Mueller Park Trail - Elephant Rock

Bountiful, UT
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Mueller Park Trail is a 13.00 mile out and back trail located near Bountiful, Utah and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for cross country skiing, hiking & mountain biking and is accessible year-round. It is 3.6 miles to Elephant Rock.

Mueller Park to Elephant Rock
Duration: 3 hours
Distance: 3.66 one way
Difficulty: Moderate, then easy
Trailhead: Mueller Park
Elevation: Mueller Park 5230; Elephant Rock 6255
Elevation Gain: 1025
Map: Fort Douglas 7.5 quadrangle
GPS Coordinates: Elephant Rock--12 T 0431213/4522706
Dogs: Allowed

Introduction:
The Mueller Park trail is the quintessential easy-access trail. From neighborhood to trailhead in 500 feet, you can hit this trail before work, after work, or on a long lunch break. Your reward comes in the form of a riparian area, tranquil backcountry, a birds-eye view of Bountiful below, and a mix of hardwoods and conifers.

Mueller Park trail is extremely popular in the summer. This trail winds across and up the mountain keeping the elevation gain manageable. The thick scrub oak provides anchors for the snow pack so avalanche danger ranks low. But perhaps the biggest plus of this trail is how quickly you exit the city and the resulting views.

How to get there: From I-15 take the 315 exit. Head east on W 2600 South to Orchard Drive and continue straight. At 1800 South turn east and follow the road to its conclusionMueller Park. The trail begins before the fee booth. Cross the foot bridge to the south.

Trail description: The trailhead is well marked and easy to find. Start by crossing the bridge. The trail passes next to Mill Creek for the first few hundred feet where it then begins to wind up the hill. The trail makes four wide sweeping .5 mile switchbacks as it climbs this north face of the mountain. After climbing the first .5 mile youll be rewarded with views to the west of Bountiful and the Great Salt Lake; and again at .70 mile. At .75 mile the trail leaves the switchbacks and rounds the corner of the mountain heading south and east as it hugs the curves of the mountain. As it makes this turn you can look east and see the large grey blob of rock youre headed for: Elephant Rock. The trail continues to the east maintaining elevation between 5500 and 6000, winding in and out along the silhouette of the mountain as it leads toward Elephant Rock. The trail crosses a couple springs and bridges along the way.

At 3.5 miles the trail forks. By going straight and toward the front of the mountain you will hit Elephant Rock, by heading up the mountain to the right/south you will head toward Rudys Flat and North Canyon. To return, follow your same path back.

Options: Mueller Park Picnic Area, just east of the Mueller Park trailhead, closes during winter months. Mill Creek runs through the picnic area.

Directions from Salt Lake City:
Access #1: Via Mueller Park Picnic Area. Travel north on I-15 and take the Woods Cross exit. Turn east on 2600 South to Route 89. Follow 89 North to Route 106 North. Take 106 North to 1875 South, turn east and follow 1875 South to the park entrance. Trail begins just past the gate on the south side of the road.

Access #2: Via North Canyon. Follow the directions above to 1875 South. Take 1875 South to Bountiful Boulevard. Turn south (right) and go 1.7 miles to Indian Springs Road, turn east (left) and follow the road to its end where the trail begins.

OR:

I-15 Exit 315 (2600 South)
Turn EAST on W 2600 South
Continue straight onto Orchard Drive
Turn right onto E 1800 S
Follow up the hill and down through development to roads end.

Parking for about a dozen cars before the fee station; more parking available prior to Muellar Park in the neighborhood.

Many picnic areas available for groups - both large and small

Utah Travel Council, Council Hall
P.O. Box 147420
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114,
801-538-1030
travel@utah.com

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2 Completed 1 Reviews

Hiked it today (3/30/14). Totally worth the view when you get to Elephant Rock. It's still muddy and there are some snow packed areas. We made it through just fine with tennis shoes.

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1 Completed 2 Reviews

Very easy to get to. Easy hike. Pretty crowded at the bottom, but the higher you get the less crowded it is. Just hiked it last week (01/20/14). Trail is completely covered in snow, but its packed like cement. Hiked it in tennis shoes. Deep snow off trail though. I like it for a quick and easy chance to get on the mountain, and above the bad air in the winter.

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2 Completed 1 Reviews

Awesome trail to bike, especially in the middle if the day during the week when the crowds are smaller. Gets very crowded in the weekends. The trail is even better on a bike once you get past The Rock.

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1 Completed 1 Reviews

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28 Completed 9 Reviews

Watching the sunset from Elephant Rock is amazing. Fun trail to run. Expect lots of people, especially mountain bikers.

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4 Completed 2 Reviews

Backpacked in from the elephant rock trailhead and camped up at rudy's flat. About a 2 hour hike with a short break at elephant rock and hoofing up a guitar and a bunch of beer and water. Came back down the north canyon route- frickin awesome.

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14 Completed 7 Reviews

My daughter (4 years old) was able to walk all the way to Elephant Rock with no issues. There were a few muddy places and some snow but nothing out of the ordinary for this time of year. Worth the trip!

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2 Completed 2 Reviews

I wanted to love this trail, but my timing was off- the trail was very muddy almost all the way up. It was about evenly muddy and dry with quite a bit of snow/ ice in there too. I would wait a few weeks or a month before trying this, but once the trail dries up I think it'll be great. Good trip for some exercise and lovely views at points.

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61 Completed 7 Reviews

This is one of my favorite trails to Run, Bike, Hike, and Ski. Great views. Try to catch it when the trail is not busy.

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2 Completed 2 Reviews

The Trail to Elephant Rock is truly one of the treasures in Northern Utah: it is close to town, it is spectacularly beautiful, it is a trail for all seasons, it gives one a good work out, and one can find many kinds of animals along the way including: deer, moose, squirrel, chipmunk, cougar (mostly their tracks as they are elusive), and many species of birds.

I hike the trail mostly in the late Fall, through the Winter, and into the early Spring. During those times of the year you can find me on the trail 2-3 times a week. In the snow or the rain or in good weather, it is like magic for me. I stay off the trail during the busy summer months because of mountain bikers--they have a right to the trail too I just find them noisy and way too fast. Also I spend most of my hiking energy during the summer hiking the Burro Mine Trail that follows the Mill Stream Canyon below Elephant Rock. No bikes. Lots of history.

The Elephant Rock Trail poses one main hazard that I would point out to the uninitiated: It is almost impossible to walk on that trail after it gets dark if there is no moon out. Take a flashlight! I have given several flashlights away and have helped bring out many people who were stuck and unable to move when the "lights went out" on the Elephant Rock Trail.

Last summer I walked into Rudy's Flats (which is several miles above Elephant Rock further up the trail). A mountain biker was catching his breath having ridden up City Creek Canyon and was about to head down the trail to Elephant Rock and on down to Mueller Park. He said he was from Park City and loved this trail more than any trail he rides in Utah and found it more than worth the drive to enjoy it.

I simply love the Trail to Elephant Rock.

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