Wasatch Crest Trail

Salt Lake City, Utah

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6 Reviews
5 out of 5
The Wasatch Crest Trail is one of northern Utah’s premier mountain bike routes. Nearly all singletrack, the Crest Trail traces the spine of the central Wasatch Range, coined by Utah geologist William Lee Stokes as “the Backbone of Utah.” Along the initial climb, you venture through sun-kissed forests of aspen, pine, and fir. But when you pedal out the ridge, you are entertained by top-of-the-world views of jagged mountains, glacier-cut canyons, and urban valleys. And when you are not gawking at the topography or prospecting for winter’s backcountry ski routes, you’ll be riveted to the world-class singletrack trail. Moab’s Slickrock Bike Trail might be the state’s most popular trail because of its uniqueness, but the Wasatch Crest Trail epitomizes the concept of “mountain” biking. General location: The Wasatch Crest Trail runs between the tops of Mill Creek and Big Cottonwood Canyons, 9 and 15 miles east of Salt Lake City, respectively. Tread: Singletrack with a few miles of quasi-doubletrack-turned-singletrack.
Mountain Biking Utah

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Mountain Biking Utah

by Gregg Bromka (Falcon Guides)

The Wasatch Crest Trail is one of northern Utah’s premier mountain bike routes. Nearly all singletrack, the Crest Trail traces the spine of the central Wasatch Range, coined by Utah geologist William Lee Stokes as “the Backbone of Utah.” Along the initial climb, you venture through sun-kissed forests of aspen, pine, and fir. But when you pedal out the ridge, you are entertained by top-of-the-world views of jagged mountains, glacier-cut canyons, and urban valleys. And when you are not gawking at the topography or prospecting for winter’s backcountry ski routes, you’ll be riveted to the world-class singletrack trail.

Moab’s Slickrock Bike Trail might be the state’s most popular trail because of its uniqueness, but the Wasatch Crest Trail epitomizes the concept of “mountain” biking. General location: The Wasatch Crest Trail runs between the tops of Mill Creek and Big Cottonwood Canyons, 9 and 15 miles east of Salt Lake City, respectively. Tread: Singletrack with a few miles of quasi-doubletrack-turned-singletrack.

©  Gregg Bromka/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Mountain Biking
Nearby City: Salt Lake City
Distance: 19.5
Elevation Gain: 3,300 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Technical Difficulty: Easy to Difficult
Physical Difficulty: Difficult
Season: Mid-June to mid-October.
Trailhead Elevation: 7,600 feet
Top Elevation: 10,000 feet
Local Contacts: Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Salt Lake Ranger District, 801-943-1794
Local Maps: USGS: Brighton, Mount Aire, and Park West
Driving Directions: Directions to Wasatch Crest Trail

Recent Trail Reviews

9/15/2002
0

Having just come from the flatlands of Michigan, this trail took my breath away -- figuratively and literally! Don't expect much of a warmup -- the trail starts to climb right away from the road to Guardsman Pass all the way to the ridgeline. Once you get to the top, throw your bike down, sit down, recover and look at the views: down below is Park City an across you see the peaks of the Uintas. Amazingly beautiful. The trail then climbs a bit more along the ridge on a two-track before it turns into a single track that sweeps you across the crest -- this part is great fun, let go of the breaks and enjoy. But a word of warning, pay attention to the trail. It is narrow, a bit technical and I found myself constantly looking up at the great views both to the north and south. The nastiest section is the sawtooth redrock part -- you'll know when you see it. Just swallow your pride and walk your bike. After that you have two options, ride down to Big Cottonwood or down to Mill Creek. Either way it is dooooownhill! This is one ride where a 1/2 hour of uphill earns you twice that much time of downhill. It doesn't get any better than that.


9/14/2002
0

This is the funnest trail I''''ve been on. It gets cold in the morning at the top of Guardsman Pass but you''''ll warm up on the trail. There''''s a warm-up 1/4 mile or so before Puke Hill, use it to your advantage. The hill isn''''t technical it just climbs forever and you start at the top of Park City ski resort, so it''''s like your in the clouds. Once past Puke Hill the trail runs along the ridge line. There''''s one more hill I''''ve heard called "red hill of death" because the dirt is reddish in color. The hill isn''''t that bad. You do have to cross the spine, a pointy rock section that splits the divide. I''''ve only seen two riders make it over the whole section. After that you climb another small hill to get to Big Water in Millcreek and from there it''''s all downhill. You can only go down here on even numbered days. I know of riders who have gone on odd days, but big fines await those who are caught. Once you make it to the top of Millcreek rode, follow it for a few miles and then take the Pipeline Trail. Pipeline can take 45 min to get to the bottom of the canyon. One way is about 26 miles, we did it in 2.5 hours. Love that downhill!!!


9/13/2002
0

Wasatch Crest combines challenging uphill, fast descents, tight single-track and beautiful scenery into one unforgettable ride. I prefer to leave a shuttle car at the bottom of Millcreek Canyon and begin the ride from Guardsman Pass. Tackle "puke hill" and the ride the singletrack down to Big Water trail head in Millcreek. Ride the road for a couple miles and then jump on Pipeline, down Rattlesnake Gulch and out the bottom of Milcreek Canyon. Be sure to only ride upper Millcreek Canyon rides on even numbered days(on odd days there is no biking, and no leash law in effect-big fines for breaking rules apply).Share the trail! Enjoy.


6/27/2002
0

This trail has a little bit of everything - buffed out singletrack, spectacular views, and a wild descent if you take the Mill D fork down. My favorite route is to start at Guardsman Pass down to Desolation Lake, and then take Mill D down to the shuttle car. You still have a good amount of climbing at elevation even if you shuttle it. Expect a lot of hikers on the Mill D section on weekends, but it's a beautiful section with a lot of rock drops and roots.


1/1/2001
0

Its a really tough climb up from solitude but worth it. Your a sissy if you dont ride the whole loop.



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Apr 2018