterfall. They are all quite short, not too deep, and the trail on the other side is clearly visible. At the second creek crossing, a switch-backing trail leads up to the left. Do not take this path; continue along straight and cross. After the third river crossing there will be another fork, take the rightmost trail that continues along beside the creek.

You will soon reach the bottom of the waterfall. Though short, the gorgeous cascading water is truly stunning, as are the steep sandstone cliffs lining the canyon as you look back. A pleasant pool has formed beneath the falls, which is nice to take a dip in when the weather is warm enough.

For some, this is the end of the hike. However there is much more to explore above the falls! Backtrack to just after the third river crossing and take the other fork. This trail scrambles up the rocks to the left of the creek, going behind the cliffs the form the waterfall. Take care as the path is sometimes very steep and moderate climbing is required. From the top of the falls you will undoubtedly meet sun tanners, picnickers, and families all enjoying the stunning beauty of the Mill Creek canyon.

For those who are more adventures, a plethora of trails continue up the valley, granting more and more stunning views. Even from the falls you will be able to see a spectacular half dome cave carved out of one of the cliffs.

Insider Hints

  • Sturdy sandals and hiking poles make the river crossing on this hike much more enjoyable.

  • Pack a lunch and a towel; Picnicking and suntanning on the smooth flat rocks above the falls are popular.

Comments

MaggieRoy 5 months ago

Fun walk along the creek. Very refreshing as the heat in Utah might be a bit cruel

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
2h 00m Time Taken
SJ 5 months ago

Loved the hike up Mill Creek and the swimming was a nice break in the heat.

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Burokai 5 months ago

Very easy and fun, just takes a few hours. I loved that it was less crowded than I was expecting

8.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
3 Comments

Similar hikes to the Mill Creek hike

Balanced Rock

Difficulty:
0.5mi
36ft
0.5h

This quick jaunt from the parking lot brings you around the world famous Balanced Rock tower. Visible from miles away…

Double Arch

Difficulty:
0.7mi
95ft
0.5h

A classic short hike that puts you directly underneath two – count ‘em two –arches! For minimal effort, you are…

Delicate Arch

Difficulty:
3.4mi
741ft
1.5-2h

The most popular trail in the park, the Delicate Arch hike leads up a steep slick rock sections to the…