Crop Circles is a series of loop trails just north of the Dry Canyon
Bonneville Shoreline Trailhead on the hillside above Lindon. The trails
are being actively maintained and see a fair amount of ridership. But
there are no trail markers or signs.
View south from the hillside. In the
valley, you can see all the way to Elk Ridge on the south. Photos and GPS
track July 10, 2015 by Bruce.
|The trails are most easily found by heading north on the
Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST) from the Lindon (Dry Canyon) Trailhead.
There are lots of old abandoned roads, game trails, and old hiking routes here, so
you should have a means of knowing where you are -- such as an odometer or a GPS
unit. The area has been closed to motor vehicles for only a few years, so
you'll cross the remains of old jeep paths.
View uphill from the trailhead. Resist
the temptation to ride up Dry Canyon. It can be done, but it's too steep
to be fun, and it becomes unrideable after about two miles.
||From the BST/Dry Canyon parking lot, backtrack to the north
end and find the trail on the right side of the road. Stay on the BST (as
a few alternate paths fork away) for 0.4 miles. As the trail veers to
eastbound (directly towards the mountain) for the first time, spot a trail
forking 90 degrees right (south) just before the BST turns back
northbound. That's the south end of Crop Circles.
Looking south from the Middle Crop
Circle as Orem and Provo fill the valley below.
|This trail will climb up the mountain through some gentle
switchbacks. At mile 1.4 from the trailhead, you'll reach the
"stem" that connects uphill to the Middle Crop Circle. The
smaller trail breaking downhill left is (as I understand the names) the
continuation of the main Crop Circle as it drops down to the BST (see
map). Plan to take this trail on your way down.
Climbing through larger trees and
cooler temperatures on the south side of the main Crop Circle.
||A tiny bit further uphill the trail splits into the Middle
Crop Circle. These routes will rejoin, so take either one uphill, then
ride the other one downhill. (Or ride around in a circle now. It's all
good.) Stay on the singletrack as it joins then leaves a wider old route.
Grinding on uphill eastbound, with
Cascade Mountain on the skyline.
|After these trails rejoin, another short stem takes you up
to the Upper Crop Circle. At the fork, the easiest navigation will be to
keep left and ride the loop clockwise. Near the end of this loop, you'll
find yourself at the fork to the connector to Curley Springs, with the loop
singletrack forking downhill to the right. Just down the trail, you'll see
a narrow trail on your right. This trail splits the Upper Crop Circle
loop. Ride it and loop around clockwise to return to the same
spot. This time drop downhill.
View northwest as we wind up
||As you complete the loop, head back on the stem to the
Middle Crop Circle, then on to the main Crop Circle. On the way down, drop
to the right into the oak brush for the north side this loop. At the BST,
fork left and head south.
Heading north on the Upper Crop
|There's also a loop below the BST. You'll run across the
trail fork in a grass meadow about 0.1 mile after passing the fork where
you originally left the BST for Crop Circles. Turn hard right and descend,
first straight, then through a series of tight turns. As you near the bottom, turn
left on a horizontal trail to head southeast. Cross a fall-line trail a
few feet later. Keep straight at a connector down to the homes on your
right, then just as you see a corner of chain link fence around the homes, turn left uphill again on
singletrack and climb back to the BST.
View to the west, with little West
Mountain showing as a dark hump sticking out into Utah Lake.
|About the other trails in the area: Curley Springs
traverses the mountain above Crop Circles and is reached via a rough old doubletrack from the southeast corner of the Upper Crop Circle.
Curley Springs is rough, eroded, and postholed by horses. It connects at
the north end to Battle Creek, a very rough steep trail, littered with
boulders, that descends to the Battle Creek BST trailhead (or via
push-a-bike uphill to the Timpanogos Perimeter). On the south, Curley
Springs connects to Dry Canyon, descending down to the Lindon BST
trailhead. Uphill, Dry Canyon connects via steep
trenched non-ride-able trail to the ridge above Baldy on the GWT. If
you're thinking about a loop with a short bit of Dry Canyon uphill, Curley
Springs northbound, lower Battle Creek downhill, then BST southbound back
to Lindon, it can be done. But it's nasty. Both Battle Creek and Dry
Canyon have an average 20% slope; 1000 vertical per mile. You'll push your bike a bit.
The unpleasantness factor is just too high for me to recommend it.
|Riding guide, Crop Circles Tour above BST:
0.0 North from parking, trail at apex of turn
N40 20.519 W111 40.623
L into trees (straight = old
Keep L but uphill to stay on
0.4 R on Crop Circles N40 20.712 W111 40.814
1.4 Keep R (L = to BST) N40 20.867 W111 40.885
1.5 Fork R (Middle Crop Circle)
N40 20.898 W111 40.844
1.8 Fork R (L = other half of mid circle)
N40 20.970 W111 40.829
1.9 Confusing corner/fork/crossover, get
on to trail going NW
N40 21.005 W111 40.840
2.4 Trail joins on R (might not see)
N40 21.190 W111 40.964
2.8 Fork R downhill (straight = to Curley Spr)
N40 21.016 W111 40.735
2.85 Fork R (you'll return to this spot)
N40 21.028 W111 40.771
3.4 Keep R to rejoin outer loop
N40 21.190 W111 40.964
3.7 Again fork R downhill
N40 21.016 W111 40.735
3.75 Straight this time (See 2.85)
3.8 Close circle, head downhill
N40 20.997 W111 40.832
4.0 R on Middle Crop Circle
N40 20.970 W111 40.828
4.3 Close circle, R downhill
N40 20.899 W111 40.847
4.4 R downhill N40 20.869 W111 40.887
4.8 L on BST N40 20.903 W111 41.100
5.7 Back at parking
||Getting there, Dry Canyon Trailhead:
Turn east off State Street (Highway 89) at 200 South in Lindon, which also
happens to be 2000 North for Orem. Keep straight as you approach the
mountains. When the road begins to turn right (south), turn left onto Dry
Canyon Drive heading northeast. Now keep straight uphill until the road
turns into the trailhead. The parking area is at N 40° 20.52' W 111°
Bathroom at trailhead.
No camping nearby.
GPX Track Files (right-click and "Save as..."):
Area multi-track master
Tour of Crop Circles
above BST (5.7 miles)
Large-format topo map for printing: View
Lodging, camping, shops: Links to Provo