Ride Down the Wasatch Crest Trail

Utah Wasatch Crest Trail

Added by

The trail runs along the high ridge between Big Cottonwood Canyon and Park City, then descends via Mill Creek Canyon. It's at high altitude, so the riding season starts in July. Most riders do the Wasatch Crest as a shuttled ride from the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon. 13 mile shuttled ride from Guardsman Road to the Big Water trailhead in Mill Creek Canyon.

There are two popular starting points from Guardsman Road. The lower trail climbs and the higher one trail descends, then they converge at Scott's Pass below Puke Hill. The shuttled ride ends with a pavement rush down Mill Creek Canyon (and a possible detour onto Mill Creek Pipeline on the way down).

But there are two favorite "classic" starting points: (1) Go all the way to the Guardsman Pass parking lot and take Scott's Bypass trail. Scott's Bypass is 1.4 miles, descending 200 vertical feet (with a bit of climbing in the middle). The singletrack ends at Scott's Pass above Shadow Lake. (2) There's a doubletrack located at a turn in the Guardsman road. Parking is at roadside. The DT climbs uphill 0.8 miles to Scott's Pass. It's a stiff climb, covering about 450 vertical feet.

At Scott's Pass, take the doubletrack on your left heading uphill. You're now on the way to Puke Hill, the final brute climb to the Crest. It's 350 vertical feet in 1/2 mile, with the steepest part at the highest altitude. The name Puke Hill was not chosen arbitrarily. Take a break at 9900 feet to enjoy the views. On the ridge there will be singletrack to your right. That's Pine Cone Ridge. To continue on the Crest, veer left along the ridge on doubletrack trail. After the second transmission shack, it converts to single track.

The trail rolls up and down, with fabulous views of the granite peaks southward in Big Cottonwood and Little Cottonwood canyons on your left. Occasionally, you'll see a bit of the Park City area to your right.

Photos: crosby_cj, crosby_cj

Pack List

  • MTB gear
  • Water
  • Pack
Read More

How to Get There

over 2 years ago

Love this ride! Take a detour down to Desolation Lake at the ridgeline at Canyons to chill by the bright blue water. I always ride back up from Desolation Lake and finish at the base of Canyons.

over 2 years ago

over 2 years ago

This is my favorite trail in the Salt Lake area, and I ride it many times a season, as I can go Guardsman to the Park & Ride at the base of Millcreek Canyon in under 90 minutes. Beautiful views of Big Cottonwood Canyon, Millcreek Canyon, and all the fun stuff over on the Park City side of the ridge. I would like to add that there are a couple junctions that you'll want to pay attention to. One is once you've cleared The Spine (very obvious rock section overlooking Desolation Lake). The trail will fork (there's a little wooden sign at the fork, not sure what it says), and you want to stay right, to get up into Millcreek Canyon. If you head left here, you'll end up at the Mill D trailhead in Big Cottonwood Canyon, and not back into Millcreek. Later on in the ride, after this fork, you'll hit a T intersection. Go left. You'll see a sign about bikes not being allowed in Millcreek Canyon on odd days, so you'll know you're going the correct way. If you go right here, you'll end up in The Canyons Resort.

over 2 years ago

Added by The Outbound Collective

Your Home For Adventure.

Activities:

Mountain Biking

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Summer, Autumn

Rating:

Features:

Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Groups
Scenic

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

More Adventures Nearby

Mountain Bike the Shafer Trail in Moab

Utah / Shafer Trailhead

The best way to ride the Shafer Trail is to bring a support vehicle (one with 4WD and decently high clearance). If you're into a sufferfest, by all means climb your way out of there.

Adam Wells
29 Saves

Mountain Bike the Intrepid Trail System in Dead Horse Point SP

Utah / Intrepid Trails

If you're visiting Moab for some mountain biking, this is a great place to start. There's nothing too technical and plenty of route options and points to bail out if you're getting tired.

Adam Wells
7 Saves

Camp at Sand Flats Recreation Area in Moab

Utah / Sand Flats

The rock domes and slickrock around the campsites provide fun for young and old to scramble on, or simply enjoy the sunrise or sunset.

Chris Engelsman
32 Saves