The summit of Grandeur peak is 8299'. The peak can be climbed year round by hikers of all abilities. Most people find ski poles or trekking poles are a valuable addition when winter hiking. The summit is accessible by two different routes. The easiest and most popular trail is Church Fork, which is accessed from Millcreek Canyon. The second and slightly more challenging route is the West Ridge, which is accessed form Wasatch Boulevard. It is also possible to traverse Grandeur Peak with a car or bicycle spot. If you attempt a traverse, the preferred direction is to climb the West Ridge and descend Church Fork.
Both routes have advantages. The Church Fork route follows a well-maintained trail, begins 900' higher, and is pleasant to hike in the evening on hot days. The Church Fork trail is well traveled in winter and snowshoes are not needed.
The West Ridge route is 1/2 mile shorter, a little more challenging, follows a maintained trail for the first mile and a steep hiker made trail for the last mile. This route is enjoyable to climb in the mornings on hot days. The West Ridge trail is not nearly as heavily traveled as Church Fork and is to steep for snowshoes.
It is not uncommon to see rattlesnakes on this trail. During the spring and fall, rattlesnakes tend to be out during the daytime when the sun is out. During the heat of summer, rattlesnakes hang out in the mornings and evenings when it is cooler. Rattlesnakes are easy to avoid if you are cautious and watch for them.
From Wasatch Boulevard, turn east on 3800 South and drive 3.2 miles up Millcreek Canyon to the Church Fork picnic area located on the north side of the road (N40 41' 51", W111 44' 33"). I always park on the main road. In winter the picnic area is closed which leaves you no option. In summer there is a small parking lot at the top of the picnic area, which will accommodate several cars, but I have never been lucky enough to find and empty spot. The picnic area gate is locked at 10:00 p.m. so park on the main road if you will not be down by than. If you are hiking the trail, please do not take up a picnic site for parking. A small fee is charged to enter Millcreek Canyon ($2.25 per vehicle in 2001). Chruch Fork Route:
From Millcreek Canyon Road walk north 1/4 mile through the Church Fork picnic area. At the end of the paved road there is a well-maintained trail which is signed and easy to follow. Two hundred yards from the end of the pavement the Church Fork trail crosses the Pipeline trail. You want the trail, which heads north and follows the stream. The trail will soon reach some switchbacks that climb to a saddle with an outstanding view into Parleys Canyon and the Salt Lake valley. From the saddle, the summit is 1/2 mile and 700 feet further up the trail.
From the end of Wasatch Boulevard walk up the dirt road and take the first right fork. The dirt road heads towards the mountain. To the left (north) is the first ridge from Parleys Canyon. In the gully formed by the first and second ridge south of Parleys Canyon, there is a well-maintained trail leading up the bottom of the gully. This is the best route for climbing the West Ridge. The trail follows the gully and than cuts left to the ridge top and a view of Parleys Canyon. From the Parleys Canyon viewpoint the route is a well-used hiker made trail which follows the steep ridge to the summit.
© Copyright 2000, Shane Burrows