||Farmington Flats Loop
The Farmington Flats Loop is an easy ride with beautiful
views. The surface is rocky dirt road. There's a bit of slightly-stiff
climbing in the first half-mile (either way you ride), but total elevation
gain is only 450 feet. Starting altitude is 7250 ft. The loop itself is
View over the Flats, towards Francis
Peak. Photos September 12, 2002 by Bruce.
This is a great family ride, if the kids are reasonable riders who've
graduated from training wheels. There's a bit of slope at first, but then
it's easy cruising.
Stronger riders can make this loop harder by adding the climb up
Farmington Canyon. If started at the Bench Road trailhead, the climb will
be 3000 vertical feet, and the total distance 19.9 miles. This is a worthy
ride. Still not enough? Go past the fork and climb up Bountiful
Peak, then turn around and hit the loop on the way back. This will be 27.7
miles and about 4600 feet of climbing!
The loop road meanders through meadows and forest of aspen
and fir. Brush includes bitterbrush, currant, choke cherry, and
elderberry. In July, the open areas are a riot of wildflowers.
counterclockwise, you leave dense forest after about a mile, curving
around the right side of a large, long meadow with frequent groves of
trees. As you curve back towards your starting point, you'll climb a bit
above the meadow, and begin to appreciate great views of the mountains.
Looking up the road at the beginning
of the loop, we've got a bit of slope here.
||The loop isn't hard to navigate. Major forks in the road
have signs, and spurs usually don't look much like the main road. Just
stick on what looks like the "main drag," and you'll be fine. If you're climbing Farmington Canyon to do the loop, you'll reach the
fork at mile 7.3 from the Bench Road.
On the northern side of the loop, the
views to the south are impressive.
|Ride Notes, counterclockwise loop:
0.0 At the fork, go right (southwest)
N 40° 59.235' W 111° 47.986'
0.6 Fork L (R = Skyline Drive)
N 40° 58.863' W 111° 48.264'
Campground on R just past fork
1.8 Keep right on more traveled road
2.2 to 2.4 Multiple forks, keep straight
Curve around to N, opposite side of
3.8 Note view of Ogden Valley to R
4.5 Fork at maintenance shed, go L downhill
5.3 back at original fork
Typical view along much of the loop: meadows,
scattered groves of aspen.
||Getting there: Exit I-15 in Farmington. Get to
the corner of 600 North and 100 East. (The most direct route there was
blocked by construction at the time of my visit 9/02.) Turn north (left if
you're going up the hill) on 100 East. Keep right at the fork.
To climb Farmington Canyon before doing the loop, park on the left just
past the fork (trail information sign) GPS N 40° 59.808' W 111° 53.060',
in the parking area just off the Bench Road 0.4 miles later, or where the
pavement ends at 1 mile past the fork.
|To ride the loop, drive about 7.5 miles up the canyon to a broad fork
in the road, with a gate (usually open) on each road. GPS N 40° 59.235' W
111° 47.986'. Park here, and start uphill either direction.