Terrace Picnic Area to Elbow Fork
Trail Head Information:
The trail head is located in Mill Creek Canyon.
Nearest City: Salt Lake City, Utah
Difficulty (Endurance): 3 (understand the ratings)
The hike from the Terrace Picnic area to the Elbow Fork trail head is one of the most pleasant hikes I have done in some time. The trail starts out with a bit of a meandering walk across the south side of Mill Creek Canyon.
The first 1/4 mile is very easy. About 1/4 of a mile into the hike you will start to climb quite a bit. The rest of the hike is a pretty steady climb until you switch to the downhill portion into the Elbow Fork Trail head area. If you take your time you will have no trouble finishing this trail. The trail is 2.6 miles one way with an elevation gain of about 1,100 feet.
Just keep in mind that if you do not wish to hike back from Elbow Fork to the Terrace Picnic area you will need to have left a car at the Elbow Fork trail head.
Difficult (Technical): 1 (understand the ratings)
You will need no technical skills what so ever to finish this hike.
Trail Quality: 6 (understand the ratings)
The trail from Terrace to Elbow Fork is easy to travel for the most part. There are some parts that require you to traverse a few bedrock outcrops
Towards the top of the trail it does narrow a bit you will be walking through brush and will kick the occasional root. There is no chance of getting lost if you do not deviate from the trail in front of you.
Crowds: 4 (understand the ratings)
I expected all of the trails in Mill Creek Canyon to be a zoo on Memorial Day weekend. I was pleasantly surprised at the Terrace to Elbow Forks lack of crowds. I passed a few people within the first half a mile up the trail.
After encountering those first few people I was able to walk in utter solitude for 40 minutes before I ran into another person.
This trail is not open to bikers so I suspect it is not well traveled. If you want to enjoy a peaceful hike, I would recommend this trail.
Danger: 1(understand the ratings)
Scenic View: 7 (understand the ratings)
If you like walking through forest, I would highly recommend talking this trail. You spend most of the hike walking through thick trees that are heavily shaded. The lush foliage is beautiful to look at while you walk.
You will break through the trees occasionally to see mountain peaks, and some good views of the Salt Lake valley below.
Fear of Heights: 1 (understand the ratings)
There are a few places where the sides of the trail are steep but there is no danger of falling.
Video courtesy of DeLorme Topo V9.0 www.Delorme.com