Friday, October 28, 2011

Hiking the Little Cottonwood Trail

Ruins of a mill

Tucked away in the trees beside Little Cottonwood Creek are the ruins of an old mill.  It is a pretty easy hike to reach the spot where you can view the mill.  The ruins are actually across the creek, which was still running fairly high when I went on this hike.  The mill-side of the creek also has a high wall rising from the creek bank to the mill, making access difficult.  I would NOT recommend crossing the creek and attempting to get to the mill at this point of the trail.

Little Cottonwood Creek

The trail leaves from a parking area on the south side of the road up Little Cottonwood Canyon.  If you cross the street, you will see the trailhead for Lisa Falls.  It is easy to do both hikes in one outing.  The trail to the mill ruins dips down from the road.  When the trail forks, turn left and head east up the trail to the mill ruins.

View from the trail.

This hike is fairly shady.  The trail is used by mountain bikers, so be aware of that as you hike.  You will have glimpses of the creek as you hike as well.

Wall on the mill-side bank of the creek.

When you reach the mill viewing area, you can perch on the wall and have a snack or some water.  If you continue on a little further up the trail, you will discover the remains of an old car.  It is an odd place to find a vehicle, and I wonder what story this pile of metal would tell!

Old car parts

View from the trail.

This is a pretty hike and is only 1.6 miles round-trip.  It is an out-and-back hike, and the parking area is located about 2.7 miles up Little Cottonwood Canyon. You may park on either side of the road.  The trail is wide and easy to follow, and is not very steep.  In fact, the guide book I looked in gave this hike a net elevation loss of 170 feet!  This is a great hike to do when you are short on time.

Mill ruins in Little Cottonwood Canyon