Hiking the Pipeline Trail


Two weekends ago, we decided it would be a nice time to start our season of hiking. I mean, why not? The weather was perfect, we were bored, and it’s about that time of year anyway. Since we love including our dogs so much, and since Millcreek Canyon lets dogs be included, we headed straight there as always. (We even ended up buying a season pass, which we are ecstatic to get to use ALL YEAR!)

Our first hike turned out to be pretty awesome. We parked at the lot nearest to the mouth of the canyon and started from there, without knowing where we were going or how long it would take. We began at Rattlesnake Gulch and hiked UP a path (yeah – keyword “UP”) that included lots of switchbacks. Let me tell you – going about eight months without such muscle-use is not only kind of sad, but quite exhausting. Despite it, not once did I think I wanted to turn back. “I’m gonna get to the top, damn it,” I thought to myself.

After about an hour of climbing Rattlesnake Gulch, we came to a fork in the trail. The hikers that started after us (but somehow ended up in front of us) took the right trail with so much gusto that I wondered if they had “somewhere to be.” Kyle and I then decided to take the left trail, also known as the Pipeline Trail. “Ah, I’ve heard of this one before!” (I was kind of pleased with that fact, clearly). It wasn’t too much harder after that (thank God), as it was pretty flat and the climb in altitude, if any, was very subtle.

This was what the trail looked like:

Pipeline. That may or may not be Kyle peeing in the distance.

The views from the trail were also quite nice.

View of the Rattlesnake Gulch parking lot from the Pipeline Trail. It’s higher than it looks in the picture.

The adjacent mountain.

As it would happen, I started complaining right before we made the bend to see the following view:

When we finally reached a view of Salt Lake Valley!

Just a few minutes more and we reached the official Salt Lake Overlook at the end of Pipeline!

We did it! (Even the little one!)

Nice view from the overlook. You can see the Great Salt Lake in the background.

I think Chloe was a little bit too excited to have reached the end…

Just had to post this one. My dogger is so funny! (She gets it from me 😉 )

And of course, it wasn’t until we got home that we researched and found out that we had just hiked a total of SEVEN miles and climbed around 1,000 feet in altitude. What! I guess that seems about right. It did take us about 2.5 hours, after all.

As much as I want to generate fake complaints about how “hard it was,” or “how out of shape I am,” I just can’t bring myself to do so. It may have been hard, and yes, I may be out of shape, but the truth is, I love hiking in its entirety – way too much to complain about it. When I was a kid, four-hour drives to the Southern Utah adventure land were frequent. Even beyond Moab and Zions National Park, it seems as though many of our trips were nature-based (Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, etc.). Looking back, I find it so hard to believe that I almost want to deny it. Between the time that we moved to and from Hong Kong, my parents kind of stopped caring about nature and we subsequently stopped going out to enjoy it. Perhaps I was having withdrawals, but I absolutely think all those times of simply walking on a conveniently formed path through an otherwise natural environment instilled this love in me – one that I won’t ever be able to deny!

Do you love to hike? Where are your favorite trails?

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