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Dry Canyon 51 Loop  (Kris' Loop)
BST, Betty, Altar, 51, and Dry Canyon

This loop ride was recommeded by Kris Nosack, and he was kind enough to provide some of the photos on this page. The overall length of this ride is 7 miles, with 1400 feet of climbing. Nice ride, close to civilization, and available in late- or early season. Although this ride description starts at Orem, you could easily start from the Dry Canyon trailhead. See the Orem to Pleasant Grove BST page for information.

Kris crests the hill heading west, enjoying the view over Utah Lake.
Photo November, 2006.

The ride starts at 5100 feet at the Orem Bonneville Shoreline (BST) trailhead. Take the Bench Road (the North Provo Canyon BST) east. There will be 400 vertical feet of climbing during this first mile, then the road flattens as it turns left (north). Just after the road turns back to the east, spot the Betty singletrack at mile 1.4 forking uphill on the left.

Northbound toward Little Baldy on the BST. Betty is just around the next corner.

Stay right at the trail fork just uphill. The left trail is The Other Betty, an alternate route. (The Betty trail page has additional information on connecting trails.)

Betty is tough and steady but tolerable climb. At 0.4 miles uphill on Betty, pass Betty's Plunge (an ugly steep alternate route) on the right and the entry to Roller Coaster on the left.

A about 100 yards up the trail is another trail crossing with Mouse Climb on the right and Crank on the left.

Climbing Betty, as tall grass from a damp spring crowds the trail.

After another 1/10th mile, the trail turns left to the west as a small connector from Mouse Climb comes in on the right. 30 feet later the Betty turns back to the right, and The Other Betty forks away on the left westbound.

Now crank on uphill to mile 1.2 from the bottom of Betty, to a large stone pile in a huge meadow. This is The Altar, a meeting spot for several trails.

The Altar as seen from Betty. And that's a Rocky Mountain from the UtahMountainBiking shop leaning on it. Buy one for yourself! Our next trail is 90 degrees to the left.

Jolene climbs up Betty from the Orem Bench (BST)
a tough climb where cool weather is your friend.

More climbing as Jolene grinds Lament (Altar-51)
with Provo Canyon and Timpanogos in the background

Take the trail on your left, Lament or Altar-51. While some riders call this Trail 51, the real 51 starts further uphill on the Little Baldy trail. We're going to intersect Trail 51 to the west.

Ride 0.9 miles, crossing over the Buckle Trail, then keeping left and uphill at the next three trail forks. (The trail system here is complex. A GPS track or topo map with good navigation skills is highly recommended.)

Hitting a meadow with wilted Mules Ear on the Altar-51 trail.

At the T intersection with Trail 51, you may spot a carsonite trail marker in the oak nearby to confirm your location. Fork to the left on 51. The trail will turn southeast, then around to the north as it contours the lower slopes of Little Baldy. Several trails will join on your right, but keep straight.

On Trail 51, looking back at Timpanogos in July.

Now Trail 51 will descend into Dry Canyon. After crossing the dry creek, fork left downhill. (You may have heard horrible things about the Dry Canyon trail. Believe me, they're all true, but they apply to the part uphill that's uphill from you. See the Big Baldy page. Lower Dry Canyon is not bad.)

Dry Canyon is a fun downhill at this point. Descend 2.5 miles from the trail fork of Trail 51. Nice payoff.

At the Dry Canyon parking, turn left (south) for the Bonneville Shoreline Trail's Dry Canyon to Orem Bench section.

Fork where Trail 51 meets the Dry Canyon Trail, looking west.

You'll spend 1.5 miles southbound on the BST, dropping another 300 vertical feet.

Bottom Line:
Nice ride. And the only way to ride Dry Canyon that isn't hateful and ugly.

Southbound on the Bonneville Shoreline.

Riding notes, counterclockwise loop:
0.0   Backtrack from parking to DT
        N40 19.505 W111 40.186
        Go southeast uphill on DT
1.4   L on ST Betty   N40 19.788 W111 39.342
1.8   Trail crossings
        N40 20.089 W111 39.288
2.6   L on Lament at 4-way
        N40 20.639 W111 39.058
3.4   Fork R (join Crank and Ireland)
        N40 20.502 W111 39.664
3.6   Fork L on Trail 51
        N40 20.630 W111 39.591
3.9   Keep straight  N40 20.481 W111 39.829

4.2   Begin downhill
        N40 20.471 W111 40.014
4.8   Fork L on Dry Canyon
        N40 20.905 W111 40.079
        Fork L again 100 yds
        N40 20.890 W111 40.139
5.2   Rock outcrop, caution
        N40 20.715 W111 40.291
5.6   At Dry Canyon parking
        N40 20.506 W111 40.599
        Find BST on L (southbound)
        N40 20.488 W111 40.575
7.0   Back at Orem trailhead
Getting there, Orem Bench Trailhead:  Drive towards the mountains on 800 North. At 800 East, turn left and drive north about 1 mile. Immediately past the cemetery, turn right (east) on Cascade Drive just before the Y in the road and drive 1/2 mile, go up 2 short switchbacks, and park just above the small brown building in the paved parking area.

Dry Canyon Trailhead:  Turn east off State Street at 200 South in Lindon, which also happens to be 2000 North for Orem. Keep straight as you approach the mountains. When the road forks, veer left, then keep straight uphill as the road turns to gravel. The parking area is at N 40 20.52'  W 111 40.62'.

Note!  These trails are on Utah Division of Wildlife Resources land, purchased with sportsmen dollars and set aside as the Orem Bench Wildlife Management Area specifically to protect Utah's native animals. Mountain Biking is allowed, but only insofar as it is not harmful to wildlife. To insure continued access please be respectful to the landowner by following proper trail etiquette and obeying all posted rules. Specifically:
1.  Do not ride these trails during the winter. Deer will not survive the winter if frequently disturbed.
2.  Unauthorized trail-building is strictly prohibited!
3.  To reduce erosion and prevent "trenching" of trails, do not ride trails when muddy.
4.  Avoid disturbing wildlife, and do not allow your dog to chase animals.
Riding resources for this trail:
GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
      GPX track for the loop
      Multi-track area file (over 70 tracks!)
Large-format topo map for printing:   View simple topo
      West Provo Canyon area trails topo
      Zoomed-in topo of Orem Bench trails (for alternate routes)
Lodging, camping, shops:    Links to Provo area resources

Copyright 2006 Mad Scientist Software Inc
Updated topo map and GPS area file 2016