Winter Hike in Salt Lake City: Mill D North Fork

Mil D North Fork

Getting to the Trailhead

 North Fork Trailhead., Salt Lake City, UT 84121


This hike is located in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Salt Lake City, Utah. To get there, you’ll need to get onto I-215 S (if coming from the downtown SLC area). Take exit 6 for 6200 South. At the exit, stay left and follow signs for “East” (Brighton/Solitude/Alta/Snowbird Ski Resort Areas). Use any lane to turn left onto E 6200 S/Big Cottonwood Rd S. Follow UT-190 E, it will turn into Wasatch Blvd. Turn left onto UT-190 E/Big Cottonwood Canyon Road. 

From the mouth of the canyon, the trailhead will be approximately 9 miles up the canyon. The trailhead is on the left (if you’re heading up the canyon), and the parking lot will be on both sides (right and left).

Trail Overview


I have only done this trail during the wintertime as a short day hike to get my legs moving. For that reason, Brighton and I haven’t gotten to either lake mentioned above. With that being said, this hike is beautiful right from the beginning. They say “it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey”… For this hike, that is true.


The hike to Dog Lake is shorter and easier than the hike to Desolation Lake. During the winter, you see many snowshoers, XC skiers, and hikers like me! I love this hike because you can hike it in the winter without any fancy equipment because it gets traveled enough to be hard packed. I did wear YakTrax on this hike as an extra precaution, but it was not necessary. Brighton wore snowshoes since we couldn’t find his pair of YakTrax.


This hike begins from the trailhead by wandering up and to the right, paralleling the road for the first portion. It features a good mix of shade and sunny parts. As you can tell from the photos and video, I loved the view of the canyon. It’s so perfect for a quick evening or day hike.



The trail is a steady climb uphill. We went about an hour up and an hour down, and went a moderate pace without feeling like it was too easy or too difficult or unattainable.


I’m putting this hike on my bucket list for a summer hike for sure!

Put yourself in my hiking boots!

What do you look for in a winter hike? Do you prefer other winter sports? Have you done this hike before? If so, what was your favorite season?