Mill Creek Canyon

Mill Creek Canyon is on the left, Neffs Canyon is straight ahead and Mount Olympus is on the right.

At the Mouth of Mill Creek Canyon    by Milt Moody    ©Milton G. Moody

Directions:  Depending on the direction your coming from take either the 3300 South or the 3900 South exit of I-215 in east Salt Lake City.  Go east under the freeway and take Wasatch Boulevard to 3800 South.  Turn east into the canyon.  This is a toll canyon - $2.25 per car ($1 for seniors).

Specialty Birds: Northern Pygmy-Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Flammulated Owl, Great-horned Owl

Birding Specifics: ~ Steve Carr
Swainson’s Thrush in lower reaches around Tracy Scout Camp. Dippers are usually seen up and down the stream. Most birds are seen in the side canyons off the main canyon – warblers, Spotted Towhee, Chipping and White-crowned Sparrows. At the head of the canyon, birds are the same as at Brighton.

One generally consistent place for Flammulated Owls is on the Desolation Trail. Immediately up-canyon from the Millcreek Inn is Box Elder Flats picnic ground on the north side. The smaller South Box Elder Flats is on the south side of the road, with a sign that reads Desolation Trailhead. The trail heads south around a small hill then continues south where it starts to climb fairly steeply almost immediately. Before you get to the steep part (less than 200 yards) a trail heads off to the east (left), paralleling Millcreek Canyon with just a ridge in between, with a very gentle grade. Just a short distance up this side trail you can begin calling for the Flam. Owls. They usually respond easily and can be seen flying among the branches in the moonlight. A Great Horned Owl also inhabits the canyon and if it responds, you probably won’t get many Flammies to respond the same night.

History:  John Neff built a flour mill in the creek coming from the slopes of Murdock Peak.  This was either before or after a motion was presented and accepted at the very first LDS general conference on August 22, 1847 to name the creek "Mill Creek."  The Canyon was named after the creek and the next canyon to the south was named after John Neff himself as "Neffs Canyon."  (See the picture above).

     eBird Data:  | Mill Creek Canyon | Desolation Trail / Salt Lake Overlook | Grandeur Peak Trail |
                           | Elbow Fork / Mount Aire Hike |