Skip to content

Desolation Ridge

Desolation Ridge is where Mill-D fork in the Big Cottonwood Canyon gets rowdy!   Desolation Ridge is located Higher up top near the Park City ridgeline. This ridge reaches up to 9,990.  It wraps steeply around Lake Desolation sheltering it from the mountain winds.  

The North facing aspect of Desolation ridge drops into Mill-D drainage where you can ski back down to spruces parking lot on Big Cottonwood HWY.  The skiing here is simply amazing. The ridges shelter the lake from winds and keeps the snow good long after a storm.  The north facing aspect and pine stands here shade the snow from the damaging effects of the sun.  Simply put, Desolation ridge is an excellent place to find good powder.  If the avalanche danger is low and you know before you go, Desolation ridge is one of my favorite places to do laps.

Access

From Park City is as easy as 1, 2, 3.   Take 9,990 chairlift to the top, boot pack to the backcountry gates, put your skis on and ski off the backside.

From Salt Lake City make your way up the Big Cottonwood Canyon to Spruces campground parking.  Cross the highway on foot to the north side and put your skis on.  Follow the snow covered summer cabin road up the Mill-D North fork drainage.  Continue up the trail until you reach a signed trail fork.  Head Right on desolation trial. Keep on trecking for another 2 miles where you'll reach the lake.  Take the ridge west side of the lake skinners right.   

From Salt Lake City another way to access and my preferred route is to Park at Spruces campground parking and skin up the canyon along the side of the HWY for 1 mile to Beartrap Fork.  Skin up beartrap fork trail all the way to the top.  You are there.  Skiing back down Beartrap fork is not recommend.  You are best to ski down Mill-D drainage back to Spruces parking when you're done.

Custom made Desolation Ridge ski tour Maps

DOWNLOAD Custom Backcountry skiing tour map
DOWNLOAD Custom Backcountry skiing tour map

Park City People Guides

See the backcountry write up at ParkCityPeople.com