1 of 19
Steve Baker, Deseret News
1. From Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, the trail heads up Butler Fork.

At the start, the trail crosses the creek and comes to a rocky outcrop. After crossing the rocks, the trail becomes steeper as you make your way up the hill. This is the steepest section on the hike. At the top of the hill, you enter the Mount Olympus Wilderness area at .30 mile and the trail smooths out to a footbridge. After the bridge, you come to the first junction. Take the Mill A Basin Trail. The trail follows the creek, then veers away and makes 15 switchbacks to the ridgeline. After the last switchback, watch for a faint trail on the left to visit Circle All Peak. The trail turns north on the ridgeline, with nice views of Mount Raymond and Gobblers Knob. At the top of the ridge is the next junction. Go right for Dog Lake, on the Desolation Trail. The Desolation Trail meanders around the mountainside for about three miles and arrives at the junction for Dog Lake. This junction is 5.17 miles into the hike and the highest point on the loop. Take the Butler Fork Trail heading downhill. The trail follows the drainage back to the first junction. This just might become one of your favorite loop hikes in Big Cottonwood Canyon!

Directions: Drive eight miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon and watch for the trailhead on the left side of the road. The trail is posted.

Destination: Loop views

Difficulty: Moderate

Round trip miles: 7.5 miles

Hiking time: 4 to 5 hours

Elevation gain: 1,649 ft.

Trailhead restrooms: No

Dogs allowed: No