By Steve Baker
Clipper Staff Writer
The trail starts off in conifers and goes around the side of the mountain with views of Kessler Peak. As you head southeast you enter the aspens, the trail drops and you arrive at a stream. This happens at one mile into your hike. The trail veers north and stays next to the stream to the trail junction for Desolation Lake. Go right and the trail becomes more steep as it turns east and goes around to a large meadow. You will come to a fork in the trail before the meadow. You can take which trail looks best for you, as they join back together. As you enter the meadow, the trail smooths out. Take your time in this area and you might be lucky enough to spot a moose wading in one of the ponds. After you cross a small footbridge, the trail leaves the meadow and climbs for the last time for the lake. At the ridge the trail drops for Desolation Lake, stay right at the split. On a still day, the lake reflects all the beauty that surrounds it. Take it in!
Round-trip miles: 7.3
Hiking time: 5 to 6 hours
Dogs allowed: No
Trailhead restrooms: Yes (across highway)
Drive 9.4 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon and park on the left side of the highway. Trail is posted.