Flagstaff Peak (Mountain) |

Little Cottonwood Canyon

Hiking Flagstaff Peak (Mountain) - Little Cottonwood Canyon Hiking Flagstaff Peak (Mountain)
Little Cottonwood Canyon

Overview | Getting There | Route | Photos | Maps | Comments


RATING: Moderate/Strenuous Hike


50 | 37


52 | 38


53 | 40


53 | 40


52 | 40

View Full Weather Details
SEASON: Late spring, summer, fall
GEAR: Standard Hiking Gear
WATER: None.


50 | 37


52 | 38


53 | 40


53 | 40


52 | 40

View Full Weather Details
Dawn along the trail, lighting up the peaks on the north side of LCC.

Dawn along the trail, lighting up the peaks on the north side of LCC.

Flagstaff Peak to Grizzly Gulch is one of my favorite sections of ridges to hike in the canyons. Getting to the summit of Flagstaff is not technical but is steep! It will get the heart pounding and test your cardio. Once on the ridge, it is a lovely amble with excellent views of Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons along the way. Doing the loop up Flagstaff, along the ridge, and down Grizzly makes for a solid half day hike. Just make sure to be aware of afternoon thunderstorms, to avoid being caught on the ridge during lightning.

For less motivated groups, hiking up Flagstaff and returning the same way is a nice shorter outing that will still test your cardio. The grassy slopes of the south face of Flagstaff can be quite colorful in wildflower season. There is not much left of the old mine but seeing the tailing pile and road makes for an interesting bit of history.

Collins Gulch at Alta from the trail.

Collins Gulch at Alta from the trail.

Getting There

Little Cottonwood Canyon is on the east side of the Salt Lake City Valley. Get there by following I-215 to the east, taking exit 6 off the interstate and heading east toward the mountains.

Follow 6200 South which becomes Wasatch Blvd for 1.8 miles to the stop light and signs for Big Cottonwood Canyon. Continue south (straight) through the light an additional 2.3 miles to a junction and light. Stay left here, reaching the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon in an additional 1.6 miles.

From the mouth of Little Cottonwood, travel up the canyon 8.1 mile, where Our Lady of the Snows Center is on the left. (Across from the Alta Lodge, just before the Shallow Shaft Restaurant.) Park here, just after a dirt road leaves on the left.

The ridge east of Flagstaff Mountain

The ridge east of Flagstaff Mountain


To The Summit (1.9 miles / about 2000’ of gain / 2 hours)
From the trailhead, follow the road north and east as it climbs up through a small neighborhood. At the third switchback is trail junction. Right goes toward Grizzly Gulch. Go left toward Cardiff Pass as the trail steepens. About 4 switchbacks after the first junction is a second less defined junction with an old mining road leaving on the right. Take this less road as it climbs and zig zags up to an old mine tailing pile. The road ends here at the mine. The path? Straight up the grassy slope! Work up the slope, trending a bit west to the obvious low point on the ridge.

Once you reach the ridge, a good social trail heads east (right) up to Flagstaff Mountain. The USGS maps mark the top as near where the trail reaches the top. The highest peak, however, is the peak north of the ridge. A lesser used social trail goes down on the east side around a rock outcropping, then continues to the true summit. (for the purists!)

Ridge to Grizzly Gulch (1.9 miles / 1 hour)
If making the ridge run, head east from the peak along the well-defined social trail. It meanders around Days Fork, and both forks of Silver Fork before reaching Davenport Hill. There are a few social trails leaving the ridge, stay on the most used trail near the ridgeline. It is never away from the ridge for more than a few minutes.

At Davenport Hill, a more prominent junction is reached. Go right, on the south side of Davenport Hill. Left descends into Silver Fork. At first, right does not look as well travelled, but soon becomes well defined. Once around Davenport, the trail drops to a saddle at the top of Silver Fork. Continue east a few minutes to where the trail climbs out of the saddle and meets the old mining road to Prince of Wales Mine / Grizzly Gulch.

Side Trip: From where you reach the old mining road, you can head left (north) to cross over the ridge and visit Prince of Wales Mine. If doing this, stay right and the first trail junction you come to. The mine is only about a 0.6-mile round trip side trip.

Down Grizzly Gulch (1.75 miles / 40-60 minutes)
Go right on the old mining road. As it passes through the upper meadows, wildflowers are likely to abound. Stay on the old road that becomes more defined as you descend toward the bottom of Little Cottonwood. It reaches a stream, and bends east, descending a very rocky old section of road.

Shortly after the ruins of the Michigan Utah Mine are on the right. Keep on the old road, going straight when you reach a gate and junction. Past the gate, the road is very well travelled. A sign shows the trail junction where it leaves the road. If you descend this single track, you reach the Little Cottonwood Canyon road about 0.2 miles above where you parked. This is likely the fastest way back. Or, stay on the road and go left at the next junction. This route re-traces a bit of the first part of the hike.


Flagstaff Only / 3.85 miles / Elevation Range 8,657 - 10,544 ft.
Flagstaff Ridge Down Grizzly / 5.99 miles / Elevation Range 8,657 - 10,544 ft.
Printable Maps:

12T 446062mE 4493462mN

N40° 35' 25" W111° 38' 15"

Jct - Left

12T 446036mE 4493596mN

N40° 35' 29" W111° 38' 16"

Jct - Right

12T 445491mE 4493811mN

N40° 35' 36" W111° 38' 39"


12T 445407mE 4494227mN

N40° 35' 49" W111° 38' 43"


12T 445227mE 4494505mN

N40° 35' 58" W111° 38' 50"


12T 445330mE 4494646mN

N40° 36' 03" W111° 38' 46"

Jct - Prince of Wales / Grizzly Gulch

12T 447786mE 4494516mN

N40° 35' 59" W111° 37' 02"

Loop Junction

12T 447792mE 4494673mN

N40° 36' 04" W111° 37' 01"

Jct - Right to Prince of Wales

12T 447854mE 4494892mN

N40° 36' 12" W111° 36' 59"

Prince of Wales Mine

12T 447884mE 4495049mN

N40° 36' 17" W111° 36' 58"

Mine Jct

12T 447597mE 4494130mN

N40° 35' 47" W111° 37' 10"


12T 446880mE 4493887mN

N40° 35' 39" W111° 37' 40"

Jct - Straight

12T 446850mE 4493876mN

N40° 35' 38" W111° 37' 41"

Jct - Single Track / Dirt Road

12T 446431mE 4493804mN

N40° 35' 36" W111° 37' 59"


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