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Dog Lake

Dog Lake
Mill D - North Fork

Big Cottonwood Canyon
Wasatch Mountains


          Unlike most Wasatch Mountain lakes, Dog Lake lies in the middle of a forested area instead of a cirque. The lake is easy to reach and is suitable for beginners and older children.

          The scenery along the trail is beautiful in any season, spring comes complete with fresh life, summer offers an abundance of wildflowers, the autumn colors are outstanding, and it's almost impossible to beat winters snow covered landscape.

General Information:
Click Here for Google Earth KMZ fileClick Here for Topograpic Map           Dog lake is a fun and popular hike. The lake is located in the middle of a forest. The trail to Dog lake is 2 1/2 miles one-way and it will require approximately 1 1/2 hours to reach the lake from the trailhead. This is one of the more popular hikes in the Wasatch Mountains. Mountain bikes are allowed on the trail so expect some company.

          All hikers in your party should carry a minimum of one liter of water. Water is plentiful in this area, but all water taken from lakes and streams should be filtered before drinking. You will pass a spring one the way to the lake that provides an opportunity to refill water bottles. Insect repellent is a good idea as mosquitos can be bothersome during certain times of the year. A mosquito repellent that contains DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) is highly recommended.

          The route contains no real obstacles. This route is suitable for beginners. Dog lake is rated 1 II using the Yosemite Decimal System.

          Navigation for this route is easy. A GPS is useful in identifying waypoints and verifying your location. Good map reading skills and the USGS 7.5' Map titled "Mount Aire" is helpful. All waypoints and maps for this route use the WGS84 datum. It should be noted that due to new trail construction and trail realignment the USGS maps are not accurate in relation to trail location. The trails are correctly located on the map provided.

          Big Cottonwood Canyon is within Salt Lake City Watershed, therefore special restrictions apply and are strictly enforced. No domestic animals (dogs, cats, horses) are permitted in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

          During the winter months the Mill D area is a popular snowshoe destination. Avalanche danger should always be a major priority and proper precautions should be taken when enjoying Utah's winter wonderland.

Fall Colors Stormy Burrows on the trail to Dog Lake.

Trailhead Information:
          From anywhere in the Salt lake Valley take I-215 East until you reach the 6200 South Exit (Exit 6). Signs are marked for the ski areas, you will be heading towards Brighton and Solitude Ski Resorts. Drive east on 6200 south and the road will become Wasatch Boulevard. Follow Wasatch Boulevard south to an intersection with Fort Union Boulevard (7200 South). The intersection is located 1.7 miles after exiting I-215.

          All mileage is taken from the intersection of Wasatch Boulevard and Fort Union Boulevard. This is known locally as the "Mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon". There is a large Park and Ride lot with restrooms located near the north east corner of the intersection.

          From the intersection drive east up Big Cottonwood Canyon. After driving 9.1 miles you will reach the signed "Mill D Trailhead". This is a large paved parking lot located on both the north and south side of the road. Information kiosks are located on both sides of the road. A toilet is located next to the south side parking lot. The Mill D Trailhead is the beginning of several popular hikes.

Stormy Burrows Hiking to Dog lake Dog Lake

Route Information:
          The Dog Lake Trail begins next to the information kiosk (N40 38' 59", W111 38' 53") in the center of the north side parking lot. Just follow the well maintained trail as it begins to climb northeast up the side of the mountain. After 1 3/4 miles you will notice some pipes in the stream that identify a spring (N40 39' 41", W111 37' 46"). The water is good to drink where it empties from the spring fed pipes.

          150 yards after you pass the spring you will encounter a signed junction (N40 39' 44", W111 37' 47"). The trail to the east (right) goes to Desolation Lake. Follow the trail to the west (left) towards Dog Lake. From the junction the trail climbs 1/2 mile to Dog Lake (N40 40' 01", W111 38' 19").

Dog Lake

Optional Information:
          If you are looking for a little extra adventure after reaching Dog Lake several easy peaks are nearby. You can climb 9422 foot  Peak, which is located 1/2 mile southwest from Dog Lake or 9605 foot Little Water Peak located 1/2 mile northeast.

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