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    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    721 m
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    19.3 km
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    Desolation Lake and Dog Lake Loop


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    Table of contents

    The Desolation Lake and Dog Lake Loop is a gorgeous hike in the Mill Creek Wilderness Area just east of Salt Lake City. This is a long trail but there are no treacherous sections and the path is not overly steep. This trail travels through a beautifully forested area and is appropriate for hikers with moderate experience levels.

    Route Description for Desolation Lake and Dog Lake Loop

    The hike to Desolation Lake and Dog Lake along the Wasatch Crest Trail is a beautiful route for moderately experienced hikers. Dogs are not permitted in watershed sections of the wilderness area, so please pay attention to the park signage and respect the rules. This trail is popular with hikers and mountain bikers and can get very busy on the weekend. Arrive early to snag a spot in the parking lot and beat the crowds. There is a reason for this trail’s popularity: though the hike may be long, there are no overly steep sections or sections with intimidating exposure and the views along this route are absolutely gorgeous. This trail really is a great way to spend the whole day exploring the natural beauty of the Utah landscape!

    From the trailhead, follow the path east to hike the loop counterclockwise. Just a few hundred yards in, the trail will divide and you will stay left to follow Mill Creek eastward. Approximately 2.5 miles in, the trail will branch into three paths. Take the path on the right and follow the trail south to Desolation Lake. From Desolation Lake, follow the trail east to a divide and stay right to make your way to Dog Lake. You can loop around Dog lake in either direction before heading north along the main trail, where it will fork one more time. Take a left at this junction to hike the last section back to the trailhead.

    If you are looking for more to explore in the area, check out the Gobbler’s Knob via Alexander Basin Trail nearby.

    Getting to the Desolation Lake and Dog Lake Loop Trailhead

    This hike begins at the eastern end of Mill Creek Canyon Road in the Mill Creek Wilderness Study Area.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground:


    • When to do:

      May to October

    • Pets allowed:


    • Family friendly:

      Older Children only

    • Route Signage:


    • Crowd Levels:


    • Route Type:


    Desolation Lake and Dog Lake Loop Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

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