Grizzly Gulch Trail Little Cottonwood Canyon
Submitted By Dj Nebula Of SLC - Back To Little Cottonwood Canyon Hiking Trails
This hike was another Sunday expedition into unknown territory. Being that is was now September, so weather wise, I did not know what to expect. This hike begins at the old Forest Service Garage 8.3 miles up Little Cottonwood Canyon. The road to the trail begins at the Alta City building right behind the garage. Travel the road for a bit, and it turns into an old jeep track that makes its way into the gulch.
This track winds its way into the gulch until you reach a large tailings pile cut in half for the trail to go through. Then you will pass several tailings piles, then up a steep hill to the first mine on the left. We stopped to take pictures of this mine, and then proceeded up the hill to the first ridge top. Here, you can either continue up the gulch to Twin Lakes Pass, or swing north and head for the Prince of Wales Shaft and the Honeycomb Cliffs. Since I had already climbed the pass from the Big Cottonwood side, I decided to go to the mine.
This trail heads up the side of the canyon wall at a steady pace. You get to one point where there are several old mine sites and the views of Mt Baldy, Hidden Peak, American Fork Twins, and Mt Superior on the north side of the canyon. Continuing up the side of the ridge, you start to see Mt Wolverine shape the sky line. One more switch back and you are on top of Davenport Hill. This is the pass to Silver Fork in Big Cottonwood canyon. Once at this pass you can continue west on the ridge to Flagstaff mountain, or head down into Silver Fork. The third option is the one I took, which parallels the mountain as it heads north.
Follow this track for a ¼ mile and you will reach the Prince of Wales Shaft. This was a mine shaft that was operational in the 1800's. It ceased operations in 1880. The shaft itself is a grueling 900 feet deep, and has been covered with gratings to prevent skiers from falling into it. There is an old boiler and hoisting equipment still there to mark the site. It was a great place to be with the views and the sky line, but of course we had to get on top of something for our hike to be complete. Just before the mine there is a hill which has a trail that takes you on top of the Honeycomb Cliffs. These cliffs are beautiful soft white sandstone carved into goblins and spires. I climbed one of them and the view was spectacular. After having our fun, it was time to move on down for daylight was fading. This is by far one of the best hikes this year, as well as the last warm one.