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  1. #1
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    Kamas?

    I recently started a new job in Kamas. Until I am able to buy a house there I have a hell of a commute which makes mid week rides almost impossible. By the timeI get home it's close to sunset, and night riding with lights makes it really hard to wind down afterwards and fall asleep on weeknights.

    I was finally able to get in good shape this season (before the job change) by riding one or two times during the week instead of just on weekends like previous years.

    Well, at age 43, I lost my riding fitness quickly after taking just a few weeks off to get acclimated to the new job.

    I was able to find a nearby trail called Rocky-Top that's close enough to work that I can squeeze a decent ride in before I have to drive home for the night. It seems that there is no other traffic there at all during the week other than one guy out walking his dogs, and about 5 or 6 doe muleys. This is a technically simple trail but I really enjoyed riding today. I'd rather not have to try and climb >1000' vertical after work, so this was just about perfect.

    I've seen a few marked on the Trailforks app/website like Bench Creek further into the Uintas, and a few in the Heber City area. Are any of these trails short enough, easy enough or convenient enough to be able to ride from in an hour or two at dusk? or at least some sections that are doable with only an hour or so to ride?
    Also, when these trails are marked Black diamond or double black diamond does this refer to physical fitness difficulty, or challenging terrain? I can ride just about anything except jumps with big gaps, and I'll walk anything that's out of my league.I don't mind climbing to get to the top of a trail, but extended steep climbs (death marches is what we used to call them) take all the fun out for me.

    Park city is only 20 minutes from work but I really don't know where to start there without a guide (I've got lost there twice and wound up on country roads looking for bus stops), and I would like to avoid crowded trails if possible. I know I'm spoiled and picky, but I really would like to explore this region more.

    If you were looking for a quick fun solo ride after work which trails would you try to hit up?

    Thanks in advance for any help!

  2. #2
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    Fortunately you have several options relatively close.

    Black diamond and double blacks usually refer to the more technically difficult nature of a given trail, but often also can be an indicator of relative steepness that is associated with more difficult technical trails.
    UMB or utahmountainbiking.com can be a better resource on local trail info than what you get on trailforks. If you have not spent time there checking things out, that would be my suggestion for time best spent on initial searching out of trails.

    Areas:
    Round Valley:
    Very close to Kamas since the main trailhead starts near the ice arena and park that are just off the Kamas exit on I-40.
    Lots of loop options here with relatively tame trails. Should all be on trailforks and well described in utahmountainbiking.com

    Coyote Canyon:
    This is the area south of Jordanelle and east of I-40
    The full loop here is likely a longer ride than you are looking for, but there is now a shorter loop and several out and back options.

    Soldier Hollow:
    Midway
    LOTS of trail options here. Distance, vertical and ability all seem to be in the range you are looking for. Check it out on utahmountainbiking.com (UMB)
    Park City: There are a few common trails that are heavily ridden and hiked and fairly easy to find yourself up and down without getting lost.
    Jenny's comes to mind first, climbing up Jenny's to where it crosses CMG back down would give you just about the 1k vertical you are looking for and be a pretty safe route. To get to Jenny's start up the trail that climbs on an angle across the dirt road from the grassy area right at the end of the main plaza at the resort. At the top of that little hill you turn left where the sign points that direction for Jenny's, where you would stay straight to head towards Armstrong. (there are no turn offs that I can remember once you start up Jenny's until you get where CMG crosses it. And CMG will bring you right back down to the main plaza area just about where you started.)

    Armstrong up to HAM would be a little more climbing than that, but also relatively trouble free once you get used to the lower access trails that cross just a bit before you actually start climbing Armstrong.

    You can start to expand your comfort zone of trails from there as you go.

    Glenwild:
    This area is on the north side of I-80 between Kimball Junction and Jeremy Ranch areas.
    From Kimball Junction you have several loop or out and back options on the lower glenwild trails and longer rides up to Flying Dog.
    Down the road a bit at either trailheads behind the strip mall and back in past the school by the Jeremy Ranch exit you have access to Bob's Basin freeride area which has several downhill directional trails that are pretty fun and usually not too technical with b lines around just about all features.
    You get about 350 feet of vertical with each loop of these.

    Probably some I am forgetting that others will chime in with.

  3. #3
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    Agree with those recommendations. Round Valley and Glenwild/Bob's Basin/Flying Dog are on your way home (assuming you are commuting to SLC) and ~20min from Kamas. The whole world of trails in the Canyons/PCMR/DV area is open to you as well though (car) traffic may mean it's not practical given the timing.

    You might also like Road to WOS in Summit Park - again, on your way home, and a fun 45 minutes without a ton of climbing. Also the trails at the Utah Olympic Park - many options there and it's only 1/4 mile off the freeway on your commute.

    FWIW, too, the Skidmaps black/double black is a bit arbitrary. In some cases it refers to actual technical stuff/features (ie, Insurgent), and in others it's really just a trail that's not going to be fun to ride uphill on because of the grade, but is otherwise pretty innocuous. Nothing on the list so far is going to be very scary if you have even a tiny bit of mountain bike experience.

    -Walt

  4. #4
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    Dutch Hollow is also nearby

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  5. #5
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    Thanks for all the responses, guys. And Walt, I actually commute the other direction towards Ogden. Park City is only 15 minutes away, but once passed PC and heading to Parleys is a bit too far.
    I'm still researching the list of trails and areas listed and hopefully I'll be able to one Thursday or Friday night this week.

  6. #6
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    I really wish trails would have a dual difficulty system.

    Technical
    Fitness

    or the other way around.

    it would really tell a lot about the character of a trail prior to riding it.

    But another issue with that is it would be directionally dependent, since trails are usually easier going up than down. I have ridden the occasional trail that was easier climbing than descending, but obviously this is usually the exception.

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