Honeycomb Fork |

Big Cottonwood Canyon

Hiking Honeycomb Fork - Big Cottonwood Canyon Hiking Honeycomb Fork
Big Cottonwood Canyon

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

Overview

RATING: Moderate Hike
MAPS: BRIGHTON, UT; PARK CITY WEST, UT

Mon

54 | 23

Tue

61 | 28

Wed

64 | 34

Thu

64 | 34

Fri

63 | 34

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SEASON: Late spring, summer, fall
GEAR: Standard Hiking Gear
WATER: None.

Mon

54 | 23

Tue

61 | 28

Wed

64 | 34

Thu

64 | 34

Fri

63 | 34

View Full Weather Details
Dawn on the Honeycomb Cliffs

Dawn on the Honeycomb Cliffs

Honeycomb Fork is one of the more scenic side canyons of Big Cottonwood Canyon. Though the lower section is heavily forested, once some elevation is gained, there are several picturesque alpine meadows dotted with wildflowers and tucked near the base of the Honeycomb Cliffs. The trail sees a bit of bike traffic, though it seems less visited than many of the other hikes in Big Cottonwood. It is an excellent place to get away from the crowds.

Though a lovely hike, this is a steep hike. The first 1.5-ish miles to Silver Fork junction is moderate and makes a good shorter hike, though the scenery is just getting good when you turn around. Once above Silver Fork Junction, the trail becomes quite steep. My recommendation, if planning on visiting the upper section of Honeycomb Fork, is to make a loop by descending the Solitude Ski Resort roads.

Historical Note: Honeycomb Fork was the site of quite a bit of mining activity, with several old tailing piles and ruins visible in the upper basin. The canyon is now a mix of private and forest service land, with Solitude Ski Resort managing much of the private land. In the winter, this is a black diamond ski run.
Looking back at one of the lovely meadows.

Looking back at one of the lovely meadows.

Getting There

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

Follow 6200 South which becomes Wasatch Blvd for 1.8 miles to the stop light and signs for Big Cottonwood Canyon.

Turn left at the light and reset your odometer.

Drive up Big Cottonwood Canyon. The trailhead is 12.2 miles up the canyon at Solitude Entrance 1. The trail starts on the west side of the parking lot.

NOTE: The gate closes and is locked in the evenings. I recommend parking along the Big Cottonwood Canyon Road to avoid any risk of getting locked in. It doesn't add much distance to the hike.
The cliffs starting to peek through the trees.

The cliffs starting to peek through the trees.

Route

To Honeycomb Fork (1.3 miles from the parking lot)
Enter the ski resort and go to the west end of the parking lot. Follow the Queen Bess single track trail marked with a blue marker. It goes under the ski lift, then crosses a dirt road. Go left on the dirt road as it begins to climb a bit. It continues west, then south at it bends around the edge of the mountain. A single-track trail goes off on the left here, stay right on the dirt road.

The road soon reaches the base of the ski lift and becomes a single track. When the single-track divides, go left. (right goes to Silver Fork)

To the Top of Honeycomb Fork (1.8 miles)
The trail now begins to climb up Honeycomb Fork in earnest, with a few very rocky sections. This section is steep and punctuated by lovely meadows interspersed with forested sections. There are no side trails, so navigation is easy. When the Honeycomb Cliffs come into view, several tailing piles and old mining ruins are visible. Continue up, with the trail steepness not relenting until crossing the ridge to a ski lift.

Down Solitude (3.5 miles)
From the ski lift, follow the dirt road down. Be sure, after about 5 minutes of walking, to go left toward Solitude, not right toward Brighton. This is well signed for skiers. Continue down the dirt road. It meanders down, passing Lake Solitude en route. If in doubt, always stay on the most used dirt road going down.

Not far after Lake Solitude, the road climbs a little bit and passes the Round House Café (closed in summers). After the Round House, the road goes west, then makes a bend and heads back east. A lesser used dirt road joins on the left after the bend. This is a scenic route back to the parking lot, though it is a bit rocky in spots. Follow the road back down to the parking lot.


Maps

Route (Loop) / 7.26 miles / Elevation Range 8,037 - 10,033 ft.
Route (Up and Back) / 6.78 miles / Elevation Range 8,037 - 10,033 ft.
Printable Maps:
Trailhead

12T 449614mE 4497214mN

N40° 37' 27" W111° 35' 45"

Jct - Stay right on road.

12T 448326mE 4497168mN

N40° 37' 25" W111° 36' 39"

Ski Lift Base

12T 448060mE 4496623mN

N40° 37' 08" W111° 36' 51"

End of Road

12T 448085mE 4496420mN

N40° 37' 01" W111° 36' 49"

Jct - Go left (right to Silver Fork)

12T 448066mE 4496399mN

N40° 37' 00" W111° 36' 50"

Ski Lift Top

12T 448665mE 4494433mN

N40° 35' 57" W111° 36' 24"

Jct - Stay Left (Right to Brighton)

12T 449215mE 4494492mN

N40° 35' 59" W111° 36' 01"

Jct - Left To Lower Solitude

12T 448971mE 4496837mN

N40° 37' 15" W111° 36' 12"

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