||Grove Creek Trail
The Grove Creek Trail falls from the upper shoulder of Mount Timpanogos
down Grove Creek Canyon to Pleasant Grove. It's usually ridden as a
shuttled downhill -- because the climb up this canyon is a bear. See the Big
Baldy Loop trail page for a discussion of climbing this trail.
As a downhill, the Grove Creek Trail
starts in this meadow. We're looking across Utah Lake. Photos July 4, 2006.
| The Grove Creek trail is 4 miles in length, with a bit over 2200 feet of
elevation change. That's an average of 550 vertical per mile. As either a downhill or out-and-back, the trail should
be considered for advanced riders only.
As a shuttled downhill, the trail starts at
the end of the Timpooneke Road high on the slopes of Mount Timpanogos. You
can short-circuit the first mile by grabbing a connector trail westbound
just above Indian Springs.
The official start of the DH trail is found by
following the Timpooneke Road until you reach doubletrack forking
hard-right in a big meadow. There may (or may not) be a sign indicating
that the DT is the Battle Creek Trail, and the singletrack that forks
right off it about 300 feet later is the Grove Creek Trail.
the first mile or so, the trail rolls through aspens and meadows, then
drops down switchbacks in deep pines. Handlebar view of the lush foliage.
||The trail starts out very narrow, heading north in a meadow.
Then it drops down an aspen slope. When you reach a fork labeled Indian
Camp, turn left, away from the mountain.
The trail will roll a bit before dropping down switchbacks into the
ravine that is the beginning of Grove Creek.
At the bottom of the switchbacks,
you'll cross Grove Creek at this confluence. Here the trail gets more
Once you've crossed the creek, you'll get to some hairy
spots. This is a good time to lower your seat. Remind yourself: if you
must touch down, use your uphill foot. If you step out into the space on
the left side of the trail, you're likely to bounce and roll all the way
to the creek. The side-slope is steep, and the trail surface is often
steep and loose.
The trail traverses the slope above
the falls. Here we're looking back uphill. The spots at mid-left are
hikers on the trail.
||Ride the stuff that's within your ability level. Consider
hoofing it down a few tricky spots with cliffs alongside.
This trail should raise your heart rate a few beats.
About 3 miles from the top, you'll come to a couple of
"cheater" trails branching left steeply downhill to shortcut the
upcoming switchback. Just keep straight ahead. You'll reach a real fork,
where you should keep straight and downhill. The trail that forks to the right
-- Mahogany Mountain -- traverses north along the
upper Lake Bonneville notch. Now the Grove Creek trail will switchback and
you'll roll down towards the creek.
Some sections of the trail are not
only difficult, they're dangerous. For about a mile, there's exposed steep
side-slope, with loose rock. Be careful!
|Once you reach Grove Creek, you'll turn back toward the
valley and roll 1/2 mile down to the parking lot and your shuttle vehicle.
For uphill riding instructions, or to use Grove Creek as your uphill to
Big Baldy, see the Big Baldy trail page.
Looking southwest as we head downhill,
we're nearing the valley floor. That's the southern end of Utah Lake, with
West Mountain as the small brown bump just above the lake.
||Riding notes, clockwise loop:
0.0 R onto Battle Creek DT
N 40° 23.226 W
0.1 R onto narrow ST in meadow
0.7 Indian Camp / Springs, fork L downhill
N 40° 23.690 W 111° 41.174
1.8 Bridge, cross creek
N 40° 23.414 W 111° 41.734
Hairy stuff begins...
3.2 Keep straight at fork, then trail turns L
going up-canyon but downhill
N 40° 22.751 W 111° 42.575
3.7 Trail turns R toward valley
4.1 Arrive parking lot
N 40° 22.483 W 111° 42.721
A look back up the canyon.
Stowing the shuttle vehicle: Get off I-15 at the Pleasant Grove
exit, and head east toward the mountains. As the street curves north,
you'll reach State Street at the light. Turn right. As State begins to
curve southward past a big shopping complex, turn left at the traffic
light to Main Street. Go through the 4-way stop at Center, then turn left
at the light on 100 East (Canyon Highway). Proceed north to 500 North and
turn right. 500 North becomes Grove Creek Drive. Follow it up to the paved
parking area. (Bathroom at trailhead.) The ride starts on the east
(mountain) side of the parking area, heading straight up the canyon. N
40° 22.483 W 111° 42.721
Getting to the trailhead: Backtrack to 100 East in Pleasant
Grove. Turn right (north) and follow the Canyon Highway to the mouth of
American Fork Canyon. Keep right and head up the canyon. Pay your $6 fee
(as of 2009) there. Five miles later at the fork in the road, go along the south fork
of the river. About 4 miles up, there's a T in the road. Turn right into
the Timpooneke Campground road. Keep going until it turns to gravel, and
go another 5 miles. Watch for the Grove Creek Trail sign on your right for
the short trailhead; go another 1/2 mile for the full ride.