Millcreek Canyon in Salt Lake City is one of the most breathtaking canyons to drive through in the winter time! The snow shines bright on a clear day, and just after a big snow storm, the snow clings to the branches of the tallest evergreen trees and creates the most breathtaking of scenes. We were blessed with some falling snow on the day we went – it was absolutely gorgeous! Grab a pair of cross country skis, snowshoes, backcountry skis, and get on up!
Skiing Millcreek Canyon
There’s multiple options in the Salt Lake City area to go cross country skiing, and one of the best places is in Millcreek Canyon. The read is blocked off at about the 5.0 mile mark, and the rest of the road is unplowed, and covered in snow. A track is groomed for classis cross country skiers, but skate and backcountry skiers, as well as split-boarders are welcome as well. The trail snaked up the rest of the road, coming to a total of about 5.0 miles one-way.
In Millcreek Canyon, walkers, hikers, and skiers are all welcome; off leash dogs are also allowed on odd numbered days, and must be on-leash on even numbered days. Because of this rule, odd numbered days can be far more crowded, especially on weekend days. Parking is often very crowded, and the trail is also packed with people!
My advice is to go on an even numbered day during the week! There are far less people, little to no dogs, and parking is much easier to come by. You can get a couple miles in, even if you start at 3pm or 4pm!
Millcreek Canyon upped the price to $5 per car. You pay when you leave the canyon. If you’re going to frequent the canyon, buy an annual pass! It costs $50 and is good through the month you buy it; i.e., if you buy it in January 2021, it is good through January 2022 until the end of the month. Millcreek Canyon also has some beautiful hikes to do in the summer – definitely worth if it you plan to visit more than 10 times in a year!
Need Gear? Rent From REI!
In need of gear for cross-country skiing? REI offers some of the best deals out there! Member pricing for one night of classic cross-country ski equipment is $22/night; for non-members, it’s $33/night. It includes skis, boots, and poles. This means you can get fitted for equipment on Saturday, ski all day Saturday, and then ski all day on Sunday! They also offer rentals for skate cross country ski and backcountry cross country ski equipment. You can find those prices on their website here.
When returning the equipment, the employees at the store will tell you when they need to be received by, and usually it’s an hour before closing. It’s a pretty sweet deal; and, you can get two days of skiing in for a pretty darn good rate!
Get out there and start skiing your head off! This is probably my favorite workout to do in the wintertime now. I actually cancelled my gym membership since I’ve been cross country skiing so much! It’s a great way to get outside, see the world at a slower pace, workout, and have fun in the process. Dress lightly but bring some layers – remember, you’re working nearly the entire time, so you will get warm!
It’s always nice to pack some hot chocolate or hot tea to have waiting for you in the car once you’re done.
Have fun and happy trails!
Next blog: More snow? It’s been a fun winter so far!!