Bonneville Shoreline Trail
Rattlesnake to Grandeur Peak Section
This section of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST) extends from the Rattlesnake Gulch trailhead in lower Mill Creek Canyon to the Grandeur Peak trailhead on Wasatch Blvd at the mouth of Parley's Canyon. The route from Parley's to Mill Creek includes a short section of the Mill Creek Pipeline trail.
The Rattlesnake trailhead is 1.5 miles up the Mill Creek Canyon road from Wasatch Blvd. There are bathrooms. The trailhead is located about 3/4 mile uphill from the fee station. (Mill Creek Canyon is a US Forest Service fee area for vehicles. Bikes are free.) There's room for around 20 cars here, but it will fill up quickly on weekends. The combined Rattlesnake Gulch and Rattlesnake BST start on the west side of the parking lot, but separate within 100 yards with the BST forking left from the larger Rattlesnake Gulch trail.
The Grandeur Peak trailhead is at the far north end of Wasatch Boulevard. The Old Quarry Road trail heads east uphill and will link to the new BST in around a mile. There are no services at this trailhead. The Grandeur Peak BST begins uphill to the east.
This trailhead also lets you take the paved lower BST (Bonneville Shoreline Trail) from the southern side of Parley's Canyon mouth. You'll cross the I-80 on-ramp road and I-80 itself on bridges, then connect to the Old Parley's Road trail which takes you to the southern end of the Parley's Pointe BST section. The trailhead has room for around 15 cars including roadside parking.
At Mill Creek Canyon's Rattlesnake Gulch trailhead, the combined Rattlesnake Gulch and Rattlesnake BST trails leave the western side of the paved parking area, just north of the bathrooms. After around 100 feet, the BST forks away to the left at a break in the log fencing. (In July 2022, signs have not yet been installed.)
The rate of climb will be tough for many intermediates, especially with the tight switchback turns that often have a bed of loose limestone chunks in the turning path.
If your destination is uphill, a hard right will take you northbound on Pipeline. The expert-level descent down Rattlesnake Gulch is 0.3 miles away (see below). It's 3.9 miles to the Burch Hollow trailhead, and 6.5 miles to Elbow Fork. At Elbow Fork 100 yards uphill on pavement connects you to the Upper Pipeline , which takes you to Big Water .
For now, you'll need to turn around at the viewpoint. The Grandeur Peak section down to the Old Quarry Road trail is not yet complete.
The Grandeur Peak section of the Bonneville Shoreline was opened in fall 2023. It includes the old Parley's Bench trail, with new bench-cut singletrack extending further up the hill. It's 2.7 miles from the Grandeur Peak trailhead to the viewpoint at the western end of the Mill Creek Pipeline trail, with 950 vertical feet of climbing.
When riding uphill from the trailhead, there's an initial wide and steep area. Some days it will seem more like a dog park than a trail. The route will be defined better with time. Head directly east uphill from the parking area, then veer to the right as you find yourself on old doubletrack at around 0.2 miles.
The next half-mile is fairly flat as you pedal south on the old Parley's Bench. At mile 0.7 the new trail-cut veers uphill to your left.
The trail will now begin some serious climbing through switchbacks. Over the next two miles, it will gain 800 vertical feet at the government-approved maximum average climbing rate of 8%. As you gain elevation, take time to appreciate the views of the Salt Lake Valley.
At mile 2.7 from the trailhead, you'll arrive at the old Pipeline viewpoint. Turn to the left eastbound on the Mill Creek Pipeline Trail. In 0.7 miles, you'll reach the trail fork for the Rattlesnake portion of the BST, downhill to your right. The combined distance from the Grandeur trailhead to the Rattlesnake trailhead is just under 5 miles. If you loop back via the Mill Creek Canyon Road and Wasatch Blvd, the ride is 7.7 miles with just over 1000 vertical feet of climbing.
Getting there: Get to Foothill Blvd on the east bench of Salt Lake City via I-215. Exit at 39th South. Take 3800 South (Mill Creek Canyon Road) eastbound into the Canyon. In 1.5 miles, turn left into the Rattlesnake Gulch trailhead.
Note: Mill Creek Canyon is a fee area for vehicles. On exiting the canyon, you'll need to pay $5 (2022 fee) by credit or debit card.