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Great Western Trail to Big Mountain: East Canyon, Salt Lake County
Jun 11, 2014 | 1526 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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VIDEO: At 1.20 miles you arrive at what I call the ridgeline saddle, with a 360 degree view. PHOTO: Hikers make there way off Big Mountain. Steve Baker/Davis Clipper
VIDEO: At 1.20 miles you arrive at what I call the ridgeline saddle, with a 360 degree view. PHOTO: Hikers make there way off Big Mountain. Steve Baker/Davis Clipper
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By Steve Baker
 

Clipper Staff Writer 

From Big Mountain Pass, the Great Western Trail starts across the highway. Right off the bat your heart rate goes up on the switchbacks to the lower ridgeline. At .62 miles you arrive at the ridgeline covered with mountain mahogany and aspens. Catch your breath and take in East Canyon views. The trail turns into a stroll on the ridge, which makes it nice hiking through the wildflowers. Soon the trail traverses up to what I call the saddle ridgeline at 1.20 miles. Looking right from this saddle you see Big Mountain in the distance. The trail heads up a small hill, leaves the barren ridge and enters an aspen grove. Elephant ears, chokecherry and bluebells greet you as you enter the aspens. At 1.65 miles you arrive at the first of three meadows inside the aspen grove. After the third and largest meadow you see Big Mountain in front of you. The trail leaves the aspens and traverses the west side of Big Mountain in sagebrush. As the trail heads for the next ridge, watch for a side trail  heading south, straight up the side of Big Mountain and take it. This junction isn’t posted. A pile of rocks sit on the barren mountain top, with a spectacular 360-degree view. 

 
Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation gain: 1,040 ft.

Round-trip miles: 5.20

Hiking time: 3 to 4 hours

Dogs allowed: No

Trailhead restrooms: Yes

Trailhead directions: 

From Interstate 80 in Parleys Canyon, exit Highway 65 to East Canyon. From the exit, drive nine miles up the canyon and park at the summit of Big Mountain Pass. The trail is across the street from parking.

Hike questions: sbaker@davisclipper.com

All Hikes by Steve Baker

 

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