Mill Creek Trail
Recommended Users: Equestrians, Hikers, Mountain Bikers
Type: Two-track, Route
Length: 5.2 miles (from the Mill Creek Access Point)
Sub-Area: Mill Creek (lower) and Broken Mesa (upper)
Zone: Lowland and Upland
Managing Agency: BLM
Access: Mill Creek Access Point—From 1-15 Exit 13 turn left (north) after exiting the off ramp. Continue 0.4 miles and then turn right leaving the pavement (driving carefully between the end of road posts). Continue 1.0 mile and turn right. Drive north another mile until reaching the NCA boundary (marked by a stepover and kiosk). Park here off the travelway, and do not block the gate. High clearance vehicles are recommended to reach this access point; during and after inclement weather, this route may be impassable.
Main Street Access Point—From I-15 Exit 8 turn west onto St. George Blvd. Turn right on 1000 East. Turn right (east) at the traffic light on Red Hills Parkway. Continue heading east as Red Hills Parkway turns into Buena Vista Boulevard until reaching Main Street. Turn left (north) on Main Street and continue until it ends at gated dirt road. Park in the shoulder well off the road on the left, but do not block the gate. Starting at this location will add 1.3 miles to the length of the two-track before reaching the NCA boundary.
Description: The lower 2.0 miles of Mill Creek Trail is a two-track used intermittently by vehicles to maintain the water pump stations located throughout the Mill Creek area. Although this two-track section itself is a long, linear, and unattractive feature on the landscape, the views of the surrounding area are quite beautiful, making the trail popular for dog-walking and other urban edge hiking (e.g.: after dinner walks, before work runs and bikes rides, etc.). Only this lower two-track section below the last water pump station is recommended for equestrians and mountain bikers. There are long stretches of sand, so bikers beware, sometimes the sand is deep and sometimes it’s not. Beyond this point the route is rugged, narrow, rocky, and difficult for all but those on foot.
There are water pump stations located along the two-track. After the last pump station the trail splits: left for Mill Creek Trail and right for Washington Hollow Trail
. Both trails follow their namesake washes up into the Cottonwood Canyon Wilderness. The trail is not signed beyond this point and is rugged: filled with boulders, brushy, and becomes progressively narrow. It should be considered off-trail travel with the requisite precautions taken (see Note below).
If you plan on any off-trail, or backcountry travel (only allowed once inside wilderness), navigational aids are strongly recommended. Search and rescue operations are not uncommon for hikers lost in this wilderness as distances are deceiving and many people go unprepared for the rugged conditions. Please read Know Before You Go
before venturing off-trail. There is generally no cell phone coverage throughout the wilderness area.