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Pine Gulch Trail – Fruit Heights Utah
1
Overview
Location

Baer Canyon, Utah – Northern, Utah

Sights

Baer Canyon, Baer Creek, lots of pine trees

Distance

About 2.68 miles round trip

Parking Lot Elevation

4874 ft

Summit Elevation

5848 ft

Elevation Gain/Loss

974 ft

Time Required

1+ hours

Pets

Allowed

Fees

None

Water Info

Bring a liter of water. You will travel close to several streams. Baer Creek is in the canyon below

Best Season

Spring, summer, fall

Hours

Open year round

Sun Exposure

About half in sun and half in shade

Trail Condition

Trail is very steep at beginning until you climb to ridge. Once you are at ridge the trail narrows but is somewhat flat

Restrooms

None

Visitor Center

None

Camping

Allowed in camping spots

Food

Bring snacks as needed

Equipment

Good hiking shoes, bag for food and water

A rewarding hike through pine trees and quiet mountain streams, the Pine Gulch Trail is a less traveled area in Bear Canyon.

GPS Coordinates

Parking Lot: 41.030133°, -111.897517°
Pine Gulch Trailhead: 41.032558°, -111.891324°
Pine Gulch Fork:  41.034158°, -111.885396°[/tab]


Trail Map


Driving Directions

The trail begins at the mouth of Baer Canyon in Fruit Heights, Utah.


The Trail:

Parking lot area

The Pine Gulch Trail is so named by The Trek Planner due to the trail that circles just below the Baer Canyon Mines which, according to official Davis County Recorders Office affidavits, is called the Pine Gulch Mines.

The trail begins at the mouth of Baer Canyon (Haight’s Creek) in Fruit Heights Utah.  It is a somewhat inclined hike until you come to the clearing of trees where the actual Pine Gulch Trail begins.  This is a relatively short but very steep hike that will make you wonder why you have never done this trail before.  Please understand that this trail is less traveled for a reason: it is very steep until you reach the ridge and once you do reach the ridge the trail is very narrow and overgrown.  I enjoyed it because I knew what I was getting myself into – a very rough trail.


Baer Canyon metal water box

From the parking lot to the actual Pine Gulch Trailhead you will be hiking for about .40 miles.  In the above pictures you can see that the trail continues to the left.  The left trail is the normal Baer Canyon trail.  To go up to Pine Gulch, you will need to go up the trail which is just behind the water box that you can see in the middle right of the picture above.  There is a small fire pit and campground area here.

From here the trail winds up the mountain at a very steep angle and the trail narrows down.  Just take your time and rest often as you make your way to the top of the ridge.


 Pine Gulch Trail

The above picture is what it looks like at the top of the extremely steep ridge.  I hiked this in the winter and luckily, someone with wide snowshoes packed down the trial enough for me to stay on top of the 1 foot deep snow.  From here, the trail is mostly flat but the whole mountainside is steep so please be careful as you hike on this trail.


 Pine Gulch Trail

From the ridge, if you keep hiking on the trail you will come to another fork (see Pine Gulch Split in the GPS information section above).  The right trail leads up into the next canyon to the south but it offers many more instances for pine trees and great views.  The left trail continues on to Pine Gulch.  For now, stay on the left trail.


Pine Gulch Trail

The trail winds around through 100+ foot tall pine trees with nothing but very short shrubs and bushes underneath them.  I couldn’t believe how fresh the air smelt and how much the trees dampen noise of the Baer Creek below.

The entire area is on a very steep slope that leads down to the canyon bottom where the Baer Canyon trail is located.


Pine Gulch Trail

The Pine Gulch Trail will cross over several small streams and even a few areas where it seems there was a mud slide or some type of recent erosion which may make the trail a little bit precarious but you can cross over just fine.

Eventually, the Pine Gulch Trail will begin to drop down a little bit then hug a rock face for about 25 yards.  On the trail I found an entire tree that was covered in spiderwebs and literally crawling with large spiders.  The “spider tree” was located on the trail and I didn’t want to get covered in a spider’s nest so I bypassed the trail and bushwhacked the remainder of the hike until it meet up with the Baer Canyon trail.  The trails meet at just above the 2nd river crossing in Baer Creek and right below the Baer Canyon Mines.


The Return:

From here you can either do a big loop and go on the main Baer Canyon trail or you can go back through the Pine Gulch Trail.


Personal Thoughts:

I have never really hiked up the Pine Gulch Trial until recently.  I will have to come back in warmer months, but this hike was incredible and it was a strange sight to be hiking underneath 100+ foot tall pine trees in the middle of Davis County.  It made me think I was in Sequoya National Park or some place in Park City Utah.  Even though the beginning of the trail is very steep, I recommend you hike this trail and take in the fresh air and amazing views of Baer Canyon.

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Ratings (out of 10)
Trek Planner Rating
User Rating
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Difficulty
4.0
Technicality
3.0
Enjoyment
5.0
The Bottom Line

Difficulty is basically the length, duration and stress of the Trek.  If the Trek is really long then it will receive a higher rating. If the Trek is short then it won't receive that high of a rating. However, difficulty rating also includes how tired we were at the end of the Trek.

Technicality is how strenuous the Trek is. If there is lots of bouldering or if there is bushwhacking involved then the rating will be higher. Technicality also includes if there are steep inclines or the need for ropes and other equipment.

Enjoyment is strictly how much fun we had doing the Trek. Regardless of how tired and exhausted we were, if we had a ton of fun doing the Trek then it will receive a higher rating.

5.0
Trek Planner Rating
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About The Author
Jeff Johnson
Questions or comments? I'd love to hear from you! JeffTJohnson@ymail.com

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[…] trail will eventually steer you into Baer Canyon on the Pine Gulch Trail which you can steeply climb down or come back down the same path you came […]