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Deer Creek Parkway
(North section, Provo/Jordan River Parkway)

This broad gravel path is part of the Provo River Parkway - Jordan River Parkway system. It runs the hillside above the northern shore of Deer Creek Reservoir. Length is 7.5 miles, with about 400 feet of total climbing. While mostly straight, there are occasional sharp turns during descents into small canyons.

View of southwest, about 1 mile from the northern trailhead, overlooking the eastern end of Deer Creek reservoir. Photos May 12, 2007.

The trail is about 10 feet wide, consisting of roadbed-type crushed rock overtop of a plastic liner. While it might seem the ideal family ride, the gravel surface makes it harder work for tiny tires and little legs. There are some slightly-steep sections that require good braking control and balance, to avoid dumping in the gravel.

Looking across toward Island Beach State Park.

While it has potential as a family ride, I can only recommend it for more-skilled strong youngsters. Tiny guys should go in the bike trailer or a trail-a-bike until the surface is paved or worked-in better. As an out-and-back, the distance of 15 miles might be a little much for children. In that case, consider a drop-off ride, meeting the auto at the other end for a picnic.

Also to consider: From 11 am to 4 pm on sunny days, there's a vicious "thermal" wind blowing northeast up-canyon. The best riding time is early morning or later afternoon -- or plan on riding from the dam to the northern trailhead so the wind is at your back.

The Heber Valley Historic Railroad, aka the "Heber Creeper," passes under the peaks of Mount Timpanogos.

Utah has an abundance of gravel and dirt roads that you probably don't want to ride. What makes this trail special is its location along the shores of the reservoir. You can combine a ride with a day of boating.

The horse corral at the northern trailhead assures that you'll be dodging road apples. But I wasn't bitten by any horse flies during my ride, so I'm OK with that. No ATVs or motorcycles -- the trail is non-motorized travel only.

We're looking toward Provo Peak. The terrain here has juniper, bitterbrush, and sage.

If you're a sandstone and singletrack junkie, you won't find much here to like. The views are nice, but I found the constant crunch of gravel annoying. Most of the turns are off-camber, and many are relatively tight. Hammerheads may quickly find themselves picking rocks out of their bloody skin. For some, riding here barely beats sitting on the exer-cycle in the basement watching infomercials on TV. But you might like it.

Three miles into the ride, the brush is being replaced by rolling hills of cheat grass. That's Timpanogos on the skyline.

Getting there:  From US-40, turn north on U-113. Zero your odometer. Drive 2 miles, then turn left immediately after crossing the railroad tracks. Turn left at the stop sign 1/2 mile later. As the road curves to the right about 0.2 miles later, spot a horse hitch area on your left then a railroad stop with parking. Immediately after, there's a road on the left with a small sign indicating it's the Provo/Jordan River Parkway Deer Creek Northern Trailhead. After turning left into the road, keep straight, to the left of the horse corral, and park at the end. The trailhead is the small metal gate at the right.

2007 note: The southern end is effectively hidden within a mess of construction for the new highway. You'll need to ride from the northern trailhead.

Copyright 2007 Mad Scientist Software Inc.

Riding resources for this trail:
Single-page riding guide
GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
   Garmin     National Geographic     Google Earth     GPX
High-res topo (1.1 MB):  View  (includes waypoints)
Lodging, camping, shops:
     Links to area resources