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Crop Circles  

Crop Circles is a series of loop trails just north of the Dry Canyon Bonneville Shoreline Trailhead on the hillside above Lindon. These are unofficial "social trails" on public (U.S. Forest Service) land. 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 switchbacks.

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 Circle.

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 closed road)
        Keep L but uphill to stay on main trail
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 (traversing)
        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 40.62'.

Bathroom at trailhead.
No camping nearby.

Single-page riding guide
GPX Track Files (right-click and "Save as..."): 
    Area multi-track master file
    Tour of Crop Circles above BST (5.7 miles)
Large-format topo map for printing:   View map
Lodging, camping, shops:   Links to Provo area resources