Free activities Hikes

Dark Trail | Settlement Canyon| Tooele

(Last Updated On: May 2, 2020)

Dark Trail in Tooele is a nice little hike that is accessible year-round in Settlement Canyon. The trail follows right along the road, so you can easily do this trail as a shuttle hike if needed. We did this trail as an out and back hike, and you can also extend the hike to as long as you like, which is great for families.

Dark Trail starts just outside Tooele. Drive to the reservoir in Settlement Canyon (directions below). Park outside the pay station. The gate will be locked during the winter months, but in summer, you should be able to drive in to the campground. If you start at the pay station, the trail branches of the road on the right about 50 yards from where you started hiking. If you miss the branch of trail, you’ll land in the campground, which also works as a starting point. Don’t take the trail on the far right that goes steeply up the hill through a gate. But take the trail that is flat and heads along the edge of the campground.

We parked by the reservoir.
Then we began hiking from the fee station (which wasn’t open in April).
We walked down the road.
Not very far down the road, there is a trail that branches off on the right. This is Dark Trail. Start here!
If you miss that side trail, you can hop on the trail at the campground. Don’t walk through the campground, just go straight across the parking lot and get on the trail.
There is a trail that heads steeply up on the right with a gate/fence once you get to the campground. DON’T go that way. Stay to the left on the flat trail.
After the campground, the trail branches again. You could go either way, but the trail on the right is Dark Trail and it stays by the mountain. The other trail heads to the road.
This is why it’s called Dark Trail. There are so many trees that in Summer it will be covered with foliage.

Dark Trail follows along a ravine on the left and runs very slightly uphill. There are a lot of birds and small mammals along the way. We saw squirrels, a Cooper’s hawk, a Downy Woodpecker, and a spotted towhee along with a few others. The trail is called Dark Trail because when the foliage is thick, the hike is well-shaded. This hike would be absolutely beautiful during fall. We can’t wait to come back and see.

The trail was easy and mostly flat.
We can’t wait to come in Fall. The leaves over the trail will be amazing.
There are a few open spaces, but mostly the trail is through the trees.
We thought this rock formation was fascinating.
We saw some fun birds including this Downy Woodpecker.

This hike was easy and relatively flat. We did it as an out-and-back, and we walked about 1.6 miles until the trail came out on the road. Then we turned around and walked back to the parking area, so about 3 miles roundtrip. Others told us that you could follow the trail up farther for a long way, but we didn’t have time to check it out. We really enjoyed this hike, and it will be easy to access any time of year. 

Once the trail came out at the road, we turned around. You can continue hiking further up to the right.
Dark Trail was a beautiful family-friendly hike.

Directions

To find Dark Trail, head toward Tooele from whichever direction you are coming. Take Highway 36 toward Tooele. Turn east onto Settlement Canyon Road. Park at the fee station to begin trail.

For other family-friendly hikes, visit our list of Waterfalls in Utah or check out our Things to do in Tooele page.

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