Lower MM Loop

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 3.8 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 4470 - 4755 feet
Cellphone: 1-4 bars
Time: 2 hrs.
Trailhead: Mill Canyon Road
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic desert, arches, historic sites




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The Lower MM Loop is located on BLM land just off of Highway 191 about 14 miles north of Moab, Utah. The MM is short for the Merrimac and Monitor Buttes that can both be seen further to the south. Besides being a pleasant trail, hikers also get to see the remains of an old stagecoach station, 2 arches and an old copper mine. The trail also passes close by the Mill Canyon Dinosaur site.


Turn off of Highway 191 near mile marker 141, about 13 miles north of Moab, on the Mill Canyon Road. The first mile or so of the road is bordered by private property. At the fork follow the route to the left for Mill Canyon and the Dino Trail.


This post begins at a parking area at the fork in the road of Mill Canyon and the Halfway Stage Station.


Take the left fork and follow the signs for the Halfway Stage Station. At the next branch take the right fork.


Continue on the graded road of loose red dirt.


The Halfway Stage Station is on the right just before entering the canyon.


Just past the stage station the trail is restricted to hiking and mountain biking only.


An old jeep road serves as the route for most of the trail.


As the trail comes out on a vast area of slickrock watch for white painted lines and an occasional cairn that mark the route.


At the point where the trail rounds the high sandstone butte that is loops around it splits. Straight ahead you can see the Desolation Towers. For a longer hike or ride you can continue straight toward the towers before heading back to the north. For this post we follow the shorter route to the right at this point.


Here is a faint petroglyph along the trail that we outlined on the computer.


The scenic geology of the sandstone cliffs and the nearby Desolation Towers add enjoyment to the trail.


Once again the trail passes through a squeeze where it is limited to hiking, mountain biking and of course horses.


As the trail comes out of the canyon it passes an old copper mine on the right and the Mill Canyon Dino Area on the left.


There are several primitive campsites along the wash that are free of charge. You do need to bring your own portable potty with you though. They are require at many of the primitive camping areas in Southern Utah.


The Lower MM Loop is embedded inside the much larger MM Loop that is accessible also by ATV's and dirt bikes. With a couple of arches, the old stage station, petroglyphs, copper mine and dinosaur site the Lower MM Loop has lots of trail side attractions. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is grab your bike or 'Take a hike'.