Big Mountain TrailEast Canyon
Amazing Views, Historical Significance, Summits
Length: 4.8 miles (out and back)
Elevation Gain: 1342 ft
Approximate Hiking Time: 3-4 hr
Features: Historical Mormon Trail
Nearest Town: Morgan, Ut
Imagine pulling a hand cart through East Canyon before it was developed. Big Mountain Trail is part of the National Historic Trail system used by the Mormon Pioneers and Pony Express. As you hike, bike, or run the trail you are literally walking in the footsteps of history.
Big Mountain is a trail with tremendous historical significance and incredible views on the trail and from the top.
- Trail Condition 75% 75%
- Usage 60% 60%
- Trail Head Easy to Find 100% 100%
- Kid Friendly 70% 70%
1. Amazing Views
The views from the summit are incredible. You can see Salt Lake City, Morgan, and Parley’s Canyon from there.
2. Find the Huge Tree
About 3/4 of the way to the top, you’ll come across this enormous tree, it would take several people to wrap around it. And yes we did stop to hug it…
3. Historical Significance
Imagine the Mormon Settler’s pulling hand wagons through this canyon on their trek to Salt Lake City.
Follow hwy 65 through East Canyon until you reach the Big Mountain Pass overlook and parking area. Once you’ve had a chance to soak up the view from this area, cross the road to the trailhead. Here you’ll see a road that heads up to a tower and heading the other direction is a narrow trail that will take you up to Big Mountain.
The path that starts up the mountain is fairly narrow and winds between the trees for about 0.3 miles.
About 0.6 miles from the start of the trail will bring you to an Aspen Grove that runs down the slope through the East Canyon Resort Property. If you look through the trees you’ll be able to see the saddle!
Another 0.3 miles from the Aspen Grove there is a short (about 20ft trail to the side), the view from here is incredible. You can see how the road weaves in and out through the canyon from this point.
Finally, at about 1.1 miles from the start of the trail your steep climb will flatten out as you round the base of the mountain. From here the saddle will also come into full view. It was pretty cold the day we hiked Big Mountain, but the views from the saddle are beautiful so we couldn’t resist stopping and soaking it all in.
The final stretch of the hike to the base of the Big Mountain summit brings you through a couple meadows and by this huge tree. I couldn’t help but wonder how long that tree has been growing for?
Once you’ve been hiking for about 2.1 miles you’ll reach the base of the summit. There really is no defined trail to the top, you’ll just need to zig zag up the slope following what kind of sort of looks like a path in some places. This part of the hike was a little frustrating with kids, but we did find a lizard which they were pretty excited about.
At the top there’s a pile of rocks that is unmistakably the summit. Take some time to enjoy the amazing views of all the canyons below. From here you can see Salt Lake City, Morgan, and Park City, as well as, East Canyon, Parley’s Canyon, and Emigration Canyon. It’s such an amazing end to a hike and feels just a little like being on top of the world.
Why is this trail hard?
The trail is hard due to the elevation gain and hike length for younger children. Older children who are avid hikers and adults will likely find it more of a moderate.
More Hikes to Choose From
Check out this and more hikes around Morgan, Ut and East Canyon.
Length: 0.6 mile
Elevation Gain: 25 ft
Take a relaxing walk around East Canyon State Park. While you are enjoying your walk, read about the history of East Canyon.
Length: 1.6+ miles
Elevation Gain: 200 ft
Lake View Trail in East Canyon State Park takes you on an easy hike offering opportunities to fish, bird, and relax while enjoying views of the park.
Length: 1.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 800 ft
Hike details for the Morgan Big “M” trail. Hiking the Big M Trail is a good workout and the views from the top are pretty amazing.