The Mill Creek - Main Fork Trail arises at the trailhead in the Mill Creek Campground in Central Idaho. This area is part of the Salmon-Challis National Forest, and the trail is a National Recreation Trail. Hikers share it with mountain bikers, and it provides a variety of terrains and challenges from an easy walk to rugged rock scrambling. Most of the trail is soil, although some of it is overgrown meadow grass at the higher elevations.
The trail begins as a tame hike through abundant wildflowers in the spring, like Red Columbine and Jack-in-the-Pulpit. The dense forest surrounds you and your pup, and you'll follow the main fork of the creek's shore and alongside marshes. After a wet creek crossing, the trail begins to climb and become rockier, especially as you near Mill Creek Lake with its gravelly beach and bouldered edges. Beyond the lake, you will find lush alpine meadows, where the trail becomes difficult to trace and you can make your own way. The views from the high elevations are furtastic, of granite-peaked mountains, rivers and alpine lakes.
Many wildlife species live here and you're likely to see Bighorn Sheep and mountain goats leaping from cliff and rock, moose in the marshy areas, antelopes on the hillsides and bear alongside the creek waiting to catch its breakfast trout. Above, Bald and Golden Eagles soar on the thermals hoping to spy their next meal. You may even see a wolf among the trees! It's important to keep your fur-pup firmly leashed all along this trail.
Camping is available at the Mill Creek Campground near the trailhead, with 6 tent sites and toilets, but no water. Be prepared to either bring ample water or filter what you find in the creek or streams. Primitive camping is also permitted throughout the route of the trail, and is especially pleasant on the banks of the Mill Creek Lake.
Whether you're looking for a strenuous adventure in the mountains of Central Idaho, or a relaxing camping experience, you and Fido will enjoy the time you spend along the Mill Creek Trail.
This is a well-known habitat for bears, who are inherently shy, but should be avoided.