23 July 1849: "One of Flack's oxen was left to die. The road this morning led over a low mountain. We had to double teams in crossing the summit. It is one mile of heavy hauling. After passing over the summit the descent is very steep and we had to lock both wheels".
Start where the early pioneers of Utah saw their first glimpse of the Salt Lake Valley. From your vehicle (or handcart company), one can hike north of Big Mountain Pass for a quick trip to Big Mountain and big views. This is the Great Western Trail so you can continue beyond if you have more time.
Big Mountain from Little Mountain
From I-80 in Parleys Canyon, take the East Canyon Exit 134 (Highway 65) north 8 miles to Big Mountain Pass. Park in the large dirt lot at this historic pass.
Big Mountain Map
For Big Mountain, cross the road and start up the trail gaining elevation quickly. The first half mile is a majority of the elevation gain for this trip. Soon you top out on ridges, working across much easier terrain to the base of Big Mountain. About half this route is shaded so start early if hiking up in summer. The trail skirts below the summit around 100 feet or so. Leave the trail wherever it looks good or hike the trail to the ridge and work back. The summit is completely bald so views are all around.