I had spotted this trail a few weeks ago and I hadn't been able to find too much information about it. I suspect it is because there aren't any lakes on it. It does offer a 3-mile loop with a stop-off at Dog Lake, which I have visited before. I was more interested in continuing west on the trail and hitting Mount Raymond and Gobbler's Knob.
The trail head is located about 9 miles from the canyon entrance on the north side. It is just within shouting distance of Mill Creek D, or the Lake Desolation Trail. There is plenty of parking on this trail and you will likely see a few cars here, but this isn't one of the most popular trails.
The first .5 mile or is a steep climb. While technically not challenging, it will test your endurance. I know I was moving at about 29 minutes per mile, a slow pace and still breathing pretty hard. Granted, I had run 20 miles yesterday, but other than a sharp pain in my hip I was fine. Luckily after 1.5 miles the trail does flatten out -- somewhat. You have to remember, it is about a 1720 foot climb to the top.
The first section of the trail is NOT runnable. There is a steep drop off or two that you really have to take care on. After that, though, the trail is runnable, with mostly dirt. There is a lot of switchbacks and the climbing can be intense at times, but nothing more strenuous than Lake Blanche's (which arguably is the toughest).
I made it to the top to Gobbler's Knob in just about 2 hours. I talked to a few people on the way up and I took some pictures as well. For some reason my Garmin kept stopping but I did measure the distance back down from Gobbler's Knob at 3.75 miles, one way. I did a semi-run on the way down -- running when I could and walking the slippery parts. I came back down in just over an hour (1:15). The temperature up at the top was at least 10 - 15 degrees cooler than at the bottom of the canyon. Luckily I had brought some extra clothes with me. Up until that point, however, I was wishing I had shorts on.
The trail was pretty, offering some fantastic views of the canyons, Salt Lake City and the Park City area. There aren't many signs on the trail so study the map carefully before leaving. At about 3 miles into the hike you will come to a fork -- either go straight to hug the side of the mountain (which doesn't seem well traveled) or go up and back the way you came. If you go up, a short while later you'll come to another fork, if you want to reach Gobbler's Knob, go right, Mount Raymond will be on your left.
Overall a super nice hike and I managed to get a nice sunburn too!
Map of where I'd be going
Start of the trail -- going up!
Shroud of pines.
A grove of birch trees. You'll be in that for a lot
Big Cottonwood Road in the distance
About half way up. Stunning views.
Salt Lake City below
View where I had my lunch.
North view from Gobbler's Knob
Looking out over the Great Salt Lake. Stansbury island to the left. Antelope island to the right
Arnold Palmer, my drink of choice
Gobbler's Knob ahead
Next time's hike
Pond near Mineral Fork Trail