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  1. #1
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    Building Classics

    Everyone knows that The Wasatch Crest Trail is "the best thing since sliced bread" - but it seems to me that there are some other viable options in the area.

    Some of them are neglected trails that could be cleaned up by just riding on them. Others would be a stretch to call "classics" - but with so many trails already existing.. what is anybody here riding - what does anyone wanna ride?

    This is a place to post trails that you love (that are long and similar to the crest) as well as a place to get ask people if they have any experience riding somewhere that you've been wanting to try.

    Requirements to be considered a Wasatch Crest Replacement:

    • Great Views
    • 10 - 20 Miles
    • at least some way (shuttle) to reduce total vertical climbing to 800-1500 feet
    • must include at least 1000-3000 vertical feet of descending
    • easy access
    • options to lengthen ride and vertical climb without a shuttle


    The point here is not to REPLACE the wasatch crest - but to ride less crowded trails (the wasatch crest is severely overcrowded on some days) - and to provide options

    I have some thoughts - I'll post below.
    Last edited by 123ski; 06-05-2014 at 12:27 PM.

  2. #2
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    Ok - so this is a trail I have had in my mind for a while - and I know that some people ride it - so I'd like their opinions on it (I'll probably give it a shot soon though).

    1. Park at Big Mountain Pass (top of Mormon Pioneer Trail)
    2. Ride to top of Big Mountain (2.7 miles and 800 vertical foot climb on switchbacks)
    3. Ride ridge line to Lookout Peak (1.6 miles and not much climbing) VIEWS FOR MILES
    4. Descend from Lookout Peak to top of Killyon Canyon (3.9 miles about 1000 vertical descent)
    5. Descend Little Mountain Ridegeline (3.2 miles and about 1600 vertical descent)
    6. Shuttle back to car (or you could have turned it into a loop - but the loop is too daunting for some riders and this is the shuttle option that makes it appealing).

    Total Mileage: 11.4
    Vertical Climb: 800-1200
    Vertical Drop: 2000-2700
    Views: Check
    Easy Access: Yes
    Problems: According to UMB the trail is overgrown in spots (needs more riders) and has some technical sections (not a problem)

    So ... has anyone ridden this that can give feedback.

    Here are some of the views you would get:





    and some of the trail:





    Some thoughts from UMB:

    Descending from Lookout Peak requires good rock-surfing skills, as this steep trail is littered with skittery round boulders. Roll over conglomerate outcrops, keep your butt back, and work your brakes carefully. Despite the 1000 ft per mile rate of descent, the trail is very rideable.
    - SOUNDS FUN TO ME

    The climb from Big Mountain is reported to be loose and washed out, so you can expect to hike your bike a bit.
    - A LOT OF PEOPLE ALREADY WALK UP PUKE HILL

    The section from the GWT over to Lookout Peak is seriously overgrown with trailside brush and small trees. Until some serious trailwork is done, this route should be considered only by those who are looking for new trail and a real challenge.
    - WOULD ENOUGH PEOPLE RIDING THIS TRAIL BE ENOUGH, OR DOES IT ACTUALLY NEED SERIOUS WORK?

  3. #3
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    Here is another one I have been thinking about - and I know that some people ride it - so I'd like their opinions on it (I'll probably give it a shot soon though).

    1. Park at Big Mountain Pass
    2. Ride up and down ridgeline from Big Mountain Pass to Parleys Summit (7.6 miles of up and down, total climbing around 1600 vertical feet, total descending around 1900 vertical feet)
    3. Turn right onto Alexander Creek Trail
    4. Ride Alexander Creek to Mountain Dell Golf Course (4.5 miles, 1600 vertical descent)
    5. Shuttle back to car (of course you could have ridden the Jeremy ranch road and back up mormon pioneer - but this shuttle makes it less daunting as per the instructions)

    Total Mileage: 12.1
    Vertical Climb: 1600 (but no insane climb like Puke Hill)
    Vertical Drop: 3500
    Views: Check
    Easy Access: Yes

    Alternate Route (I believe this one gets ridden much more often):

    1. Park at Big Mountain Pass
    2. Ride up and down ridgeline from Big Mountain Pass to a ridgeline connector down to Alexander Creek (5.1 miles of up and down, total climbing around 1100 vertical feet, total descending around 1400 vertical feet)
    3. Turn right onto Ridgeline Connector
    4. Ride 2.7 miles on ridgeline (descending about 900 vertical feet)
    5. Ride last 2 miles of Alexander Creek (descending about 700 vertical feet)
    6. Shuttle back to car (of course you could have ridden the Jeremy ranch road and back up mormon pioneer - but this shuttle makes it less daunting as per the instructions)

    Total Mileage: 10.9
    Vertical Climb: 1100
    Vertical Drop: 2000
    Views: Check
    Easy Access: Yes

    Who has been riding these routes. How do they compare to the wasatch crest. Are they fun? Are they accessible? How difficult are they. These would be open MUCH earlier in the year than the WC. Is this an "early season" replacement to the crest?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 123ski View Post

    1. Park at Big Mountain Pass (top of Mormon Pioneer Trail)
    2. Ride to top of Big Mountain (2.7 miles and 800 vertical foot climb on switchbacks)
    3. Ride ridge line to Lookout Peak (1.6 miles and not much climbing) VIEWS FOR MILES
    4. Descend from Lookout Peak to top of Killyon Canyon (3.9 miles about 1000 vertical descent)
    5. Descend Little Mountain Ridegeline (3.2 miles and about 1600 vertical descent)
    6. Shuttle back to car (or you could have turned it into a loop - but the loop is too daunting for some riders and this is the shuttle option that makes it appealing).
    I also wonder if there would be any potential way to connect lookout peak with black mountain peak..and then descend black mountain all the way down to bobsled and end with a run down bobsled. Would probably add a few hundred feet of climbing but would add 2000+ vertical feet of descending

  5. #5
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    ok, I'll play. Agree about Wasatch Crest. It's hardly epic but indeed classic. However, looped form Park City with Pinecone and mid-mountain and it's epic for the 99%'rs.

    Anyhow, not sure what you mean by other rides "in the area" but here's my vote for the Wasatch area. North Ogden Divide>Northern Skyline>Willard Peak>Grizzly Peak>Perry Canyon.

    Total Mileage: 30?
    Vertical Climb: 3000?
    Vertical Drop: 5000?
    Views: Check
    Easy Access: Yes
    Man dressed as a goat: check

    Really, what makes this ride an all time Epic Classic is the chance to see the rare and elusive Goatman

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    Agree about Wasatch Crest. It's hardly epic but indeed classic. H
    I went ahead and changed the thread title to "Building Classics"

    Also - thanks for the trail addition!

  7. #7
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    I would nominate the ride in your second post (Big Mtn to Alexander Creek) but coming down AC's Rogue/Avenues/Moose Hollow back into Jeremy Ranch. Alexander Creek is mostly a pipeline road that has now become singletrack - it's not that fun most of the time. You lose elevation fast and you don't get many grins/foot. The descent into Jeremy, on the other hand, is great.

    Be warned that the climb from Big Mtn. pass up onto the ridge to the south is VERY steep in a number of places. I have never cleaned it (and it's not technical). Even with a shuttle, it will not feel like an easy ride at all. The spin out East Canyon (if you park at 24-7) and then up Mormon Pioneer (only steep at the very end) actually serves as a nice warmup and IMO shuttling it doesn't save you much energy (though it does save some time, maybe).

    I have not done the Lookout ride but it's on the list for this summer if I have any time with the new baby coming in 3 weeks (ok, so it'll be 2015...) I am guessing it has a lot more hike-a-bike than you'd think, just from going snowshoeing/hiking in that general area and looking at the elevation profile.

    If the SLC trail plans from many years ago ever get implemented, there would be a connection from Lookout/Killyan's area all the way down to the Mt. Wire area. *That* would be awesome. I'm not holding my breath, though.

    -Walt

  8. #8
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    I have been to the top of Black Mountain with a bike (note that I say "been" and "with", not "rode") and I can say that at least ~1000' of that extra descending would be hike-a-bike unless you are Hans Rey and/or suicidal.

    There are old plans from the mid 2000's for SLC to build a trail system to connect the Emigration Canyon/Killyans trails to the city (presumably along the ridgeline to Mt. Wire) but the money and motivation aren't there to make it happen AFAIK.

    -Walt

    Quote Originally Posted by 123ski View Post
    I also wonder if there would be any potential way to connect lookout peak with black mountain peak..and then descend black mountain all the way down to bobsled and end with a run down bobsled. Would probably add a few hundred feet of climbing but would add 2000+ vertical feet of descending

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    I would nominate the ride in your second post (Big Mtn to Alexander Creek) but coming down AC's Rogue/Avenues/Moose Hollow back into Jeremy Ranch. Alexander Creek is mostly a pipeline road that has now become singletrack - it's not that fun most of the time. You lose elevation fast and you don't get many grins/foot. The descent into Jeremy, on the other hand, is great.

    Be warned that the climb from Big Mtn. pass up onto the ridge to the south is VERY steep in a number of places. I have never cleaned it (and it's not technical). Even with a shuttle, it will not feel like an easy ride at all. The spin out East Canyon (if you park at 24-7) and then up Mormon Pioneer (only steep at the very end) actually serves as a nice warmup and IMO shuttling it doesn't save you much energy (though it does save some time, maybe).

    I have not done the Lookout ride but it's on the list for this summer if I have any time with the new baby coming in 3 weeks (ok, so it'll be 2015...) I am guessing it has a lot more hike-a-bike than you'd think, just from going snowshoeing/hiking in that general area and looking at the elevation profile.

    If the SLC trail plans from many years ago ever get implemented, there would be a connection from Lookout/Killyan's area all the way down to the Mt. Wire area. *That* would be awesome. I'm not holding my breath, though.

    -Walt
    Thanks for the input! Although leaving a car by the golf course would be quicker for those on the SLC side of the valley. Maybe getting enough awareness on Alexander from the Ridgeline would cause some sort of motivated group to build some features in Alexander?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    I have been to the top of Black Mountain with a bike (note that I say "been" and "with", not "rode") and I can say that at least ~1000' of that extra descending would be hike-a-bike unless you are Hans Rey and/or suicidal.

    There are old plans from the mid 2000's for SLC to build a trail system to connect the Emigration Canyon/Killyans trails to the city (presumably along the ridgeline to Mt. Wire) but the money and motivation aren't there to make it happen AFAIK.

    -Walt
    I'd be very interested to see these plans. More long descents connecting to the city would be AMAZING

  11. #11
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    I started riding a Wasatch Crest Alternative a couple of summers ago, when the Pinecone trail opened. I would catch a shuttle at the bottom of Millcreek, ride up Puke Hill, then drop down the sweet Pinecone descent to Mid-Mountain then ride north to The Canyons. Once you get past the Armstrong junction, Mid-Mountain has surprisingly low traffic. You can get lunch at the Red Pine Lodge before tackling the climb up Ridge Connector to the top of Millcreek Canyon. Then it's the familiar drop down Great Western and Big Water. Add Pipeline to the end and you're riding 33 miles, with 2400 feet of elevation gain and 7000 feet of descent.

    I would never try it on a summer weekend. It's dogs and kids and bikes from top to bottom. But on a weekday, it's perfect. I rode this on the Friday before labor day once, and maybe passed 10 people on the entire 33 mile ride. One of the best days ever.
    Justin
    Salt Lake City
    2012 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp 29
    2006 Specialized Allez Expert Double

  12. #12
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    Alexander isn't really directly shuttle-able (I guess you could do some dirt-road poach climb up to the cell towers from Parley's summit?) and I'm not sure who owns the land, so while I'd love to see features (or even just some turns!) I doubt that you're going to get a lot of freeriders or trailbuilders super interested.

    Don't get me wrong, I hope it happens. I'd even help out. Might be able to get Mtn Trails to lend some time/expertise but it's sort of out of their usual area.

    Again, the ride you're talking about is a very XC ride with a ton of climbing, a lot of it very hard. IMO it's not something you'd generally shuttle, since it won't save you any actual time and the terrain isn't really suitable for freeride rigs or hucking. Might as well be turning the pedals instead of sitting in the car in that case.

    If you want to park at Mtn Dell, here's what I'd do:
    -Up Alexander Creek to Parley's summit/cell towers.
    -Down AC's/Avenues/Moose Hollow.
    -East Canyon to Mormon Pioneer
    -Up to Big Mtn. Pass
    -Down Mormon Pioneer to Little Dell.
    -Highway to car (some descending wasted on pavement, bummer).

    It's not a shuttle, but it's a very fun loop. Options to connect to the Killyan's/Lookout trails, too, if you want to make it bigger.

    -Walt

  13. #13
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    Dig in!

    Emigration Canyon Trails Master Plan Parks and Recreation Planning - Salt Lake County

    Note that this is from 2007. They note several times in the master plan that funding doesn't exist to actually make any of it happen.

    If you don't want to read it all, just look at the map and drool:
    http://slco.org/recreation/planning/...erred_Trai.pdf

    -Walt

    Quote Originally Posted by 123ski View Post
    I'd be very interested to see these plans. More long descents connecting to the city would be AMAZING

  14. #14
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    Thanks - awesome read! I find it interesting that the refer to so many regional trails (outside of emigration) which would connect through rotary park and down to BST even though no such trails exist. They weren't really part of this plan, so i wonder why they were included.

  15. #15
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    It's hard to say. There are remnants of mining roads, deer trails, hunter's paths, etc all over the place up there but not much of it would be rideable and the routing is awful in general so I'm also unclear on why they included stuff outside of the scope of the plan. It would be interesting to talk to some of the folks who were involved with drafting it.

    The recession pretty much killed the whole thing, AFAIK. Maybe if someone gets really motivated it could be back on Mayor Becker's/City/County radar. There are a ton of private land issues and funding issues that would be a HUGE PITA to resolve but if it all got built - it would be amazing for anyone who loves the outdoors.

    -Walt

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    ok, I'll play. Agree about Wasatch Crest. It's hardly epic but indeed classic. However, looped form Park City with Pinecone and mid-mountain and it's epic for the 99%'rs.

    Anyhow, not sure what you mean by other rides "in the area" but here's my vote for the Wasatch area. North Ogden Divide>Northern Skyline>Willard Peak>Grizzly Peak>Perry Canyon.

    Total Mileage: 30?
    Vertical Climb: 3000?
    Vertical Drop: 5000?
    Views: Check
    Easy Access: Yes
    Man dressed as a goat: check

    Really, what makes this ride an all time Epic Classic is the chance to see the rare and elusive Goatman
    Ha, those were the two rides I did in the area a couple years back. Wasatch itself I thought was overrated, but that's generally how I view a lot of the "classics". It was a great ride as a loop and while I rode Wasatch counter to a lot of the traffic this put me in the right direction for Pine cone, which I liked the best out of the whole loop.

    The Ogden ride was one of my favorites out of 35 days of awesome riding. I did it the opposite way though, Perry Cyn to Ben Lomond, which was not optimizing the descent but did allow for good use of the local transit system to connect the loop rather than 15mi of boring pavement. The dirt part of the ride came out at 23mi, 6,400ft climbing, 4,600ft descent. The final descent was better the way I did it though - Perry Cyn is a bigger drop at 4,400 ft but is less interesting, full on brake dragger.

    To the OP, good on you for thinking of putting together new routes. Don't worry about stats though or if it will be popular with other people. It only matters if you like the route. It is actually sad to think that a ride needs to fit certain criteria like your list to be considered a classic, but the truth is the masses have to have something that is easily/shuttle accessed, not too much effort, not very technical, and often favorable climb/descend. Some of the most amazing rides I've done required massive effort, painful hike a bike and tons of effort to plan and execute. Those types of rides don't see a lot of traffic. And I'm fine with that.

    https://forums.mtbr.com/utah/trip-re...vy-825229.html


  17. #17
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    When I lived there over 9 years ago we used to do a Lambs Canyon variation off the Crest trail.....it was sweet. Big downhill into Lambs on little used single track and then climb out lambs to the top of Elbow Fork I believe which drops you right into Pipeline.

  18. #18
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    This thread is relevant and has good info for people interested in getting the slog on.
    Sometimes Rickety, not a turd

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by steadyflow View Post
    When I lived there over 9 years ago we used to do a Lambs Canyon variation off the Crest trail.....it was sweet. Big downhill into Lambs on little used single track and then climb out lambs to the top of Elbow Fork I believe which drops you right into Pipeline.
    I'd love to see that on a map.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by steadyflow View Post
    When I lived there over 9 years ago we used to do a Lambs Canyon variation off the Crest trail.....it was sweet. Big downhill into Lambs on little used single track and then climb out lambs to the top of Elbow Fork I believe which drops you right into Pipeline.
    Remember if the down from crest was uphill or downhill of lambs before the grunt up to elbow? About 9 years ago I spent a few days trying to find it from lambs but failed.
    Sometimes Rickety, not a turd

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