I love Utah. Everything I want to do is here. There’s hiking trails galore! I’ve grown up at the mouth of Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons and it wasn’t until this winter that I discovered this trail. I looked it up on our handy Wasatch Hiking Trails Map to find the name of it.
North Fork Deaf Smith Canyon is the trail, although about a half mile in there is a fork in the trail. The left fork is the North Fork and is a little longer trail, approximately 3 miles up and then the trail kind of disappears. The right fork is much shorter, approximately 1 mile and then the trail ends. You can try to continue up but it’s some pretty heft bush-whacking. The 1 mile trail feels a little longer because it is windy and I did it in the snow which makes it a little more strenuous. Either trail is a beautiful hike. To get to the trail head, go along Wasatch Boulevard and just north of Little Cottonwood Canyon, enter the neighborhoods. Use a GPS to locate Kings Hill Drive. The trail head is at the end of the circle. You will walk along the Bonneville Shoreline portion to another road. Turn left and walk past a house. You will see the trail resume there.
|Walking along the beginning offers a nice view without a long hike.|
|You can never beat the view on the way up|
|The beginning of the trail is along the Bonneville Shoreline ridge. It is flat and unprotected. This section is quite short, approximately a quarter mile.|
As you continue the hike, you go into the canyon. It gets quite shady and cools off quite a bit. The river runs alongside the trail and also helps to keep it cool. You will definitely want to dress in layers for this hike whether its winter or summer because of the dramatic temperature change. Although it can get fairly chilly in the canyon, you will probably get pretty warm as your body is moving. I started out this hike in my down ski-jacket liner, with a long sleeve underneath. I brought gloves and a hat in my day pack but did not need them. I wore water resistant hiking pants and snow boots. In the summer I would suggest light hiking pants or shorts, short sleeves and a light jacket just in case.
If you go in the winter when there is snow, you may or may not need snowshoes. It is a fairly frequented trail and the snow is usually packed down enough you won’t need them. I did not use them on this day hike. There are a few sections of the trail that are moderately steep and can get icy, but they are short and there are tree branches, bushes and rocks to hold on to for stability. If you are nervous about your balance I would suggest bringing hiking poles.
On the south fork, the right fork, there is a small cave. I found these really cool icicles stalagmites. They reminded me of bowling pins. *To remember the difference between a stalagmite and a stalactite just think a stalagmite MIGHT grow up to touch the ceiling and a stalactite has to hang on TIGHT not to fall. Works for me every time!* Though there is a little fire pit at this cave, refrain from campfires as homes are too close to this canyon. Not a good combination.
|There’s always hidden gems to find if you open your eyes and look|
|The stream freezes in the winter and is quite beautiful|
The trail fizzles out a little past the cave, but you don’t want to miss out on a great view! There is a small scramble up some boulders to get to this view, but if you are willing to climb a little, its definitely worth it. It’s really not that bad and very short.
|The view from the top! This view is a little off the trail and a little bit of a scramble to get to.|
|Never forget to have fun. Keep youth in your heart!|