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Forest Lake Loop

This is a scenic 9.1 mile loop with 1400 vertical feet of climbing, located in the North Fork of American Fork Canyon. Because of a tricky technical descent to Forest Lake and Shaffer Fork, this ride rates an advanced technical. There's 4 miles of gravel road, 3 miles of singletrack, and 2 miles of technical doubletrack.

View looking north over Forest Lake from Ridge Trail 157. Photos August 22, 2006.

On Ridge Trail 157, we've left Pole Line Pass and
are heading to Sandy Baker Pass, heading south.

After Sandy Baker Pass, the Ridge Trail contours
around though deep pine and aspen forest.

The ride begins at Dutchman Flat, 4 miles up the North Fork Road from Tibble Fork. For a longer ride, you can start from the Tibble Fork parking area, for a 17-mile lariat-shaped ride. After the Mineral Basin fork, the road becomes steeper as you climb to Pole Line Pass.

View down-trail on the lower portion of the Forest Lake Trail.

Find Ridge Trail 157 near the west side of the clearing on your right as you reach the summit. (The trail will be straight, level, and slightly downhill. If you immediately start uphill, you're not on the trail.) You'll follow 157 for 2.3 miles to the Forest Lake fork.

The Forest Lake Trail plunges steeply, 500 vertical feet in 0.6 mile (approaching a 20% grade). Get your butt back of the seat, keep the handlebars light.

At Forest Lake, keep right onto dirt road, which rapidly becomes an unbelievable undulating rockpile. Whoop-de-do the sidewalls, or surf right down the middle. It's a lot of fun, but it will beat you up. You'll drop another 900 vertical in 2 miles. Fast reactions and confident route-picking will get you through the boulders. Go too slow -- ENDO.

Looking back toward the mountain.

After crossing the river, turn right uphill on the North Fork gravel road. Pedal back to parking.

This ride is a nice loop. The climb up the road lets you enjoy the scenery while getting a good workout. The ridge trail is lovely singletrack. And the downhill is, well, nice if you like those steep technical surfaces. So it's not for everybody.

Forest Lake Loop, From Dutchman Flat
0.0   Begin riding uphill on gravel road
        N 40 31.626 W 111 36.205
0.7   Fork R uphill
4.0   Pole Line Pass. Find ST on right.
        (If you go immediately uphill: wrong way!)
        N 40 31.901 W 111 34.243
4.6   Fork R
         N 40 31.404 W 111 34.249
6.3   Fork R downhill to Forest Lake
          N 40 30.347 W 111 34.861
6.8   Pass Lake, keep R on DT
8.7   Cross river, go R uphill on road
          N 40 31.364 W 111 36.506
9.1   Back at parking

A wide spot in the doubletrack below Forest Lake in Shaffer Fork. Nicely tuned suspension, aggressive attitude but a light touch, and you'll be fine.

Getting there: From I-15, take the Alpine-Highland exit just south of Point-of-the-Mountain. Go east towards the mountains on UT-92 and continue up American Fork Canyon. There's a $6 fee (as of 2009). About 6 miles up the canyon, turn left at the North Fork junction and drive 2 miles to Tibble Fork Reservoir. Drive straight past the outhouse onto the gravel road that goes up along the river. Drive 4 miles uphill to Dutchman Flat. Find the parking area with a wooden fence on your left. Start the ride heading uphill.
Riding resources for this trail:
Single-page riding guide
GPS track files and route (right-click and "Save as..."):
   Garmin   National Geographic   Google Earth    GPX
High-res topo map (600 KB):  view map
Lodging, camping, shops:     Links to AF Canyon resources

Copyright 2006 Mad Scientist Software Inc