Instead of taking a road trip to a variety of western locales this year, we decided to drive straight to Park City, Utah and stay there for an entire week. Our whole reason for choosing Park City (aside from my better half’s familiarity with the area) was its miles and miles of bike trails. Their advertisements claim 400 miles, and it’s easy to see how that is possible. Every subdivision that gets built must include recreational open space or easements of some sort. As a result, many places create bike/hike trails, or expand on existing trails. Often that means that your bike trip takes you past some pretty interesting houses!
Day 1: Glenwild Trails
We biked five out of the six full days we were there, and three of those days we started from the same trail head: Spring Creek, which provides access to the Glenwild Trails. The Glenwild area just keeps growing: in addition to the original 8-mile trail, there are now longer loops like Flying Dog and a set of downhill-only trails: Bob’s Basin.
This trail system is pretty sweet: it’s not very technical, but you can find great switchbacks to climb or descend, and long sections of sweet downhill singletrack. They’re great trails for catching awesome views of Park City, and for acclimating or warming up for longer rides later in the week.
We rode the 8-mile Glenwild Loop on day one. This loop starts on the left as you leave the parking area and cross the bridge. It climbs steadily, and then more steeply as you reach the top of Stealth and head onto the actual Glenwild trail. Once the downhill starts, just hold on! It’s downhill switchback after switchback, and they are all rideable and all fun. A super fast meadow ride leads to one more climb, and then one more downhill section as you make your way back to the trail head. You’ll come out right across the road from where you started.
Even though it was Sunday, we saw very few people on the trail. Those we did see included a good mix of hikers, trail runners and bikers. All were friendly and courteous, which to me, is an added bonus!
Day 2: Bob’s Basin
The next day we decided we had to go try out the Bob’s Basin downhill trails, accessed from the same starting point as the day before. We climbed up Stealth, but instead of turning right to continue up to Glenwild at the first intersection, we went straight onto 24-7. From here we almost immediately encountered one of the DH trails, Dropout.
Dropout was super fun, and consisted of wooden ramps and jumps, awesome berms, and some great rollers. It had a few drops, but nothing that couldn’t be ridden by an intermediate rider, or ridden around by a beginner. Almost all of the obstacles had “B” routes.
Next, we rode back up Fink Again and 24-7 to the other trails. We passed by Crazy Eight, coasted through a forested downhill section, and found ourselves with the choices of Ant Farm and Cutthroat. Cutthroat is listed as the toughest, and since we’d already ridden a while that day, we chose the easier Ant Farm.
While Dropout had wooden ramps and jumps, Ant Farm had rocked berms, a few rocky drops, and overall was a super tight, twisty trail. Both were quite entertaining. We had a hard time deciding whether to go back and do a third lap, but we knew we had a long ride ahead the following day, so we headed back to the trailhead.
Back to Glenwild
We took a break from Glenwild for a few days but found ourselves back there on Thursday for a longer ride on Flying Dog. Again, we started from the Spring Creek trailhead and climbed up Stealth to 24-7. From there, we followed the up-and-down trail to Flying Dog and continued climbing at an easy grade for the next four miles. The ride took us through beautiful fall forests of scrub oak and, eventually, aspens.
The climb was long. Though it wasn’t very steep, it seemed endless. We knew, though, that the downhill and the views would be worth it, and we weren’t disappointed. After reaching an intersection with a two-track, the trail immediately begins a jostling descent. Not long before that, however, you’re treated to these awesome views all the way over to Big Cottonwood Canyon.
The descent down Flying Dog was quite rocky, but welcome and entertaining too! Eventually we reached a fork with the Cobblestone Loop and took the left one. This took us flying through a meadow before linking back up with the Glenwild Trail for one last climb and descent back to the car. If you decide to tackle this 16-mile loop, be prepared with plenty of water and snacks.
This is a huge trail system, and I’m sure it’s not done growing. With multiple trail heads including Spring Creek and the Jeremy Ranch trailhead, there are plenty of options for loops and out-and-back rides. Don’t discount this area because you think it’s “too easy” or because you’d rather go ride up the ski lift and huck off a feature at Park City Mountain Resort or The Canyons. Give the Glenwild area a chance. It’s fast, fun, and well-worth it!
Stay tuned for Part II!
Way cool! I am heading here in a couple of weeks, and now you have me super excited!
Oh Greg you’ll love it! The temps were great, the trails were awesome…really, it was SO nice to find rideable switchbacks…Also, Jan’s has a great map of all the trails in the Park City area. All it costs is a $5 donation to the Basin bike trail group. They’re the ones in charge of building most of those awesome trails.
Hold on while I wipe the drool off my keyboard…
Getting stoked for my trip too. A group of us from ATL are heading out there, coincidentally at the same time as mtbgreg. I guess great minds think alike. 🙂
We are going to have Park City COVERED this year!
LOL pretty soon the VCB there will be calling Singletracks…”Can you guys stop promoting us? We’re full.”
I think the Wednesday Farmer’s Market at The Canyons goes through October. Definitely check it out if you’re staying in a condo. We found fresh pizza dough, fresh mozarella, produce (of course)…it was great. Also, the restaurants around Kimball Junction (Red Rocks Brewery, for example) are better, in my opinion, than most stuff on Main Street in Park City.
I’ve ridden all up and down the Wasatch, from Ogden to Salt Lake to Provo — but never Park City. Thanks for reminding me of my delinquency! Need to remedy that.
Hey Greg, if you want to ride again (I rode Cog Wild MRT with you) call when you get to PC and I’ll come meet you. Or you can come up toward Ogden and try those trails. Flying Dog is awesome, I prefer riding the opposite direction as this review- for me it flows better than the switchback interrupting decent as described.
Start at Jeremy Ranch ES trailhead, climb Graduate -> Fink Again -> 24/7 -> Stealth -> Blackhawk decent -> then climb Cobblestone (taking the right option if climbing – the same link mtbikerchick used) -> climb the 15 (or so) switchbacks to the top of Flying Dog -> descend the fast open flowy side of Flying dog back to 24/7 then drop Bob’s Basin back to the car. 19 miles of smiles.
Hey man, it was great riding with you on the MRT!
I’m doing a media trip, and they’ve got an itinerary all planned up. I’ll check it out and see what options I have, and let you know if I’ve got some freedom to move things around.
How’s the riding been in Ogden lately?
Sounds good. We’ve had some rainy days lately in UT. A bit muddy now but sunshine is coming back this week and should make for perfect Fall riding.