White Pine, Red Pine Lake and the Maybird Gulch Trail each start at the same trailhead. The Maybird Gulch Trail is the path that is least travelled, but offers solitude along with stunning scenery. No fees or permits are required. It is a watershed area and no dogs are permitted. The hike is best during the summer and fall, as snow will be in the higher elevation into mid-June.
The trail is a dirt path with rocks and has an elevation gain of approximately 2,000 ft. It is excellent hike for birding, photography, wildflowers, wildlife and to see fall colors. Aspen and evergreen trees offers some shade, but be sure to bring plenty of water and wear clothing that will offer protection from the sun. There are three small lakes, but no wading or swimming is permitted in the watershed lakes.
How to get there
Drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon for 5 ½ miles. The turnoff is on the south side of the road right after the “White Pine Slide Area” sign. There is a restroom at the beginning of the trailhead. A quaint footbridge gets you across the Little Cottonwood Creek. The trail gradually climbs to follow an old four wheel drive road, which is now closed to motorized vehicles. The old road is now a wide trail and after about a half-hour from Cottonwood Creek the trail splits and takes a sharp left to the White Pine drainage. Take the right trail west toward the Red Pine drainage, as the trail climbs a bit south before crossing the wood bridge over the stream.
The trail then gradually climbs as it traverses west and you enter the Lone Peak Wilderness area, offering some marvelous vistas of the Salt Lake valley to the west. The trail then steepens and finally reaches the Maybird Gulch turnoff to the right where the trail converges with the Red Pine stream, and you there’s a small bridge to the right which takes you to the Maybird Gulch trail. If you happen to miss the bridge and get to the mine tailings just above the junction, just head back a few minutes and you’ll find the bridge.
You will enjoy the solitude of the Maybird Gulch trail, it’s easy to follow as it winds its way to the west and south into the Maybird Gulch drainage. You will start to hear the birds and notice the abundance of wildflowers. When you get to the lakes, you will have stunning views of the Pfeifferhorn, which is the fifth highest peak in the Wasatch Range at 11,325 feet.
Other interesting hikes:
The Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail offers 27.7 miles of recreational fun for mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, wildlife viewing and cross-country skiing. The majority of the trail is gravel. There is a 3 mile section in Park City, and a half mile section in Wanship that is paved asphalt.
Over 100 years ago, the Echo-Park City Railway transported coal and silver ore. In 1989, the Union Pacific abandoned the railroad line. The railroad line was transformed into the first non-motorized rail trail in Utah. The Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail State Park was opened to the public in 1992.
The trail begins at an approximate elevation of 6,900 feet in Park City and gradually descends to 5,280 feet. If you are biking, be sure to bring an extra tube and a tire repair kit with you. Having a fully charged cell phone is not just for photos but also is important in case of emergencies. Be sure to use sunscreen and wear clothing to protect you from the sun, and bring plenty of water with you. There are several vault toilets along the trail.
Portions of the trail are adjacent to private property and you will encounter gates to open and shut to keep animals contained. Be sure to remain on the trail and be respectful of their property.
The landscape transitions from volcanic canyon to wetlands and farms. Some of the wildlife you may encounter includes, fox, bald eagles, moose, deer, rabbits, and beavers. You may want to bring binoculars with you.
Echo Reservoir has recreational boating and fishing and is the perfect place to rest for a picnic and swim before making your return trip back to Park City. If making the roundtrip loop is more than you would like to do, an alternative would be to have someone drop off the trail users and to meet them at Echo Reservoir. See the map for entry points to the trail for additional options.
The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah (WRCNU) is holding their 8th annual baby shower hoping to get much needed supplies for the animals they rescue each year. When the center receives a new animal, there is a need for an abundance of food, as well as cleaning and medical supplies. The WRCNU opened in 2009, and have treated over 18,570 sick, injured or abandoned animal patients.
The WRCNU is opening their doors on April 27, 28 and 29th to the public. It is located at 1490 Park Boulevard Ogden, Utah. The baby shower is a child friendly event with crafts, bird presentations, refreshments and the opportunity to meet the bird ambassadors. Silent Auction Gift Baskets fill up a room and a hallway, with gifts for a wide range of interests. There is no charge for the event, but participants are encouraged to bring gifts. Check here to see a list of requested donations, as well as additional ways to support the WRCNU including AmazonSmile and Smiths Rewards card.
Not all young animals need to be rescued. To help you to determine how to respond appropriately when you find a bird, they have created a flowchart. Call the WRCNU (801-814-7888) or your local licensed wildlife rehabilitator, if you find an injured or orphaned wild animal, to determine if the animal needs help.
Approximately 2/3rds of the animals are able to be successfully reintroduced back into the wild. The animals that are not able to survive in the wild are found homes at aviaries, zoos, nature centers, or other licensed organizations.
George S Eccles Dinosaur Park
While you are in the area, you may want to visit the Dinosaur Park and Stewart Paleontology Museum next door. The Stewart Paleontology Museum features dinosaur skeletons. The park includes 8 acres of outdoor trails with 100 dinosaur sculptures and a playground area. Outside food is permitted (no glass containers allowed) with picnic areas available. Pets are not permitted. Admission is $7 for adults (18+), $6 for seniors (62+), $6 for students (13-17), $5 for children (2-12), and free for children/babies under 2 years old.
The Birdsong Trail
As you are exiting Park Boulevard onto Valley Drive, you may opt to park at the parking lot on the South Side of Rainbow Gardens to hike the Birdsong Trail. This trail passes by springs and a pond, and offers shade along the trail. Dogs are permitted on a leash. Expect to share the trail with mountain bikers. It is a 2.4 mile loop trail.
John Hamilton, Associate Broker of Windermere Real Estate, has nearly five decades of experience working with Buyers, Sellers, and other real estate professionals, and has sold more than 1,400 Utah properties. He has the experience to provide you an edge in negotiating your real estate transaction.