Mill B South Fork
Big Cottonwood Canyon
Wasatch Mountains Salt Lake City, Utah
Sundial Peak, Lake Florence and Lake Lillian
Caterpillars, Whistlepigs, and a Rubber Boa
3.5 miles one way
2-3 hour hike up / 1.5 hour hike down
This is a very popular hike, and it's getting more popular
every day. Most people hike this trail early in the morning,
I always do it later in the day, and come down in the dark.
You'll need to bring extra water, you will be exposed to the
sun for a great deal of the way.
The trail starts at the bottom of the S-Curve in Big Cottonwood
Canyon. You follow the pavement east until you see the steep
rocky trail to the right. You will pass a bench, and then
a little bridge. From here follow the sign that says Trail,
which is to the left. This trail switches back to the right
after gaining some altitude. The trail continues for a mile
or so through sub-alpine forests.
On the right side below will be the raging Mill B Stream,
which is pretty loud in the spring. Every now and then, you
will see small side trails leading to the river. If it's hot,
you should go refresh yourself by patting water on your face,
arms back, and maybe soaking your shirt or hat in the water
as well. Every drop of water that evaporates from your body
and cools you down, saves you a drop of drinking water.
After about 2 miles, you will come to an area with white Aspen
trees, the rounded orange quartzite hills should come in and
out of view as you hike through this area. This area is a
common avalanche zone, and every year fallen trees need to
be cut out to clear the trail.
As you get closer to the quartzite hills, you will reach the
switchbacks. These switchbacks seem to be over-switch-backed.
It seems like you should be getting closer, but it just keeps
going.... I know a shortcut through here, but it's always
better to stay on the trail. After the switchbacks cross a
section of boulders, you are there. Just follow the trail
to the little man made wall and up and over the quartzite
I ran out of water on this hike, and drank directly from the
waterfall. Later I drank directly from the stream. I don't
recommend this, because you never know what is upstream, but
if it's a life or death situation, you'd better drink something,
so always drink from the areas that are the fastest moving
water, pouring over the edge of something if possible. Most
importantly, you want to drink water that hasn't passed popular
portions of the trail, I didn't get sick because I drank from
areas that would be unlikely to be contaminated.