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Though not nearly as popular its neighbors Red Pine Lake and White Pine Lake, Maybird Gulch offers stunning scenery with less traffic. The hike ends at two small ponds in Maybird Gulch with the talus laden slopes of the Pfeifferhorn looming a short distance to the south. This is a great summer hike with just enough elevation and mileage to make it a solid half day effort for most. The trail up to the final junction is well travelled. The final mile or so is a bit rocky and steep in sections, but worth the exertion.
Snow drifts will dot the gulch until late June or even into July most years, while the wild flowers will be coming out as the snow recedes. Fall would find the aspen groves the trail passes through in full golden splendor.
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 5.3 miles to the signed White Pine Trailhead on the south side of the road. This is about a mile up the canyon from the Tanners Flat Campground.
To White Pine Junction (1 mile)
From the trailhead, follow the well used White Pine/Red Pine trail as it descends from the trailhead, crosses a bridge, and begins its ascent from the valley floor. After about 20-30 minutes, the first junction is reached. Left goes to White Pine, right is signed for Red Pine. Go right, with the trail climbing for a couple of minutes before crossing the stream on a bridge and heading west.
To Red Pine Junction (1.6 miles from White Pine Junction)
The trail gradually climbs as it traverses around the ridge into the Red Pine drainage. Just as the trail turns up Red Pine, a stunning overlook of the lower canyon and Salt Lake City comes into view. The trail then begins climbing more steeply before reaching the junction to Maybird Gulch. In summer of 2015, this junction was easy to find, but not signed for Maybird Gulch. Looks for the obvious trail and bridge crossing on the right. If you reach the mine tailings pile, you've gone 2 minutes too far.
To Maybird Gulch (1.1 miles from Red Pine Junction)
Cross the bridge as the trail becomes a little less used, but still easy to follow. It climbs, then traverses around the ridge to the west and begins a final ascent up to Maybird Gulch. The canyon to the west that drains Maybird Gulch is steep and roars with icy torrents in the spring.
As the ascent begins to level off, the trees open a bit and views of Pfeifferhorn and its surrounding ridges come into view at the head of Maybird Gulch. Stunning! Two small ponds are visible toward the head of the gulch with crystal clear water and boulder lined shores. A great lunch spot.
Return the same way.
12T 442345mE 4491861mN
N40° 34' 32" W111° 40' 52"
|White Pine Jct.||
12T 441644mE 4490823mN
N40° 33' 58" W111° 41' 22"
|Red Pine Jct.||
12T 441115mE 4489407mN
N40° 33' 12" W111° 41' 44"
12T 440382mE 4488484mN
N40° 32' 42" W111° 42' 15"