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  1. #1
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    Recommend a trail for big group ride in SLC

    I am planning a memorial ride for my brother (see post below):

    My brothers passion...

    in Salt Lake City on July 4th. I live in Ogden, and have only ridden in SLC a few times.

    The group could potentially be pretty big say 50 people, and I am trying to figure out the best trail to ride. I want to ride 6-10 miles, and we will be starting around 6 am. I need a trail in the foothills of SLC not up one of the canyons.

    I thought of starting at City Creek and riding to Ensign Peak, but I am not familiar with that trail to know know if a group that size would work.

    Thanks for any help or advice you can offer!

    frog

  2. #2
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    The area above Ensign Peak is a nice ride, but I would suggest doing it the other way. Start at the bottom of City Creek, then ride up to the capitol and continue on the city streets to the dirt utility road up to the radio towers. From there, cross over to the east and come down into City Creek. That segment of the Shoreline trail into City Creek is much more fun to descend than to climb, and it doesn't get nearly as much traffic or dog walkers as the segment above the Avenues.

    It's probably a 7 to 8 mile loop, with about 1600 feet of climbing if you go to the Radio Towers. The climbing is almost entirely on paved roads or a well-maintained dirt road. The views up there are incredibly nice. The only possible downside is that it's at a lower elevation and there isn't much shade until you're into City Creek. If you start early, you'll beat the July heat.

    There are also a few switchbacks on the descent that might be intimidating to beginners (or me), but the ride is generally suitable for intermediate riders.

    I could send a Google Earth file if you're interested.
    Justin
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  3. #3
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    Thanks!

    Sounds like a good suggestion. The Google Earth file would help a ton if you don't mind.

    frog

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1 cog frog View Post
    Sounds like a good suggestion. The Google Earth file would help a ton if you don't mind.

    frog
    Here is the KMZ file. My particular route starts and ends near Bingham Cyclery, in downtown SLC, but I would suggest parking at the bottom of City Creek (Memory Grove) then joining up with this trail on the west side of the capitol. It goes through a gated community, but you can bike through it without any problems. When you get to City Creek, there will be a few points on the trail where you can drop down onto the canyon road, or stay on the trail. Stick to the trail for as long as possible. It's some nice single track. You can stay on the dirt until you get to the hairpin turn at the top of Memory Grove park. Then, ride down through the park to your cars.

    This is becoming one of my regular workout rides. It's not getting boring yet.
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    Justin
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  5. #5
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    Keep in mind

    The climb from city creek to the ensign peak via that trail is pretty stout. If you group is all intermediate riders or better it might be ok but thats a steep climb. I often ride that trail from the other side parking or around the base of the ensign peak trail, and then climbing the service road to the trail. Climbing in this direction is much easier.

    The classic Dry creek to city creek ride might be a good option. Great ride with a little more mellow climbing. Its also the busiest section of trail in the world so that could be a downside.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalfaraway View Post
    The climb from city creek to the ensign peak via that trail is pretty stout. If you group is all intermediate riders or better it might be ok but thats a steep climb. I often ride that trail from the other side parking or around the base of the ensign peak trail, and then climbing the service road to the trail. Climbing in this direction is much easier.

    The classic Dry creek to city creek ride might be a good option. Great ride with a little more mellow climbing. Its also the busiest section of trail in the world so that could be a downside.
    I agree with this. What I really like about riding the Ensign Peak to City Creek segment in a "clockwise" direction, is that there are not many people who ride or hike up from City Creek on that trail. That means you're not constantly yielding to uphill traffic like you do on most segments of the Shoreline Trail.

    There is a good amount of climbing. I would tell the members of your group to expect 1600 vertical feet and about an hour of constant uphill to get up to where the trail splits off from the access road. Most of the climbing is on paved or well-maintained dirt roads if you go in this direction, so it doesn't feel as difficult as it does when I try climbing out of one of the trails in City Creek. The rewards are worth it. The views of the city, lake, and mountains are amazing, and the descent into City Creek is one of the best around.
    Justin
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  7. #7
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    Authalic and Pedalfaraway,

    Thanks for your input. The group will likely have riders of all levels, so the recommendation to ride up the service road to Ensign Peak and down City Creek is a good one.

    We are starting at Memory Grove Park, and I planned on riding up East Capital Blvd to the Ensign Peak trailhead. So does the service road start right in the neighborhood where the trail starts? Also, is the trail open to bikes all the way through Memory Grove park on the return trip, or do we need to hit the pavement once we leave the BST?

    frog

  8. #8
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    As others have stated, Ensign Peak is not an ideal ride if you have a mixed fitness group.

    How about the Shoreline section behind the University? A large group on a trail means a huge clot of people moving slowly, so a wide trail allows other users to go on their way. Not a ton of climbing, and the climbing is short. Wide trail on that section allows riders to communicate with each other - sharing stories about your brother, etc.

    My suggestion: Start at Popperton Park behind the Shriners hospital. Ride south on the BST to where it starts to drop above the zoo. Turn around (anytime) and return to Popperton Park.

  9. #9
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    The Ensign Peak trailhead is not really the best way to get to the service road. I would avoid riding up to that hiking trailhead, unless you really want to go there.

    The easiest way to get to the service road from E Capitol Blvd is to ride north, about 1/2 mile past the capitol, then turn left (west) onto Edgecomb Dr and follow it to Dorchester Dr. Turn left onto Dorchester, continuing west. You'll hit the gated community at the end of Dorchester Dr, but you can ride around the gate on the sidewalk. Then turn right on Sandhurst Dr and follow it north. Stay on Sandhurst until you see a gate and a dirt road ahead of you on the right. That's the service road to the Radio Towers.

    The beginning of the Shoreline Trail is just below the first set of towers. At the trailhead, you'll see a sign, telling you to clean up after your dog. It's worth riding a few hundred more feet to the towers, though, for the view.

    You will need to stay off City Creek Canyon Road until you get to the hairpin turn at the top of Memory Grove. It's closed to bikes on even-numbered days. If you stick to the trail that parallels the road, you should be fine. Avoid the pavement until you get to the hairpin turn. Bikes are allowed on the roads from there. Follow the creek back down through Memory Grove and you'll be back to your car.

    That Google Earth file I uploaded earlier would show you the best way to get from the trailhead down into Memory Grove.

    If you're concerned about the fitness level of your group, this could definitely be too much climbing for some. One the plus side, you get the climbing out of the way at the beginning. Once you hit the trailhead, it's mostly level, with a few ups and downs for the next mile, then it's all descent.

    I would feel comfortable taking any intermediate riders on this trail. I am not in great shape. I weigh about 260, but I can do the full loop from downtown in about 90 to 100 minutes at a comfortable pace. If someone is moderately active, they should be able to handle the climbing if you all go slow and enjoy the views.
    Justin
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  10. #10
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    Visiting St george/Hurricane? Stay at my vacation rental. Discounts for MTB's

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