If you’re ever in Salt Lake City and want to go for a good hike, Rattlesnake Gulch is just a few minutes off I-80.
The Rattlesnake to Pipeline trail is shared by mountain bikers and hikers, who can start at Rattlesnake Gulch for a more difficult haul. While the first mile and a half of the trail climbs nearly 730 feet, the last mile is a nice, flat stroll with panoramic views of the canyon and Salt Lake Valley.
To begin the out-and-back hike, enter Millcreek Canyon and drive about three-fourths of a mile past the fee station. Drivers will notice a sign pointing to Pipeline trail, and a small parking lot will be on the north side of the road. The trailhead for Rattlesnake Gulch is adjacent to this lot.
Once on the well-shaded trail, hikers will immediately start climbing in elevation. The path is steep, and hikers should keep their eyes and ears open for mountain bikers headed downhill. Though vulnerable, uphill hikers have the right-of-way as a rule -- avoid a collision by paying close attention.
The hard pack trail is mostly clear of any roots or rocky areas. The real challenge of the gulch is the elevation gain. Hang in there, though. Once you reach the sign indicating a turnoff for Pipeline trail, the trail flattens out into an easy walk along the mountainside.
Take a moment to catch your breath and appreciate the unobstructed view of Millcreek Canyon, as well as the trailhead below. Continue along the flat trail to the lookout at the front of the canyon. There are rocks large enough for hikers to sit on to enjoy a snack or picnic.
Hikers will have to pay a $3 fee per car upon leaving the canyon.
Time: 2 hours
Distance: 3.8 round trip