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  1. #1
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    Brand new rider - taking another noob - Pipeline Trail?

    Hi there, just moved to SLC and got my first bike a few weeks ago. Having a great time with it. I've got a few questions I'm hoping you guys can help me out with.

    First off, my brother is coming to visit me this weekend. He is a huge outdoorsy guy, so he wants me to take him mountain biking. I've only been doing it a few weeks but I said sure, we should have fun.

    Now I'm a little confused on where to take him. The only trail I've ridden so far is the Pineline, and I'm not in great shape and the paved climb to the trailhead was BRUTAL to me. I am so exhausted by time I get to the trailhead and I have to take several breaks along the way. I hate admitting that but I'm working on it. He's in similar shape and I don't want him to get discouraged and have a bad time. The trail itself is great but getting there is a lot for a "fun afternoon". I wish there was a shuttle or something. Does anyone have any suggestions on similarly challenging trails? The views on the Pipeline are fantastic with the cliff edges and whatnot.

    So here's my next question. As I mentioned, I have done this trail a few times. I am very confused on how the trail plays out. Here's the map I used to navigate:





    What always happens to me is that I ride the trail, and I end up going down Burch Hollow without intending to. I would like to ride the entire trail to the Viewpoint, but I don't know how. I'm going to post my video below (warning, it's not great). I think if you go to about 9:30 you can see where the trail splits and I take the left trail (it's where I ride up the right side a bit and the video cuts as I turn the camera off for a minute). If I continue up the right side will it take me to the rest of the trail? I couldn't see any signs and I don't want to end up in the middle of a mountain.

    Pipeline Trail - YouTube

    Thanks in advance for the help. Everyone I've met while out biking has been incredibly nice and welcoming. Being from Georgia and traveling a lot, I have to say that Utah has been the only state that has matched the hospitality that I have become accustomed to in the Southeast. You guys are great.
    Last edited by jmack549; 05-14-2012 at 05:25 PM.

  2. #2
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    Wish I could help more, but haven't done the Pipeline in a long time so I don't remember the area you are asking about.

    You might get more feedback if you can edit your title - it should be "Pipeline" trail, not "Pineline". People will recognize the name and be more likely to answer....

    Check out the Bonneville Shoreline trail as a fun alternative, including Dry Creek trail and the Bobseld trail (as a descent). Overall, Bonneville trail has more up and down to it than the Pipeline which is essentially all downhill, BUT, you don't have to climb up the road to get to the trailhead - you get to distribute the climbing more over the course of the trail ad do it will actually mountain biknig so it is less noticeable. There a few areas that are more rocky than Pipeline, but overall not very technical. I usually start at the trailhead across from the Zoo parking lot at Emigration canyon, but you could also start near the Amphitheater at the Botanical Gardens to shorten the ride and skip a climb. Shorten it even more by starting at Dry Creek itself, though you will be swearing me if you do because it grinds up for a while starting there without a prior warmup. There is also a rockgarden that you will come across during the Dry Creek part of the trail - that is the most technical part and may require you walking it if you or your bro are true noobs (short section, no big deal).

    What kind of bikes are you guys riding?

  3. #3
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    Pipeline is a fun beginner/experience trail. One nice thing about it is that you can easily shuttle it if you have 2 cars and avoid most of the climbing. Just leave a car at the bottom of Rattlesnake Gulch, drive the car w/ the bikes to Elbow, and ride down. If you aren't looking for conditioning, this allows you to enjoy the downhill "fun" part, maybe a couple of times, in the same time it takes to ride up the road and down the trail.

    As far as the trail goes, I can't remember any intersections that aren't signed, but it has been a while since I've paid attention to what the signs say up there.

    There are some other trails with easy climbs and fun sections. Glenwild and Bob's Basin area near Park City are fun, and the climbs are short. Corner Canyon has a wide array of trails, but you will have to climb a bit to get to them. Bonneville Shoreline is also fun, as mentioned.
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  4. #4
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    jmack549,

    Your mistake is the left turn that you took at the bottom of the 6 switchbacks at about 19:30 on your video. As you know, the left turn takes you to the parking area at the Burch Hollow trailhead. Go straight/right at that trail intersection instead and you will eventually get to the Salt Lake Valley overlook a little under 5 miles later. Make sure that you don't turn left at any of the other trail intersections along the way. You will pass turnoffs for Church Fork and Rattlesnake Gulch. Both of those will take you back to the canyon road.

    If you want to eliminate the uphill spin on the canyon road to the Elbow Fork trailhead at the top, park at the Burch Hollow trailhead and hit the dirt from there. Make sure you fork left at the first trail intersection, otherwise you will climb the 6 switchbacks going uphill. If you start your ride from Burch Hollow and ride down canyon, you will get to the overlook in just under 5 miles. Remember, don't take either of the left trail turnoffs along the way that go downhill toward the canyon road. With the exception of one short steep climb, the entire ride is flat. Ride back the same way you came for just under a 10 mile round trip. It's a very scenic, easy ride, but watch out for Rattlesnakes along the way.

    Enjoy!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tystevens View Post
    Pipeline is a fun beginner/experience trail. One nice thing about it is that you can easily shuttle it if you have 2 cars and avoid most of the climbing. Just leave a car at the bottom of Rattlesnake Gulch, drive the car w/ the bikes to Elbow, and ride down. If you aren't looking for conditioning, this allows you to enjoy the downhill "fun" part, maybe a couple of times, in the same time it takes to ride up the road and down the trail..
    Unfortunately for him, as of this past Saturday, the "winter gate" is still closed above Burch Hollow so he can't drive to the Elbow - bike or walk only.
    I wonder whether they will open the winter gate earlier this year since the snowpack was so much less?

  6. #6
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    If you don't want ride the road to the trail head just park at Burch Hollow and ride the stretch out to the lookout and back. There isn't any extended climbing so you should be good.

    PIpeline really is the only trail I can think of where you can avoid any climbing. The northern section of Bonneville shoreline is pretty tame but it does have some climbing.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the tips guys, glad to know where I made my mistake. Look out for rattlesnakes? I'm freakin terrified of snakes, guess I'll be wearing a completely titanium suit this weekend.

  8. #8
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    Pipelines and Shorelines

    I gotta disagree with the Shoreline trail (Dry creek to Bobsled) as an option for the less fit beginners. They climb up dry creek much much harder then riding up the road in millcreek. There are sections of 20% grade and it takes a pretty fit rider 40 minutes to climb to the top of the sled. This is however a classic slc trail which you need to do at some point, but from a climbing standpoint its way more taxing then the road in millcreek canyon. You can shuttle this trail by parking at the top of Terrace Hills Dr and riding a shorter climb (15 min ish and then desending either bobsled or dry creek. then use a second car to get back to the top. PM me if you want better directions.

    I think the pipeline trail will be about the best option for your brother. Its Senic, Fun, not very technical, and is one of the more shuttleable trails in the valley. Just leave one car at rattlesnake and drive the other to the top. I think an out and back from birch down is a good choice. If you do decide to drop down rattlesnake and ride the road back to you car parking at birch cuts out the steepest sections of the road.

    have fun out there
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  9. #9
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    If you don't mind a quick drive up to Park City, the Round Valley system might be a good change from the Pipeline.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmack549 View Post
    Thanks for the tips guys, glad to know where I made my mistake. Look out for rattlesnakes? I'm freakin terrified of snakes, guess I'll be wearing a completely titanium suit this weekend.
    I've seen one in dozens of trips down the Pipeline trail. That trail gets enough traffic, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

    Like someone else said, Round Valley is a good choice for another nice trail that has very little climbing. Of course, it is another 2000 feet higher than the trails in SLC.

    A third option would be Ann's trail from the Potato Hill trailhead off of Traverse Road at Corner Canyon. Ride east to the kiosk at the top of Rush and back. Nice rolling trail.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tystevens View Post
    I've seen one in dozens of trips down the Pipeline trail. That trail gets enough traffic, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

    Like someone else said, Round Valley is a good choice for another nice trail that has very little climbing. Of course, it is another 2000 feet higher than the trails in SLC.

    A third option would be Ann's trail from the Potato Hill trailhead off of Traverse Road at Corner Canyon. Ride east to the kiosk at the top of Rush and back. Nice rolling trail.
    That's good to know. I saw this guy in Provo Canyon yesterday.



    Thanks for the trail suggestions!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmack549 View Post
    That's good to know. I saw this guy in Provo Canyon yesterday.



    Thanks for the trail suggestions!
    Hard to tell from the pic, but looks like a gopher snake from first glance.
    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

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