Location: Mill Creek
Level: 2 out of 5 – gentle incline up, lots of straight parts
Water: No, super dry
Popularity: Seems like a pretty popular hike. We passed many people, many wearing masks. And they all had a dog. Or two.
Parking: Plenty in the campground where the hike starts, also across the road
Shade/Temp: Awesome hike if you get a late start in summer because it’s shady a lot! It gets hot in the sunny strips, but they are quick. I would imagine it’s a cold trail when not summer time due to being on the north face.
Gear: I wore shorts hiking this trail and glad I did! It was super comfortable and the trail was almost always wide enough that I didn’t get scratched by foliage, although it was a very narrow trail for trying to pass people with my big pack.
Flowers: It’s mid August and I saw some super cute little white daisy-like flowers.
The Desolation Trail in Mill Creek Canyon is amazing! I loved how easy of a climb it was, but I really loved all the crazy jagged turns, climbing over rocks and tree roots, and being practically on the edge of a cliff most of the time. Speaking of cliffs, Chloe started sliding down the edge at one point, but because she was in her harness I could just pull her back up. I didn’t have time to capture the moment digitally, but it is permanently in my mind because it was the cutest thing!
The trailhead is inside a really cute little campground, complete with bathrooms, tables and grills. The trail begins right by the restrooms. Unfortunately the creek is on the other side of the road but everything is really shady and cool. I am starting about 10am and I’m neither hot nor cold. I can hear voices chatting the entire beginning of the trail, but nobody is to be seen. Perhaps they are on a neighboring trail. I do start passing people eventually. Lots of them. There was much commentary today on how many dogs I have. Are three dogs a lot?!
The entire beginning of the trail is shaded and cool. As you get higher, some of the trail is very exposed to sun and feels really dry and dusty. Overall, though, it’s a great trail for a hot day.
We loved the rock climb section where you make a hard right on the trail and climb up a bunch of rocks. The girls were like little mountain goats.
We didn’t see a single animal today except for one bird up in a tree. A ton of dogs. And maybe a bug.
We didn’t quite make it to the top this time because my old girls were losing their edge. So we turned back down before the last set of switchbacks knowing we’ll be back soon!
I love the variety of shapes and natural lines in this barkless section of tree, giving a beautiful texture and design. I hope to use this pattern in a background of a web frame or social media banner.