Thayne Peak |

Millcreek Canyon

Hiking Thayne Peak - Millcreek Canyon Hiking Thayne Peak
Millcreek Canyon

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

Overview

RATING: Moderate Hike (about 3000' of elevation gain)

Wed

54 | 33

Thu

58 | 38

Fri

60 | 40

Sat

55 | 42

Sun

54 | 40

View Full Weather Details
SEASON: Late Spring, Summer, Fall
GEAR: Standard Hiking Gear
WATER: None

Wed

54 | 33

Thu

58 | 38

Fri

60 | 40

Sat

55 | 42

Sun

54 | 40

View Full Weather Details
Sunrise from near the top of Thayne Peak

Sunrise from near the top of Thayne Peak

Thayne Peak, at 8,656’, is not the most dramatic of the peaks in Millcreek Canyon. Mount Raymound or Gobblers Knob are my personal favorites for most dramatic peaks in Millcreek. Thayne Peak is quite popular and can be done as a nice semi-loop visiting the Salt Lake Overlook (on the south side of Millcreek) on the return.

It is a lovely outing that is not as long or strenuous as some of the other peaks in the canyon. There are a couple of ways to visit the peak. The shortest route is up Thayne Canyon, returning the same way. Having done Thayne Canyon many times, I must say, I really dislike it! It seems steep, boxed in, and endless feeling every time I have hiked up it. The alternative, the Desolation Trail is the opposite of Thayne Canyon. Originally designed for motorcycle use, the Desolation Trail takes seemingly endless lazy switch backs before intersection the Thayne Canyon trail not far for the peak. It is much longer, but also much more gradual. My preference is to grunt up Thayne Canyon, then take the longer and more leisurely Desolation Trail down.

Thayne Peak behind the aspen.

Thayne Peak behind the aspen.

Getting There

Millcreek Canyon is on the east side of the Salt Lake Valley, just south of I-80 and Parleys Canyon. To get there, take I-215 South from I-80 and take exit 4 off of I-215 and go left (east) on 3900 South.

Turn left on Wasatch Blvd just after crossing under the highway, then the next right on Millcreek Canyon Road.

0.7 miles from the junction of Wasatch Blvd and Millcreek Canyon Road is the entrance to Millcreek Canyon and the pay booth.

Mileage below is from the pay booth.

  • 0.7 miles - Pipeline Trailhead on the left (north).
  • 2.4 miles - Church Fork Trailhead on the left (north).
  • 2.5 miles - Desolation on the right (south). This is the trailhead.
Wildcat Ridge and Olympus south of Thayne Peak

Wildcat Ridge and Olympus south of Thayne Peak

Route

From the trailhead, hike south up the trail. In a few minutes, the first Desolation Trai junction is reached. Right goes on the Desolation Trail, straight stays in the Thayne Canyon bottom. A few minutes past this first junction is a second Desolation Trail junction.

If wanting to take the Desolation Trail up, this second junction is the junction I recommend going right on, then following its course up hill. It will pass a rock outcrop on the ridge (The Salt Lake Overlook), then continue up more lazy switchbacks until reaching the Thayne Canyon Junction. This trail has great wide-open views of Millcreek for much of its length. The Salt Lake Overlook is popular for its excellent views of the Salt Lake Valley.

If taking the more direct path, stay straight on the Thayne Canyon Trail as it heads up the drainage. It is steep, rocky, and hemmed in. Grunt uphill until the junction with the Desolation Trail coming in on the right is reached. Phew! A steep climb.

From the Thayne/Desolation junction continue up hill on the Desolation trail. It will pass another major junction after one long switchback. Stay left here. Right climbs up to the ridge and heads down Neff's Canyon.

The trail climbs to a shoulder and another switchback. The social trail that leaves this corner heads north up Thayne Peak. It is steep in places, but very well used. The top is an excellent place to take in the views of Millcreek, the Salt Lake Valley, and the ridge separating Millcreek from Big Cottonwood.

Return the same way or take the opposite Thayne/Desolation trail down to make it a semi-loop.


Maps

Route Up Thayne Canyon Down Desolation / 9.17 miles / Elevation Range 5,738 - 8,652 ft.
Printable Maps:
Thayne / Desolation Trailhead

12T 437479mE 4505454mN

N40° 41' 51" W111° 44' 24"

Desolation Trail Jct

12T 437434mE 4505414mN

N40° 41' 50" W111° 44' 26"

Desolation Trail Jct 2

12T 437693mE 4504857mN

N40° 41' 32" W111° 44' 15"

Salt Lake Overlook

12T 437223mE 4504489mN

N40° 41' 20" W111° 44' 35"

Deso Thayne Jct

12T 438381mE 4503419mN

N40° 40' 46" W111° 43' 45"

Deso Neffs Jct

12T 438224mE 4503292mN

N40° 40' 42" W111° 43' 52"

Thayne Peak Side Trail

12T 438968mE 4503392mN

N40° 40' 45" W111° 43' 20"

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