Dry Creek Gulch Trails
The Highland Hollow trail system in Dry Creek gulch in northwest Highland was built in
summer 2016 by the Lone Peak High School mountain biking team with help
from Eagle Scout projects. The trails are just downhill from the flood-control dam
in "the big dip," along the Murdock Canal
On the trail along the south rim's Shotgun loop, heading northeast.
That's Lone Peak straight ahead. Trail mapping and photos by Bruce
on September 12, 2016.
|The trails can be reached from a small parking area off
Canterbury Drive on the south side of the gulch. Drop down the gravel
road. See below.
Or, you can start at a nearby Murdock Canal Trail trailhead and pedal
down into Dry Creek. The closest trailhead is on 10400 North at around
6500 West. (There's a bathroom and water here.) From this trailhead, it's
0.8 miles northwest to reach the bottom of the gulch.
Westbound on fresh trailcut on the Adrenaline
(northern rim) loop trail, as
the trail hugs the side of the gulch.
||There's currently about 4 miles of trail in the system,
which are ridden as tangled loops. It's not a continuous ride, and there
will be some duplication if you're trying to do everything.
The riding season will be March through December. The area has a lot of
sand, so hopefully it won't be a mud-bog when wet. At this time, the
surface on these brand-new trails is very powdery. But I only spun out
once and dug-and-died once. So it's good to go.
A reminder that you're not out in the woods. You will
see houses along the edge. We're on the smaller beginner loop north of the
creek, called Bonzai.
Trails range from easy to upper-intermediate in tech
requirement. The easiest trails are a broad straight track going east-west
north of the creek (shown on my map as the south side of the Adrenaline
and Machette loops), and the doubletrack south of the creek that crosses
the big flat meadow (shown as "DT" on my map, connecting via
bridge to the easy trail north of the creek). These are suitable for small
On the Adrenaline trail, we've turned to the northeast,
with Lone Peak between the stands of gambel oak.
||There are three spots to grab a trail from the Murdock Canal
trail. Assuming you're heading north, the first is the broad doubletrack
on your left just before you reach the bridge across the creek. In about
50 feet veer left for a singletrack connector to the north arm of the
Shotgun loop, or continue another 50 feet and catch the loop as it crosses
We're coming back from the far west end on narrow
singletrack winding through willow trees.
The next spot is about 100 feet past the bridge. You'll
see a broad path on the left. It's not an official entry, because
there's no fill between the paved trail and the singletrack. This is the
easy wide trail that takes you west to the middle of the riding area,
where you can fork right for the Adrenaline trail, or continue straight
and very slightly downhill to enter the Machette loop.
The doubletrack south of the creek crosses this
bridge before it joins the easy and broad central trail. Looking west.
The "official" entry is at the huge wooden sign on the left
downhill side of the trail 200 feet past the bridge. Expect a trail map to
appear here soon. As you drop off
pavement, an immediate right turn takes you on Bonzai. The next fork
splits Adrenaline off to the right and uphill.
If you go straight south from the official entry (keeping
left at the Bonzai fork then crossing two trails), you'll
find yourself on Greg's trail along the creek's edge.
Mountains east of Alpine. That's Box Elder Peak
(11,100 feet) on the left.
|The south side of the riding area can be reached either via
the doubletrack as it forks off the Murdock Canal Trail south of the
bridge, or by crossing the bridge to that doubletrack from the east end of
the Machette loop trail. See the map.
A glimpse of the creek from the trail.
||Here south of the creek is the Shotgun loop. It wanders
through the north side of the meadow and splits in two to offer a choice
of two bump lines. As it crosses the doubletrack on either end, it climbs
up the south rim of the gulch. I found it a little easier in the
counterclockwise direction, but this may change as the trails firm up.
South of the creek two alternate lines of bumps
occupy the flat area.
|Bonzai and Greg's Trail are easy technically. The broad
south side of the Machette loop trail is very easy, while the north side
dips and swoops through jungle as an intermediate ride. Adrenaline is also
intermediate in tech and leg-strength requirement.
Shotgun is another loop that mixes easy trail with harder trail. The
north side (closest to the creek) is easy riding, although the bumps may
be tough for kids and their tiny bikes. The south half (on the south rim
of the gulch) has some tough turns and would rate upper-intermediate.
Looking northeast on the south rim trail.
Great little trail system for a fun ride, especially attractive to groups
of mixed ability. It will only get better as the trails are compacted. A good quick ride for locals who crave dirt but don't have time to drive
somewhere, but worthy of the trip from SLC or south Utah Valley.
I'm assuming that there will be some fat bike traffic in the
winter. At least, I'm planning to try it.
Big up-and-over on the western end of the Shotgun
loop trail as we return to the bridge area. Don't hang a pedal on the top!
||Getting there, south rim parking: (Note that
there's only room for a couple of cars here, and you'll be in a
residential neighborhood. For non-local riders I suggest you use the
Murdock Canal Trail to reach Highland Hollow.) Exit
Timpanogos Highway on 1200 East (the street just west of the big Smith's
shopping complex) and go south. Proceed through the dip, and as you reach
the top, turn left onto 10400 North. Take the second left, Canterbury
Drive. Take the next left to park at the top of the gulch. Descend the
gravel path. Either jump on the south rim trail as it crosses, or keep
going down to the doubletrack in the flat.
Bathrooms and water: Murdock Canal Trail rest stops and
|Getting there via the Murdock Canal Trail:
From the north. On Timpanogos Highway in Lehi, turn into the
Smith's parking lot. Find a parking spot near the southwest corner. Find
the connector to the Murdock Canal Trail and turn left. Go under the road,
then descend around two turns to the kiosk.
Alternatively, you can ride a couple of miles from the Bull River
trailhead near I-15 on the Timpanogos Highway. See the Murdock
Canal Trail page.
From the south. Take Timpanogos Highway east to 6400 West
(the first road on the right as you climb out of the dip) and
turn south. Go to 10400 North. To park near the bathroom, go straight
through the intersection, pass the Murdoch trail (which looks a bit like a
road), then turn left at 10250 North down to the parking area. This is
Mitchell Hollow Park. (An additional larger parking lot is on
the north side of 10400 South at around 6500 West, with quick access to
the paved trail.) Get on the paved Murdock Canal Trail and
head north 0.9 miles. In the bottom of the dip, you can turn left on DT
just before the bridge, or cross the bridge and turn left onto singletrack
at the big wooden sign 200 feet later.