Trails Utah is excited to announce that we are working with our partners at the Salt Lake Ranger District to build a long sought-after trail connection in Millcreek Canyon just outside Salt Lake City. This new 3-mile trail will link trailheads at mid canyon at Elbow Fork and several trails accessed from Big Water Trailhead at the end of the canyon. In 2017 Trails Utah secured grant funding from Salt Lake County to study the area and conduct necessary NEPA studies to determine the best location for the new trail.
Early last year Trails Utah hired professional trail builders to research and design a trail connector that would allow mountain bikers, runners, and hikers to move through the upper canyon away from the narrow, dangerous road. Previously, the only way to get between Big Water Trailhead and the Elbow Fork area mid-canyon was on pavement. The Pipeline Trail, starting mid-canyon just below the Elbow Fork trailhead, allows trail users to traverse the bottom half of the canyon on the north side, which is especially popular for mountain bikers coming off the Wasatch Crest.
After extensive study a new trail alignment on the south side—north facing—was identified late 2017 as the most feasible and cost efficient option. With the new trail corridor identified the Forest Service stepped forward and conducted the necessary NEPA last year and Trails Utah is now weighing bids from pro trail builders to construct the trail. Construction on the first two phases of this trail will begin mid-summer 2019 and the final phase of the project, a short section of trail connecting the new trail to the existing Pipeline Trail, will be completed as soon as the resources become available, either later this fall or early next summer.
Trails Utah is delighted to help realize a dream for a trail through the upper reaches of Millcreek Canyon that will be safe and enjoyable for shared-use and excited to aid in the creation of a crucial connection for the Great Western trail through the Wasatch Range. The Great Western Trail has the potential to link landscapes and communities throughout the state and create an unparalleled recreational resource for the state of Utah.
Trails Utah staff and volunteers have spent hundreds of hours to put this project in motion. Your support is greatly appreciated