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Cross Country Skiing
Mill Creek Canyon, Utah

Cost: $3 per visit or $40 for an annual pass (2010-2011 prices). The pass lasts all year, so you can use it in the summer as well.
Location: Entrance to the canyon is at 3800 S Wasatch Blvd
Dog Days: Odd numbered days for no leashes
Fun Factor: Five Stars

We all know how fun Mill Creek Canyon is in the summer for picnics, hiking and biking. But wintertime is a great time to visit the canyon. Mill Creek Canyon is a dog- and kid-friendly place to spend an afternoon in the snow and get some exercise too.

It costs to get in, but the monies collected go to maintaining the facilities. Another plus about an entrance fee is that it (maybe) keeps the crowds down.

a happy dog Dogs are allowed to frolic off-leash on odd days (that would be Feb 1, 3, 5, etc), but must be leash-controlled on the even days.

skiier in Mill Creek Canyon The most popular "trail" is the road itself. During the winter, the upper part of the road is closed to vehicular traffic and is not plowed. This closed-off part of the road is groomed every other day (by volunteers of The Utah Nordic Alliance-TUNA) and offers a nice easy uphill climb (and then a downhill glide) for a workout that won't kill you, but will make you feel that healthy glow. Several other trails are available, and a map is available to help you locate them.

As with any backcountry adventure, be sure you know about the avalanche danger possible before going out. Although covered in snow after a storm, there are picnic tables just off the road offering an inviting rest and perhaps lunch stop.

Frozen Mill Creek Depending on the conditions, the stream that parallels the road may be covered with ice and snow. I for one love to watch water rushing under a sheet of ice decorated with snow-covered rocks. And the heavily snow-laden trees are a beautiful sight. Next time you have a couple of hours that you would like to spend in an uncrowded snow adventure, consider Mill Creek Canyon.

Photo Gallery
TUNA's page on Mill Creek Canyon

Backroads of Utah
by Theresa A. Husarik

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