|Typically Open:||05/21 - 11/15|
(EASY - MODERATE)
|Highest Elevation:||8500 feet|
|Duration:||About 1 hour|
|Shape of Trail:||Out & Back|
|Best Direction to Travel:||N/A|
|Nearest Town w/ Services:||Highland|
|Official Road Name:||111|
|Management Agency:||Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest|
|District:||Pleasant Grove Ranger District|
This is an awesome spur off of Lower Mill Canyon that takes you away from the crowd and gives you some fun on the rocks. The trail weaves through the pine forest up to about 10,000 feet and into the middle of an aspen forest surrounding Forest Lake. Most of the trail is shaded and there are a few spots where mud is usually present. With its rock gardens and mud pits, it will keep people of all skill levels and vehicles capabilities entertained through this short trail. This is also a great trail to camp along since you will be off of the busy trail, however, there can still be a fair amount of traffic on warm summer weekends. There is a large amount of wildlife present if you keep your eyes open, and once at the top, can be a very peaceful spot to relax.
Rutted and/or rocky road. No shelves. Rocks up to 12" and water crossings up to 12" with possible currents. Passable mud. Moderate grades to 15 degrees. 6" holes. Side hill to 20 degrees. 4WD required. No width problems.Read more about our rating system
|Spring:||Trail remains closed until snowmelt is mostly gone and trail is dry.|
|Summer:||Trail is usually dry with occasional mud pits after rain storms.|
|Fall:||Trail is usually dry with occasional mud pits after rain storms.|
|Winter:||Trail closes sometime around November when the snow starts sticking.|
The trailhead is a turnoff from Lower Mill Canyon directly through a creek. The creek is usually passable, but during the spring when the trail first opens the water will be moving quickly. The majority of the year, it is a crystal clear stream around 6-8 inches deep.
The informational board is only a few hundred feet from the start, showing a map, camping info, fire info, and a short bio about the area. There is just a small pull out here and if you haven't already, lock in your hubs and get into 4 low.
This rock pile is probably among the hardest of the trail. You have a couple of different options to decide how large of rocks you wish to go over. If you take it far left, you will have one big rock on the driver's side that will tip you pretty good, while your passenger side is going up and down constantly over medium sized rocks (12-16"). If you take one of the lines through the middle or right, you will have to be sure to keep tires on the high points. Just about any vehicle will scrape something here if you don't stay high.
The rock garden is large and has anywhere from a 2 to a 6 difficulty. The lines are in no particular order but the easiest route is to swing around to trail right and the hardest is to go over the main big rock, trail center, that is about 2 feet tall, but has no ramp or even a vertical face. It is strictly a shelf at 24 inches. Lockers help greatly but are not needed if you are good with the skinny pedal.
The next rock garden is more or less stretched out over the next quarter mile. There are some different lines you can choose to take or not, but the best part is the perfect poser rock near the end of this second garden. You can't miss it slightly right of trail center.
This is the largest of the campsites along the trail before the lake. It can hold 3-5 rigs and tents. The campsite will be on the right.
This is a fun little body twister. If you angle your vehicle right, you can get some pretty good flex out of this little obstacle. There is no bypass.
Along the trail, you may encounter mud pits. Most disappear quickly but this one usually sticks around for a while. However, it is still only around a few days out of the season, but notable when present. There is a smaller hole followed by a run of about 50 feet. The driver's side is a bit lower than the passenger side so you will tip a little bit, but nothing to worry about. People have made a bypass road above it, but it can be very tippy and if wet, very dangerous. This pit can be anywhere from 1-3 feet deep. Fortunately, the mud in the run is not very sticky.
This informational board has the same information as the board near the trailhead. Basic rules apply: If its too hot to touch, its too hot to leave, clean up after yourself, respect the land, and camp 200+ feet from the water.
The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It might not be a fresh and crystal clear lake, but the air around it is cooling on a hot day, and it is surrounded by beautiful green aspens. Camping up here is about as quiet as you can get and you can see almost every start in the sky. Wildlife also runs around quite often. Keep in mind no vehicles are allowed to drive in the lake, and you must camp at least 200 feet from the water. Also, note the area that has been blocked off by logs. This area is strictly off limits to motorized vehicles.
Trailhead Coordinates: 40.524055, -111.608269
Starting Point: Alpine, Utah