From Salt Lake City, take I-80 eastbound for six miles from the Parley’s Canyon entrance. Take exit 134 for East Canyon and continue along UT-65 for three miles. Little Dell Reservoir will be on the right and a junction to Emigration Canyon will be on the left.
Little Dell Reservoir
Pass by the reservoir. The summer pictures are headed the opposite way through the canyon. There are a few trees around here, but it gets much more beautiful as you head up the canyon.
About five minutes up the road (2 1/2 miles from Little Dell Reservoir) there is a pullout where you can look at the leaves. There is a campground down below, but there are much better places to explore than from this pullout.
Mormon Pioneer Trail
The Mormon Pioneer Trail follows the 20 miles of East Canyon. There are lots of places to stop, but one of my favorites is the MPT Trailhead at the sharp curve. This is only 6 minutes from Little Dell and about 16 from the entrance of Parley’s Canyon.
This is a perfect place for all ages to see the leaves!
Isn’t it lovely?
It’s not quite as gorgeous as the close trail, but since the trail goes the entire length of the canyon, you can cross the road to the opposite side. If you choose to do this side, cross the road carefully.
This side is nice, but I love the other one best.
This drive is really pretty in the summer too.
Just before Big Mountain is a pullout. Stop if you can and take a look at the view!
Big Mountain Summit
Big Mountain Summit is the high point and boundary between Salt Lake and Morgan Counties. There is a large parking lot and views in both directions. This is 10 minutes from Little Dell Reservoir (5.5 miles).
There is a trailhead for the Mormon Pioneer Trail/Great Western Trail.
Here is the view of the Morgan side view and the road to East Canyon Reservoir.
East Canyon Reservoir
13 miles from Little Dell Reservoir you arrive at East Canyon Reservoir.
Stats: Distance – 26 miles one way
Approximate driving time – 20-45 minutes one way (longer if including hikes)
Permits needed – None (except campgrounds)
Pets allowed – No