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Cutler Flat Loop
North Fork Park

Cutler Flat Loop is a short ride at the north end of North Fork Park, only 4.3 miles long. It can be a quick ride if you know where you're going. Top altitude is 6300 feet, bottom (at the picnic area) is 5700. Cutler Flat will seem quite non-flat to you. Although the altitude change is not great, it occurs over fairly short distances. There will be some sustained climbs with a pitch of 9-10%. At times, the trail is heavily used by horses, so be prepared for some horsecrap dodging.

The final rays of sunshine are hitting the maples on October 12, 2010.

The trail starts as "you gotta be kiddin me" ugly loose road. As you approach a utility shed and pavilion, you'll pass two singletracks to your left. The first is the Cutler Trail, descending from high on the mountain.

The second singletrack, just to the left of the utility building, rejoins the main trail before the creek crossing. I found a couple of sharp uphill turns with timber stairs and decided it wasn't the way to go.

We're looking back at the pavilion we just passed on the way to the trail. If you see this, you went the right way.

The trail passes a picnic pavilion to continue doubletrack that sits on top of the water line. After descending into the canyon, you'll climb and cross the creek.

After a short bit of additional climbing, you'll hit a singletrack fork at mile 1.1. Right cuts through to rejoin the trail. If you can, stay left for a longer ride in forest. (Important note:  It's reported in 2014 that the left fork is severely overgrown. If so, you may need to fork right and shortcut on the Bicentenial Trail to rejoin the loop on the east side of the loop. This would be mile 3.0 on our description, but your odometer would read about 1.6. See the map)

For a little while, the trail rolls down the water line. Be patient. Soon you'll be on trail that feels positively primitive and remote.

The trail reaches a doubletrack where you'll go to the right and descend for about 1/3 mile. Watch for continuing singletrack on your right.

Now it's up and down again. You'll meet up with the shortcut singletrack at about mile 3. Keep left. (Or, you can circle back to the right for a lariat-shaped ride.)

The trail twists, climbs, drops through varied forest. There are stands of fir, aspen, maple, and oak.

Now you'll enter the a final plunge toward the gravel road and the picnic area. Just keep meandering south and generally downhill. If you hit a picnic area bordering a rough, loose steep trail heading southwest, that's the shortcut to the trailhead. Hike-a-bike it if you want.

I definitely need some better photos of this trail. Shortly after starting the ride (including a few false starts and wrong turns), it was too dark to shoot. 

Getting there:  Go up Ogden Canyon. (From the north on I-15, take the 12th South Ogden exit and head east on Highway 39. From the south, exit I-15 on US 89. Pass I-84 and climb up the hill, then turn right on Harrison Blvd. Continue on Harrison until you hit U-39 and turn R toward Ogden Canyon.) Turn left across the dam at Pineview Reservoir. At the stop sign in Eden, turn left. Turn left at the stop sign in Liberty. After about 1/4 mile, take the next right. Just after you cross the river, veer left toward North Fork Park. Pass the first entrance into the North Fork Park (on your left). Go another mile up the road and turn left at the second entry N41 22.986 W111 54.298. Fork left at the T intersection. When you reach a hairpin turn with a gate at the apex (north side) of the turn, N41 22.979 W111 55.187, you're there. There's a singletrack on the right as you face the gate. That's a shortcut for a counterclockwise loop. Ignore it. The trail is the ST that sneaks around the left side of the gate, and the trail is the soft cindered DT.
Riding notes, clockwise loop:
0.0  Go around gate, start up loose DT
0.2  Pass Cutler Trail (on your L)
       Pass unknown trail on your L
       Pass picnic pavilion, continue west
0.9  Cross to creek onto northbound ST
1.1  Keep L (R=alternate ST)
       Note 2014: L fork is overgrown and hard to follow
       You will probably need to go R 1/2 mi to 3.0 below

1.7  R on DT
2.1  R on DT
2.2  R on DT, continue on ST
3.0  Join alternate ST, keep L
3.5  R on DT
4.0  Right around circle
4.1  Keep straight
4.3  Keep straight
5.0  Back at parking

A very nice nearby ride is the Mule Loop, about 1/4 mile away from the trailhead. Consider tying these trails together in a figure-eight.

Riding resources for this trail:
Single-page riding guide
GPS track files (right-click, "Save as..."):
   Garmin      GPX 
High-res area topo map:  View to print
Lodging, camping, shops: 
   Links to Ogden area resources

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