Mary Ellen Gulch

4.1/5 (12 reviews)
Alpine, Utah (Utah County)
Last Updated: 11/24/2022
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Trail Information

Highlights

Located about an hour southeast of Salt Lake City in the majestic Wasatch Mountain range is an offroad trail that offers a lot of adventure for any outdoor enthusiast. From the bottom, you get to experience some of the amazing scenery in the Wasatch National Forest and work your way up the old mining road to some of the abandoned gold and silver mines. If you look hard enough you can find iron pyrite or fools gold laying around! If you are more extreme, there have been rumors that you can get lucky panning in some of the streams. There is a story of a Jeeper who panned in one of these canyons and found just enough gold to pay for his expenses from his journey up, so who knows what you may find! All the mines you find in this area were very active gold and silver mines in the late 1800's. As you finish the trail you will also get to take in some great views of the surrounding mountains and overlook the Mineral Basin ski lift.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4.1/5 (12 reviews)
Todd
Official Crew
103150
Status: Seasonal Closure
Visited: 11/24/2022

Closed for the season! See you next year!
Todd
Official Crew
103150
Status: Seasonal Closure
Visited: 11/18/2021

This trail is closed for the season! See you in 2022!
Ariana Dufour
Official Crew
5300
Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 09/11/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

The updated difficulty to a 5 is definitely more appropriate, maybe even a 5-6. Mary Ellen's is GORGEOUS and a ton of fun for experienced drivers. We ran it in a modded 2015 4Runner TRD on 35s and Dobinson suspension, this is not a trail for stock vehicles. The vast majority of the trail is only wide enough for one vehicle, we did run into a few SxS drivers and a couple of other 4runners throughout the day but were able to figure out how to get past each other. Total I think it took us about 6 hours to get up and back down but we weren't in a hurry and stopped to see the cabin, mine/cave, and enjoy the views from the top (which backs up against Snowbird resort). Plan for a very bumpy ride and your line picking skills will be put to the test. A rear locker will serve you well for waypoints 7 & 8 if you have one. You will definitely know when you have reached the end of the trail, you'll be at the summit and there is a large gate blocking off the start of the Snowbird property on the other side of the mountain. There is plenty of room to turn around at the top where the gate is.
Trail Review: Mary Ellen Gulch - Ariana Dufour
Trail Review: Mary Ellen Gulch - Ariana Dufour
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TJ Bosworth
Official Crew
20250
Status: Open
Visited: 08/24/2021

Due to multiple reviews and comments, this trail has been updated in difficulty to a 5-5 from a 3-3. This guide is priority for our writers to get back to and update the entire guide.
Status: Open
Rated 3/5
Visited: 08/22/2021

I’ve done a dozen or so trails listed on this site that are rated a 3, and let me tell you, this trail is not a 3. Possibly the trail has deteriorated significantly since it was last reviewed, but I’m confident in saying this trail guide needs to be updated. It’s not a “bumpy dirt road” as the guide says - far from it. There are long stretches of rock gardens beginning about 1/2 mile in, and most of the road is barely wide enough for one full-size vehicle. There are a few larger steps, deep ruts, and small boulders to be negotiated. It’s slow going and technical. I run 32s with sliders and a 2” lift, and I found tire placement was critical in about a half dozen places, and having a spotter was basically necessary. Even taking our time and being careful, the sliders took a couple of good scrapes, and there was pinstriping. We stopped at Waypoint 6 having had enough. It took 2.5 hrs to get that far. No other vehicles (thankfully otherwise it could have been really stressful to go backwards) except we encountered an ATV near the beginning of the trail that suggested we turn around. We should have listened to them. Instead, we decided to trust in our research on this site, but the guide was so misleading that by waypoint 6 we had low confidence in what lay ahead and what the fabled fins would be like. Beautiful scenery, but TrailsOffroad let us down on this one with a misleading rating.

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