Salt Lake City, UT: Alexander Basin Trail to Gobblers Knob

Climb through the wildflower-peppered Alexander Basin en route to dazzling Salt Lake City panoramas from Gobblers Knob on this ferociously steep 5.5-miler.
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Climb through the wildflower-peppered Alexander Basin en route to dazzling Salt Lake City panoramas from Gobblers Knob on this ferociously steep 5.5-miler.

The highest point on the ridge dividing Mill Creek Canyon and Big Creek Canyon, Gobblers Knob towers 10,246 feet above sea level and serves up tremendous views of the Wasatch Mountains and Salt Lake City. Begin your out-and-back with a nasty ascent from the floor of Mill Creek to Alexander Basin. The climb crams nearly 1,000 feet of vertical into a mile, switchbacking through dense fir forest before culminating at the meadows of Alexander Basin. The basin, which explodes with color during late July and August, offers a somewhat milder grade along with increasingly revealing vistas of the Knob perched upon a cirque at its southern terminus.
At the edge of the basin, the grade spikes up again as you negotiate steep pitches through a final band of fir trees en route to the head of the cirque. Upon gaining the ridgeline comprising Big Cottonwood Canyon’s northern border, churn through one last climb to reach Gobblers Knob. Uninterrupted panoramas of the surrounding alpine wonderland await: Mt Raymond to the southwest, Reynolds Peak to the east, Grandeur Peak and Salt Lake City to the west. To turn the trip into a lollypop loop, hiking further south toward the saddle between Gobbler and Raymond and head north on the Bowman Gulch Trail, which reconnects to Alexander Basin. Otherwise, return home via the route you hiked in on.

Note: there are no reliable water sources along this route during mid-to-late summer. 

-Mapped by Charlie Hart

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 8.8

Waypoints

ABT001

Location: 40.692839, -111.670372

Park alongside Mill Creek Road. Pick up Alexander Basin Trail on west side of road and head south to start. Grade is steep.

ABT002

Location: 40.68648, -111.674395

Gain the ridgeline and cross into Alexander Basin.

ABT003

Location: 40.685369, -111.674918

At Y-junction with Bowman Trail (elevation 8,080 feet), bear left to continue on Alexander Basin Trail.

ABT004

Location: 40.670687, -111.682827

Gobblers Knob: 10,246 feet.

Gobblers Knob From Trail

Location: 40.681549, -111.67654

Notch vistas of Gobblers Knob as you head south on Alexander Basin Trail.

Toward Mill Creek Canyon

Location: 40.679076, -111.676111

Wildflower meadows are backdropped by Mill Creek Canyon on this northern vista.

Upper Cirque

Location: 40.670776, -111.681347

Enjoy superb basin views from the upper cirque just below Gobblers.

Western Panorama

Location: 40.670768, -111.68272

Look west for a panorama of Grandeur Peak perched in front of Salt Lake City.

Gobblers Knob From Mt. Raymond

Location: 40.657983, -111.70229

Gobblers Knob viewed from nearby Mt. Raymond, which looms to the southwest at 10,197 feet.