Description

The Miller Hill ATV Trail in Utah is a relatively easy trail that winds through a beautiful forest of wildflowers, evergreens and aspen trees. The ride, which is located in American Fork Canyon, is mostly made up of a smooth dirt trail, with a few rocky patches scattered throughout that keep it interesting. There are multiple pull-offs and short off-shoot paths that lead to some gorgeous overlooks of the Wasatch Mountains.

MILLER HILL ATV TRAIL | Raising Little Wild Ones | The Miller Hill ATV Trail in Utah is a relatively easy trail that winds through a beautiful forest of wildflowers, evergreens and aspen trees. The ride is mostly made up of a smooth dirt trail, with a few rocky patches scattered throughout that keep it interesting. There are multiple pull-offs and short off-shoot paths that lead to some gorgeous overlooks of the Wasatch Mountains. #atvtrails #utahatvtrails #atvtrailinutah #utahwithkids | www.raisinglittlewildones.com

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Know Before You Go

Directions, Location and Weather

Location: The trailhead is located near the Mineral Basin Mine Preservation Site.

  • Trailhead GPS Coordinates:
    40.542942984347″N
    111.59439714414″W

Directions: From Salt Lake City, head south on I15 until exit 284 for Highland/Alpine. From Provo, head north on I15 until exit 284 for Highland/Alpine. Go east off of the exit and follow UT92 for 12.2 miles until you take a left on UT144. Continue on UT144 for 2.5 miles until you pass Tibble Fork Reservoir. At the end of the parking lot is the trailhead to American Fork Canyon.

You will have to complete most of the Lower Mill Canyon Trail and the beginning of the Mineral Basin trail before you reach the Miller Hill trailhead.

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Price

A pass is required to go in American Fork Canyon if you choose to use the recreational facilities in the canyon – including the Miller Hill Trail. “The fees collected at the entrance station remain in the area to improve visitor services, maintain recreation facilities, enhance wildlife habitat and protect natural resources.” – The USDA Forest Services Website.

  • 1-3 Days Pass: $6
  • 7 Day Pass: $12
  • Annual Pass: $45

 

About the Miller Hill ATV Trail

The majority of the trail is packed dirt, with a few rocky patches. 4WD and a high clearance machine are necessary to pass over the large rocks if you’re in a full-size vehicle. Most UTV’s and ATV’s should have no issue navigating the rocks. (Some older UTV’s that don’t have a lot of clearance might have a problem here.) The majority of the trail is only large enough for a single full-size vehicle, with a few larger spots for passing. There are multiple short dead-end trails along the way, with a few leading to some beautiful overlooks.

Age Restrictions

I would not recommend this trail for kids who don’t have good neck strength as there are a few rocky patches and the trails you have to take to get to the trailhead also have some decent rocky spots that can put stress on neck muscles. We took our daughter when she was about 15 months old, and she was fine. (Remember, YOU know your child best. It is your responsibility to decide what is appropriate for your child. Raising Little Wild Ones shall not be held liable in the event of an accident or injury.)

You can read our entire Safety Disclosure and Liability Release here.

Accessibility

All routes in the Pleasant Grove Ranger District that have a gate will close seasonally. This route can only be accessed by a trail with a gate that usually closes in November and reopens when the majority of the snow has disappeared. This can be as early as April, but I’ve seen it closed all the way until mid-June on years with a lot of snowfall. Check with the PG Ranger District to find out if the trail will be open when you go.

Bathroom Access

There are bathrooms in the parking lot of the Tibble Fork Reservoir. If you’re towing an ATV or UTV, this is where you can park your vehicle and unload your machine before heading up the main trail leading to Miller Hill. Don’t expect a lot of these bathrooms, they are slightly nicer than an outhouse, but are the typical campground bathrooms without plumbing. They are usually well maintained for a campground bathroom, but they don’t always have toilet paper – especially at the beginning or tail end of the season. There are no sinks to wash your hands in the bathrooms.

Cell Reception

Some carriers get cell reception at Tibble Fork, but most do not. You’ll likely not have service once you get a mile or two past the entrance of American Fork Canyon, so make sure to plan ahead if you’re meeting friends or family up the canyon.

Weather

The weather in American Fork Canyon can be extreme. It typically peaks mid-summer (around the first of August) and can be incredibly hot – to the point that riding in your UTV/ATV can be uncomfortable. The warmer weather also means there’s more traffic and more dust in the air, making it a less than ideal trip. At the top of Miller Hill, you’ll get a little bit of relief from the heat, but not much. The trails are closed in the winter. The best times to go on this trail are the beginning of the season (April – June) and the fall (September – November). During these times you’ll likely find there is a significant change in temperature from Tibble Fork Reservoir and the top of Miller Hill. If it’s decently warm at Tibble Fork, expect it to be a little chilly at the top. Or if it’s cold in Tibble Fork, you’ll want to bring lots of layers to make sure you are warm when you get up there. Rain can come out of nowhere when you’re in American Fork Canyon, and when it rains IT POURS – so having a waterproof layer with you is recommended. I would not recommend this canyon in July/August.

Additional Resources

Map & Directions for the Miller Trail
The USDA Forest Service Website

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Highlights

The best part about this trail is the beautiful scenery. It’s a great trail to take in both the summer when everything is bright and green, but it’s also really fun in the fall when the leaves are starting to change. Bring a lunch and eat it in front of one of the big clearings overlooking the Wasatch Mountains. Plus the view from the top of Miller Hill is breathtaking.

Aside from its beauty, the Miller Hill trail has some great history! At the base of the trail, you’ll find the Mineral Basin Mine Preservation Site, with a few pieces of leftover equipment from the American Fork Mining District, formed in 1870. Miller Mine was the largest mine in the district producing a significant amount of ore. Shortly after Miller Mine was established, the Sultana Smelting Works at Dutchman Flats (about 4 miles above Tibble Fork Reservoir) was built, and the surrounding town of Forest City was booming!

Miller Mine stopped producing ore in 1874, was started back up again briefly the next year, then was shut down permanently. Forest City slowly dwindled away after the mines had dried up.

MILLER HILL ATV TRAIL | Raising Little Wild Ones | The Miller Hill ATV Trail in Utah is a relatively easy trail that winds through a beautiful forest of wildflowers, evergreens and aspen trees. The ride is mostly made up of a smooth dirt trail, with a few rocky patches scattered throughout that keep it interesting. There are multiple pull-offs and short off-shoot paths that lead to some gorgeous overlooks of the Wasatch Mountains. #atvtrails #utahatvtrails #atvtrailinutah #utahwithkids | www.raisinglittlewildones.com

A few other highlights include:

American Fork Canyon is a beautiful canyon. The entrance sits just above Highland City.Miller Hill is a great smooth trail on the Mineral Basin side of American Fork Canyon. It connects over to Provo Canyon through Heber and features many great ATV trails, UTV trails, single track trails, horseback riding trails, campgrounds, small lakes and a local favorite: Tibble Fork Reservoir. It’s a great place to plan a weekend camping/ 4-wheeling trip or to spend a day exploring the canyon in your UTV.

There’s a trail that connects all the way around Miller Hill, but it’s not for the faint of heart. If you decide to take this trail (marked on our trail map), prepare for some steep drop-offs and some questionable passes. The road gets extremely narrow, so you won’t be able to complete the loop on anything bigger than an ATV. If you decide to try it, there’s nowhere to turn around, so if your machine ends up being too big, be prepared to back out. If you get to the back of the loop, you’ll be able to see the Snowbird Ski Lift across the canyon.

Towards the top of the trail, you’ll also find the gravesite of George Tyng, one of the miners at Miller Mine (this is marked on our trail map). In 1901, George Tyng came to American Fork Canyon to prospect for precious metals on Miller Hill. Over the next few years, George Tyng made a fortune in gold, silver, lead, and zinc. On January, 19,1906 an avalanche swept down the slope above his office and carried him with it to his death. He was buried on the knoll just below his boarding house where he had requested.

There is a ton of Wildlife up American Fork Canyon. In October and November, you can almost always spot a Moose if you keep your eyes open. Deer also frequent the area and are usually easy to spot.

 

Things to Bring

  • Food and Drink: There is nowhere to eat up American Fork Canyon, so plan on packing in food for yourself and your family. If you’re going up to Miller Hill, you’ll likely be in the canyon for at least an afternoon, so bring plenty of snacks and water and consider packing a lunch and eating it at one of the beautiful lookout areas along the trail.
    • Water Access: I would highly recommend bringing drinking water. But, if you forget or you don’t bring enough, there is a drinking fountain as well as a water pump at Tibble Fork Reservoir right next to the bathrooms. These get turned off at the end of the season, and there is no guarantee that they will be turned back on when you decide to go.
  • Wet Wipes, Toilet Paper, Tissues and Hand Sanitizer: This is a messy activity. The trails in American Fork Canyon are mostly packed dirt, and during the dry parts of the season, you’ll be caked in dirt by the end of the ride. It’s a good idea to plan on bringing a few wet wipes to wipe off hands and faces at the end of the ride before getting in your normal vehicle. You’ll likely want to bring a few tissues to take care of runny noses from the all the dirt and pollen that will be kicked up during the ride, as well as some toilet paper and hand sanitizer in case you need to use the bathroom during your trip.
  • Camera: American Fork Canyon is beautiful and definitely worth taking photos with your nicer camera. But your phone camera will do just fine too. I typically bring my nice Nikon 5200 DSLR here. I just put it next to me in our RZR. But make sure to have any camera you bring in a nice dustproof camera bag and put it away after each time that you take it out. Dirt will cake up on it fast, and that can lead to a variety of issues with a nice DSLR. Also, consider bringing some lens cleaner just in case.
  • Folding Chairs: I like to bring some folding chairs and a small table or a picnic blanket to sit on while we eat lunch. These are my favorite chairs for when we take the RZR out because they are simple, lightweight and fit in our back trunk. You can also just eat in your machine, but I find it’s nice to let the kids out of their seats for a few minutes to stretch their legs and explore.
  • Clothing: Bring Layers. The temperature at the top of Miller Hill is usually quite a bit colder than the weather in the parking lot at Tibble Fork Reservoir. You’ll want to have plenty of layers to take on and off as you go up and down the trail. If you’re going on a colder day, make sure to bring gloves and hats as well. It get’s windy and cold towards the top and in the clearings where there aren’t trees to block the wind. We like to always bring a pram and at least one small blanket for each kid so we are prepared. The rain can sometimes come out of nowhere in American Fork Canyon, so at the very least have something for that. It’s also a good idea to bring sunglasses or goggles depending on your preference.
    • If you’re going up the canyon during deer hunting season, consider dressing all family members in orange to distinguish you from the animals.
  • Sunscreen: Even when you think it’s not hot, the sun up the canyon can be blaring, so make sure to put sunscreen on any exposed skin before heading up the canyon.

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