Steam Mill Lake Hike

I did this hike a couple times in July. The first was on The Fourth and was sort of a scouting trip I undertook on the premise that there has to be another reasonable overnighter destination in Logan Canyon other than just White Pine Lake every time. It was also a destination of considerable curiosity, given that no one I talked to in Logan had ever been there, and it’s hard to find a lot of info on it online. The second was an overnighter (!) with the kids from church.


The Summary

Scenery-to-Effort Ratio: 1.3? The first mile and half is uphill and ugly. The rest is pretty good.

Elevation Gain: IIRC, it’s around 1,200′, most of which you’re gaining during that first mile and a half. The rest of it is between the mill site and the lake.

Obstacles: A few creek crossings, a couple of which have logs (including the one right at the trailhead if you look hard enough); the trail up to the lake might be a little faint and/or look like a creek, depending on the time of year.

Popularity: Apparently low. Saw two other parties the first time I hiked it and maybe four the second time.

Distance: About 9.2 miles to the lake and back. Add another mile if you want to walk around the lake. (Probably. I didn’t do that.)

Location: Logan Canyon, just off Franklin Basin Road. Turn left on Franklin Basin, then go left on the first dirt road after the first bridge. The trailhead is off to the right somewhere.


  • Really nice scenery once you get past the ridge.
  • Beautiful creeks and a box canyon lake (although I’m guessing these are best seen as early in the season as possible).
  • Some steam mill machinery.
  • Not a lot of people.


  • The first mile and a half is a long slog uphill through trees.
  • No water on the bottom half of the hike.
  • Kind of a difficult trailhead to locate.
  • A lot of horse manure and cow pies.

The Rest

The trailhead looks like this.

And then the first thing you do is cross a slow-moving stream, which is maybe more bog than spring. There’s a log there if you look for it, which I didn’t the first time out. OTOH, it was a good place to see if the dog could swim (she can).

The highlight of the first two miles. Someone had abandoned this over the winter.
Most of the first two miles looks like this.

Then you reach the creek and things get more interesting despite the relative lack of trailside snowmobiles.

Then you reach the steam mill site itself. I’m guessing it was a sawmill and not a place where steam was milled.

There are a lot of good campsites between the mill and the lake. Or, if you wanted, you could take a left at the Steam Mill and somehow end up at White Pine Lake. I didn’t do that.

Steam Mill Creek

There’s a small pond that comes before the lake. The small pond is not the lake. The lake looks like this:

Steam Mill Lake

And then, the way back looks a lot like the way there.