Create an account

Start your adventure today.


    Already a member? Login

    Desolation Ridge Trail

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    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.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    7.6 km
    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.
    574 m
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
    Be the first to add a review!
    Directions to Trailhead

    The Desolation Ridge Trail is a challenging route east of Salt Lake City. This trail doesn’t get much traffic, so it’s a great place to go if you are looking for some peace and quiet. The Desolation Ridge Trail winds through the beautiful Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Try this trail in the fall when vibrant autumn leaves ignite the forest.

    View Desolation Ridge Trail on Map

    View Map

    Join our newsletter

    Get a weekly dose of discounts and inspiration for adventure lovers

    Route Description for Desolation Ridge Trail

    The Desolation Ridge Trail is a challenging hike in Big Cottonwood Canyon east of Salt Lake City, Utah. This trail is a consistently steep ascent; hikers should be prepared with proper hiking footwear and plenty of water. We recommend bringing along a set of hiking poles to aid in your ascent and save your knees some strain on the way back down. This hike begins and ends at the lovely Spruces Campground. If you are spending a few nights enjoying the campground, The Desolation Ridge Trail is a great way to get out and explore your surroundings with a morning or afternoon hike.

    Beginning at the Spruces Campground, cross over Big Cottonwood Canyon Road and follow Canyon Spruce Road to the Mill D North Fork. Continue following the creek northeast for about a mile before branching off and following the switchbacks eastward to a summit point.

    Take a rest at the top and enjoy the views before turning around and heading back to the Mill D North Fork. From the creek, simply follow your footsteps back to the Spruces Campground where you began.

    Getting to the Desolation Ridge Trail Trailhead

    This hike begins at the Spruces Campground on Highway 190/Big Cottonwood Canyon Road in between Salt Lake City and Park City, Utah.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      Spruces Campground at Trailhead

    • When to do


    • Pets allowed


    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type


    Desolation Ridge Trail Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

    Check Area Weather

    Desolation Ridge Trail Reviews

    Add a comment

    You must be logged in to post a comment.

    Nearby Trails

    Nearby Regions

    Get travel inspiration and discounts

    Join our weekly travel newsletter