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.
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.
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.
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.