Trip Report: Faint Trail Revisited - Walk Along Historical Trails

Faint Trail Revisited - Walk Along Historical Trails
By Knick* Knickerbocker
HIKE 06/25/2023 NTD+

After a long time not organizing any WMC activities I organized a one-way (shuttle needed) hike for the Wasatch Mountain Club "Faint Trail Revisited" from Parley's Rail Trail to East Canyon. Our group of eight started on the Parley's Canyon (I-80) side heading west along the "Parley's Rail Trail" taking this historical trail that my friend and longtime WMC member Charles Keller researched years ago and organized & lead for the WMC. Some photos here are of the old trestle that Charles used in his historic stories of this rail trail and area in a couple of his Faint Trails of the Wasatch. The trestles along this route are now all covered up with dirt, but still evidence of their previous existence still exists along the obvious grade. The trains ran from mid 1880s to about 1943 before being abandoned and rails pulled up to salvage. I stopped along the way at various points to provide some of the history of the rail trail then along to the "old" Sheep Trail. Mark Jones also helped provide some details along the way of the change in railroad tracks. The train owners had changed from the original narrow gauge to standard because the grade slope up to the summit was too steep (originally called Altus, UT now called Summit Park). See Mark Jones book "Utah's Forgotten Ski Area" for more club history & info. As for the Sheep Trail, sheep ranchers in Salt Lake area would drive their sheep up Emigration Canyon along this trail into Park City to graze for the summer. After hiking to the west along this trail we connected with the Alexander Creek Trail to finish out our hike of approximately 5.5 miles to finish at the East Canyon Road (see attached map). WMC Club members along today were Mark Jones, Leslie Woods, Gretchen Siegler, Steve Duncan, Cindy Wolfe, Frank Bouchard, Lisa Lewis & myself.

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