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Black Forest

If you're new to Park City and looking for fun stuff to ride, stop looking at this page. Go back to the index. And if you like smooth buff trail, look elsewhere.

Black Forest could be described as an Adventure Ride. If you manage to find it, you'll probably hate it. It's remote, in the sense of "barely a trail." But if you've done it all and you're looking to try new terrain, you might have some fun. Don't yell at me if you don't.

View down a tangle of roots and fallen trees. You really wanna do this?

I can't say if my route is the "official ride." I was shown how to get there from Webster road after failing to find it from the south side. I'm using Jenni's and CMG (Crescent Mine Grade) and Apex as the climbing route because it's a fairly direct and foolproof way of getting there.

I'll also tell you how to find it from the south, but you may not find the trail if you don't have GPS. There are so many moose trails that you'll likely ride right past it.

Fork off the road onto singletrack after 0.9 miles of plodding uphill in loose gravel.

This lariat-loop ride is 15 miles, with 2300 vertical feet of climbing. It starts from the north parking lot of Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR). Top altitude is around 9000 feet.

From the parking lot, find the entrance to Jenni's and Silver Spur, just downhill from the Crescent Lift. Keep left until you find yourself on Jenni's one-way uphill trail.

Climbing uphill early on CMG. It's an easy climbing route.

At 1 mile, you'll cross doubletrack at an "X" trail crossing. Do a hard right turn to begin climbing the old CMG. You'll reverse directions and begin climbing north around the mountain. (The lower part of CMG is one-way downhill. By taking the first mile on Jenni's, you're past the one-way portion and can now climb uphill on CMG.)

At mile 1.9, keep straight as Eagle comes in from the right, just after crossing a doubletrack. Follow an old road-grade uphill. When you hit a dirt road at mile 2.9, go uphill a few feet and veer right off the road onto the Midmountain Trail. (Midmountain and CMG are combined for 0.2 miles.)

CMG would be more popular if it were easier to find. You need to blunder past lifts and bounce castles to find the gravel road.

As you reach the far side of a ski slope, fork left uphill on the continuation of CMG. Climb to mile 4.2 and take a hard left uphill on Thaynes Road. Go 1/2 mile and turn left on the singletrack that climbs the ski slope. This is Apex.

Looking uphill on CMG just after Eagle joins on our right.

At mile 5.2 you'll reach an old roadcut with singletrack in the middle. This is Keystone. Fork hard left.

Keystone will traverse around the mountain. You'll cross a substantial road on a ski slope at mile 5.7 (Meadow Rd). About 1/10 mile later, the trail will split. Fork right (leave Keystone) to start the Fat Lip. The trail will briefly drop onto Webster Road. Head downhill, and at the hairpin turn, go straight into the faint singletrack at the apex of the turn to continue Fat Lip.

CMG will join Midmountain for a short distance, then split again to resume climbing up the ski slopes.

This will hardly seem like trail. It's overgrown and tight, with bent aspen trunks and roots to bang over. Grunt on, and things will open up a little.

The Fat Lip trail will drop onto McConkey Road at mile 6.7. Go right uphill. After about 150 yards, where the road veers to the left, fork right uphill on singletrack. You've found Black Forest.

After a short jaunt on Thaynes Road, we're climbing uphill on Apex.

You'll gain altitude at about 10% slope. You'll reach the ride's top altitude (9100) and begin descending to the east. Now I should tell you that you could have found the trail where it crosses McConkey Road without that much climbing.

Keystone is narrow singletrack that traverses around the mountain through multiple ski slopes.

Shortly after crossing the McConkey Road, the trail will begin a steep plunge. Over logs, over roots, etc, on a path that's not exactly ridden-in. You'll drop around 350 vertical within 0.4 miles.

After Keystone drops onto Webster Road, head onto this narrow band of not-quite-trail to head across to McConkey Road.

Black Forest will join TG. Fork left and descend 1/2 mile to the Midmountain Trail. Fork left onto Midmountain. (A cheater route crosses Midmountain and descends to Link. For this "official" ride, stay on Midmountain until you return to CMG.)

Keep straight as Link crosses at mile 8.7 (1/10 mile from the turn onto Midmountain).

Black Forest drops abruptly downhill through aspen and fir forest.

Keep straight again when Empire Link joins Midmountain at mile 9.3.

At mile 10, the Midmountain Trail curves to the right, and you'll see mine buildings. Fork to the left to stay on Midmountain. (An alternate descent is to keep straight, pass the ski lift on the R, and head down John's and Sweeney's for a more-technical descent.)

The trail is obvious only in those spots where riders slide out of control and drag the dirt off the roots.

Assuming you stayed on Midmountain, you'll come to another fork 100 yards later. Turn hard left uphill. After 1/10 mile, fork R to stay on Midmountain. (Straight head takes you to Steps. If your intention is to climb uphill to take another run at Black Forest, go ahead. Meadow Road at the top of Steps takes you up to Keystone.)

Heading back downhill, we've spotted our car in the PCMR parking lot.

At mile 12, Midmountain will cross a steep rocky dirt road. Achtung! The CMG is just below you, but going the opposite direction. Drop to the right 30 feet down the dirt road, then turn right onto the singletrack CMG. Retrace your path back to parking.

CMG makes for a high-speed but relatively boring downhill. Consider the John's to Sweeny option for your descent.

Riding notes, lariat loop ride:
0.0   Exit parking lot on gravel road south
        N40 39.245 W111 30.550
        Aim between ski slope and Alpine Slide
0.2   Singletrack on L just below Crescent Lift
        Take Jenni's trail uphill
        N40 39.019 W111 30.505
1.0   Hard right turn onto CMG 
        N40 38.599 W111 30.660
1.9   Keep straight N40 39.005 W111 31.292
2.9   Uphill on DT N40 38.259 W111 31.445
        Immediate R onto ST (Midmountain)
3.1   L uphill on CMG (leave Midmountain)
        N40 38.189 W111 31.511
4.2   L uphill on Thaynes Road (end CMG)
        N40 37.816 W111 32.021
4.6   R uphill on Apex singletrack
        N40 38.015 W111 31.756
5.2   L on Keystone N40 37.783 W111 31.866
5.7   Cross Meadow Road N40 37.640 W111 31.483
5.8   Fork R on Fat Lip
5.9   Drop onto Webster Road
6.0   Straight onto ST as road turns (Fat Lip)
        N40 37.495 W111 31.633
6.7   Join McConkey Rd, go R uphill
        N40 37.026 W111 31.732
6.8   R uphill on ST (Black Forest)
        N40 36.970 W111 31.735
        Switchback climb then descend
7.6   Cross McConkey Rd N40 36.993 W111 31.513
8.4   L on TG N40 37.369 W111 31.028
8.6   L on Midmountain N40 37.516 W111 30.927
8.7   Keep straight as Link crosses
        N40 37.495 W111 30.987
9.3   Keep L (R=Empire Link)
        N40 37.662 W111 30.893
9.8   Cross gravel road N40 37.787 W111 30.793
10.1 L to stay on Midmountain
        N40 37.864 W111 30.895
        Alt = straight to John's Trail
10.1 L uphill N40 37.908 W111 30.839
10.2 R to stay on Midmountain
        (L=to Steps) N40 37.874 W111 30.914
12.0 Hard R on DT
        N40 38.255 W111 31.441
        Immediate R on ST (CMG)
15.0 Back at parking
Finding the trail from the south:
Climb to the doubletrack above the top of TG. (N40 36.428 W111 30.474 for the top of TG, N40 36.408 W111 30.651 at the upper TG.) Follow the ridgeline. Veer R onto ST at N40 36.565 W111 31.248 when the DT goes L around a hill. (Look ahead. Notice the unusual stripe on the hillside? That's "trail" but it may not seem like trail when you get there. That stripe of altered vegetation is your target.) When you hit the dirt road at N40 36.582 W111 31.506, go uphill. Go around the bend, take the right fork and climb about 100 feet to N40 36.579 W111 31.548. Look for a faint path through the aspens. As you exit the aspens, follow the overgrown trail-cut uphill along the mountainside through hip-high grass. When you hit ski slope, duck left through a cleft in the ridge of dirt and go out to the gravel road at N40 36.846 W111 31.587. Turn downhill. This is McConkey's Road. Go exactly 0.3 miles downhill. Just after you've gone around a corner to the left, the trail will cross. Scout carefully for the trail on the right side of the road at N40 36.984 W111 31.515.
PS: If you have an official Park City trail map, ignore it when navigating to this trail. It won't help you find Black Forest, and will only confuse you.

Getting there:  In Park City, head south on Park Avenue. Follow the signs for Park City Mountain Resort. At the traffic light where you see a bike store on both sides, turn right on Empire. Veer right onto Silver King. As you see the first parking area, turn in and park there. CMG starts on the west side of parking, just north of the buildings.

Riding resources:
One-page riding guide
GPS Track File  (Right-click and "Save as...")
    GPX course file  Black Forest only  Fat Lip only
    Park City area file (multi-track)
Topo map for printing:   View map
Lodging, camping, shops:     Links to Park City area resources

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