Difficulty: More Difficult ◼︎◼︎
Length: 7.2 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 2,600 feet
Dog Friendly: No
Trailhead coordinates (copy + paste): 40.6251, -111.6127
Directions: It will feel wrong, but trust your maps and let it lead you to the coordinates. Take the lowest Solitude entrance, then drive downhill to the lowest parking lot, where a gravel road near the bottom leads into the trees. Passing a few cabins, continue all the way to the end of this narrow, windy road to find a small dirt parking lot with an unmarked trailhead. Be sure to drive and park respectfully in this residential area.
A beautiful, diverse, and scenic route traveling on what must be four of the Cottonwoods quietest trails, this hike winds up Solitude, touches Brighton, and travels through Alta's Grizzly Gulch all in one short loop. This hike is so lightly trafficked that you may not see anybody at all, even on a weekend (maybe because it lacks trail signage completely). The journey starts up Honeycomb fork, where the first fork is just a few steps past the start— stay left on the trail, rather than right on the dirt road. A sharp left after about 0.5 miles leads to the edge of a ski run. At the run, stay your course and don't take the path that crosses it. The trail becomes steep and rocky, opening up near the top and offering great views of the Honeycomb Cliffs before reaching the Summit Express chairlift. From here, continue past the chairlift around the side of the hill, keeping an eye out for the trail that leads to the top of the pass (it may be slightly below you). The pass offers views of Twin Lakes Reservoir and some of Little Cottonwood Canyon's most iconic peaks, including Mount Superior and Pfeifferhorn.
Take the dirt road down the other side of the pass towards Alta, turning right at the triangle fork after 0.5 miles. This section leads uphill for 0.3 miles before reaching another fork just before a pass— take the uphill righthand trail (left leads to Davenport Hill). A few more steps and you'll find yet another fork— take the left this time. This is the Silver Fork Trail, which leads down a small canyon all the way back to the parking lot. Silver Fork Canyon is filled with mining relics, tailings, and caves leftover from the 1870s-era Prince of Wales Mine. The trails here are steep, rocky and plentiful, so it can sometimes be hard to stick to a route. You'll find your way if you take your time and keep in mind that you want to reach the canyon's low point, where the trail becomes more defined. Once you're down in the bottom of the canyon, the trail is easy to follow back to the parking lot. Note: dogs are not allowed in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, so they'll need to sit this one out.