MTB Project Logo

Mill D to Desolation Lake

 4.4 (12)
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

8.0 Miles 12.8 Kilometers



1,965' 599 m


-1,964' -599 m



Avg Grade (5°)


Max Grade (16°)

9,236' 2,815 m


7,304' 2,226 m


Shared By Ryan Delany



Getting forecast...

A challenging out and back climb up to Desolation Lake from Mill D.

Ryan Delany

Dogs No Dogs

Features -none-

No dogs in Big Cottonwood Canyon.
Special note: Mountain Bikers are only allowed in Millcreek Canyon on even-numbered days.


This is a challenging out and back climb up to Desolation Lake from Mill D parking lot. This is a great ride when you can't or don't want to shuttle up to Guardsman Pass and ride Wasatch Crest. This ride will challenge your cardio and climbing abilities, but the return trip is worth every pedal stroke up!

Need to Know

This trail is very popular with hikers and bikers who shuttle to the top of Wasatch Crest so keep an eye out going up and down for others and be courteous. Uphill riders have the right-of-way, but downhill speeds are high so downhill riders may have a hard time stopping quickly. Be ready to get out of the way.


Start at Mill D, get your legs ready, and start climbing up the trail. When you get to the Dog Lake/Desolation Lake split in the trail, head right up to Desolation Lake. Once you get to the top, take a break or feel free to take a spin around the lake before heading back down.

Some additional options not mapped currently:

1. Continue up to Dog Lake instead of Desolation lake which is steeper but much shorter of a ride.
2. Continue up to Wasatch Crest from Desolation Lake and head over to Millcreek Canyon, down to Big Water Trail, back up to Dog Lake, then back down to Mill D.


You & This Featured Ride

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Ride

Your Check-Ins


Sep 24, 2018
Mike Bohan
Rode down from Crest all DH 8mi
Aug 29, 2017
Ashley A
Aug 12, 2017
John Martin 1
Jun 30, 2016
Thom Keyes
Jun 13, 2016
Allen Tanner
Great ride after the first 4 miles. 8mi
Sep 13, 2015
andrew tromey
Jun 28, 2015
andrew tromey
Jun 28, 2015
John Forz

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 12 votes


  4.4 from 12 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star


in Utah


30 Views Last Month
4,584 Since Jun 20, 2013
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult


Option #2 in the description is 12.9 miles and is an absolute blast. When you can't take the shuttle or just looking for a big loop, it's great ride. It's about 3,000 ft gain total, but 2,000 of that is spent in the first 3.8 miles getting to Desolation Lake. After that, on the Crest, it's pretty much all down hill except for a quick .8 mile stint back up to Dog Lake. Aug 18, 2016

I think that riding up Mill D is a great idea for somone looking for a steep and technical ride up to Desolation. I do it often and love the ride. My only advice is to keep an ear out for riders who are shuttling the Crest Trail. They often come down Mill D trail and arent used to seeing uphill traffic Sep 6, 2016
Best descent off the Crest Trail. Bring your long travel enduro bike and enjoy the brrapp! Bring a bell and be respectful to hikers. Aug 25, 2017

MTB Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Mountain Bike

MTB Project is supported by

Support Your Local IMBA Chapter