Difficulty: Most Difficult ♦︎
Length: 6.5 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 2,500 feet
Dog Friendly: No
Trailhead coordinates (copy + paste): 40.5914, -111.6377
Directions: Park in the designated roadside parking just below the coordinates, on Little Cottonwood Canyon Road. From here, walk up Michigan City Road between the Shallow Shaft Restaurant and Our Lady of the Snows Center, around two curves, until you reach a dirt road on your left (about 1,000 feet up the road). Follow the dirt road for 500 feet and then take a right onto the trail.
Towering above Alta at an impressive 11,040 feet, Mount Superior is rightfully named, and an iconic feature on Little Cottonwood Canyon's ridgeline. Winding up the slope through fields of wildflowers, this first section of the trail is somewhat steep and lacks shade, but is easy to follow. After passing through a few patches of pine trees and enjoying the bits of shade they offer, you'll find yourself on the final stretch of this first leg, which culminates at the saddle on the ridgeline.
The hike becomes more difficult from this point on, and requires closer attention in order to stick the the trail while scrambling over the spine. There are a handful of trails in this area that lead down onto the South-facing side of the slope, and traverse the mountain slightly below the ridge. These offshoot trails are very narrow, very exposed on the side of the mountain, and very slippery and crumbly. Some of them fade away in time, and can be hard to follow. Everybody has different preferences when it comes to these situations, but in my opinion, these offshoot trails are more treacherous than the ridge itself. The scramble on top of the ridge is also a bit crumbly and not for beginners, but not the most difficult of scrambles, either. There are a few no-fall zones, however the route is manageable without too much trouble if you take it at a responsible pace. The view from the summit is stunning and definitely worth the work. If this route feels easy enough, try ascending via the South Ridge next time for an added challenge. Note: dogs are not allowed in Little Cottonwood Canyon, so they'll need to sit this one out.