My first hike in Utah

Read about my very first hike after moving to Utah. Lake Desolation in Big Cottonwood Canyon

My first hike in Utah
Picture from the trail to Lake Desolation

I was finally in Utah, and so excited to explore the new terrain all around me. You can literally see the mountains surrounding the city of Salt Lake City, and I had heard from so many people that the hiking was incredible. There are peaks to summit, hidden alpine lakes to uncover, and so much more. I could hardly wait to explore the place I now called home.

I wanted to do a relatively long hike, but nothing too crazy as I was new to the elevation. My manager recommended I hiked a 7.7 miles hike to Lake Desolation in Big Cottonwood Canyon which is exactly what I did.

I woke up early on Saturday morning to get to the trailhead and started to head from the city into the canyon. I was blown away. Wisconsin had nothing that could compare to the mountains that flanked either side of me. Cars were parked everywhere, bikers and runners were going up and down the road, and I even saw rock climbers on a cliff face as I turned around a bend. There were so many active people, and I really started to feel like I found my place in the world.

Eventually, I pulled up to the trailhead parking and started my hike... the wrong way. I mistakenly hiked south for a couple of minutes towards Jordan Pine campground before realizing I was supposed to be heading north. I looked at my map and started trekking the correct way. Oops, not the best start...

Map from AllTrails. This is the Mill D North trail to Lake Desolation

After the first mile, I was gassed. Most of the first portion was uphill, and it was not something I was used to. I continued on though, continuing to take breaks along the way. It was a great first hike though with very pretty views of meadows, then forests, and then Lake Desolation. Two deer even ran within 10 ft of me while I was taking a water break by a tree.

Being so dry, the lake was pretty low, but it was still cool to see my first Utah alpine lake. The water was so clear and still. I set up my hammock and read a few chapters of my book, just taking in the scenery.

I then began the descent back to the trailhead. Now that I was going downhill instead of uphill I flew down the trail. I might have gotten back to my car in half the time.

Feeling refreshed and content with my first Utah hike, I drove back home happily. To cap off the experience a moose popped out on the road right in front of me! I must have scared him as I slowed to a stop because he slipped on the pavement as it tried to run across the road.

The moose that crossed the road in front of me
The moose that crossed in front of me