It’s been a good winter season riding so far and I’ve been able to get out quite a bit, especially over the Christmas break. One of the many benefits of working in academia is that I get a good two weeks off work, and sometimes a bit more, during the Christmas season. Our snowpack here in Utah is at 100% of normal. The trails have been mostly pretty good. We are fortunate that we have groomed fatbike trails nearby.
Most years there are three main areas that I ride: The Alpine Loop, mostly the American Fork Canyon side. Parking is at the end of the plowed road at Pine Hollow. The Alpine Loop all the way up and over to Sundance is groomed, as well as down the Cascade Springs Road. There is also a nice short network of trails that are groomed through Timpooneke Campground. These trails can be quite fun when they are in. The Willow Hollow Trail is an exhilarating descent from the Alpine Loop Summit and the Elk Camp Trail is also great fun. There are other trails that are not groomed but get packed out up there, including the Salamander Flat Trail and the Ridge Trail. These trails have not really been in this season. The scenery up at Timpooneke Campground is spectacular with the North Summit of Mt. Timpanogos rising above.
Round Valley in Park City has miles and miles of groomed trails. These include wide cross country ski tracks as well as singletrack intended for fatbikes. When the singletrack is packed out it’s fantastic, but sometimes it’s a slow laborious slog when the snow is new. The trails start low and wind up through sagebrush, then into scrub oak, and a few pine trees. I really like riding here, but it is also the furthest from my house so I don’t ride there as much as I would like. It also tends to be quite crowded on the weekends.
Finally, Big Springs is a fun place to ride. It gets quite a lot of foot, snowshoe, and ski traffic, so the trails pack out nicely. It is close and accessible. This is my go to place when I don’t have a lot of time, but need to get out for a bit.
I usually ride solo, always with my trail dog Reggie; sometimes I ride with my brother Jason, someone else.