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Ghost Falls Trail

Ghost Falls lies in Draper's Corner Canyon riding area. It was one of the first mountain bike routes in the canyon and is still a good ride. But there are newer -- and some say, better -- trails that run parallel to Ghost Falls and connect to it. So most riders do only pieces of the Ghost Falls trail, rather than riding the whole thing. This page will attempt to explain some of those connections and routes.

Ghost Falls has a trailhead on the Corner Canyon Road. But everybody, well almost everybody, pedals some other trail to reach Ghost Falls. The Ghost Falls trail itself is 1.6 miles in length, running from the Canyon Hollow doubletrack (where it shares a bit of common trail with Gasline) to the Ghost Falls trailhead on the Corner Canyon Road. It rises 700 vertical feet to a top altitude of around 5750.

The spring-fed creek breaks into Ghost Falls on this limestone outcrop just off the Ghost Falls trail. (You need to get off your bike and hike about 70 feet to see this.) Original review by Bruce Argyle in 2003, latest update November 3, 2016.

The most-used sections of the trail are intermediate in technical requirement. The section between the lower Canyon Hollow interconnector (mile 0.4 when climbing uphill) and the Rattler trail fork (just downhill from Ghost Falls itself) is expert in tech requirement, with some big embedded boulders. Intermediates can walk a couple of ugly spots, which are short.

At the time of this update, even the smoother areas in the trees are tougher here, with trenching of the trail and stiff (up to 15% grade) climbing. So in 2016, most riders are bypassing this segment by riding Rattler to the falls instead of climbing lower Ghost Falls.

Derek and Mike climb away from the falls on the upper Ghost Falls trail, heading towards Jacobs Ladder. This section between the falls and the Ghost Falls trailhead is the most popular piece of the trail. Photo September 25, 2008.

The trail is a mix of exposed sandy rocky slope on the lower mountain and shaded dirt higher up. The upper trail (above Ghost Falls) is plush riding in relatively cool maple and oak forest. Unlike nearby trails such as Rattler, Gasline, and the Corner Canyon Bonneville Shoreline, this trail is NOT open year-round and will be closed when conditions are damp. The usual riding season is May through November.

Approaching a bridge while riding downhill on upper Ghost Falls in November 2016.

There are multiple trails in the area that connect to the Ghost Falls trail. If you don't know the "lay of the land" and where you're generally going, it can be awfully confusing. So if you're not prepared to have a little exploring adventure, go with somebody who's been there before. Or download a GPS track and follow it.

View northeast toward Draper from just below the trailhead on the Corner Canyon Road.

 
Ghost Falls as an uphill

The bottom of the Ghost Falls trail shares a common origin with Gasline. You can get to the south end of Gasline (and the bottom of Ghost Falls) via the Canyon Hollow doubletrack, or via Gasline itself. Ghost Falls forks uphill off Gasline just before Gasline's southern end.

From the southbound Corner Canyon Bonneville Shoreline trail, take Gasline from the south end of Aqueduct (at this point Aqueduct is also the BST). You can also get to the Aqueduct-BST-Gasline junction by climbing the eastbound BST from the four-way intersection at the top of the Corner Canyon trail.

On the Corner Canyon trail, heading uphill toward Ghost Falls in May 2003.

To reach the trail from the Equestrian trailhead, keep straight on the doubletrack portion of the Corner Canyon trail, crossing the BST to the doubletrack Canyon Hollow. Continue southbound and uphill. Pass the singletrack connector (on your right), staying on doubletrack until you reach a gate. Turn left on a bridge across the creek on the combined Ghost Falls and Gasline trail and veer back toward the north. Quickly fork to the right to begin climbing Ghost Falls. 

An alternate route is to fork left on the BST at the top of the Corner Canyon doubletrack and climb uphill to Aqueduct. Make a hard right turn on Gasline when the BST joins Aqueduct and head south to the Ghost Falls trail.

Climbing through maple forest in November 2016.

From Coyote Hollow (or the eastbound BST), catch the Canyon Hollow singletrack trail just east of the Coyote Hollow trailhead. Pedal 0.6 miles uphill, then fork to the left downhill on the connector. As you hit the doubletrack, keep right and uphill, then turn to the left at the gate and cross the creek as above.

My Rocky Mountain Blizzard fatty has reached the bridge that marks Ghost Falls. (We're facing south, climbing.) The falls are 70 feet to the left. Just around the corner is the final Canyon Hollow connector and the upper Ghost Falls trail. 

If you continue riding uphill on Canyon Hollow, you'll hit another connector to Ghost Falls 1.4 miles from Coyote Hollow (0.8 miles from the first connector). After crossing the creek, fork right uphill to climb upper Ghost Falls.

(To visit the falls before continuing, keep straight at the trail fork after crossing the creek. Just after crossing the next bridge, the falls are to your right.)

On the upper Ghost Falls trail, looking west at the connecting trail to Canyon Hollow.

But here's the thing...

As an uphill route, most riders do only the upper section of Ghost Falls, from the falls to the trailhead on the Corner Canyon Road. There are two options. (1) Take the BST to Rattler, joining Ghost Falls just downhill from the falls, or (2) climb Canyon Hollow to the upper connector to join Ghost Falls just above the falls (as described above -- see the map).

Mitt heads up the canyon on Rattler. Probably 90% of riders take Rattler to Ghost Falls, rather than the Ghost Falls trail itself.

 
Ghost Falls as a downhill

Many riders use Ghost Falls to continue downhill from Jacob's Ladder. But regardless of how they got on Ghost Falls as their downhill route, most riders transfer from Ghost Falls to Canyon Hollow at the upper connector -- avoiding the technical and steep rocky stuff -- then transfer to lower Rush about 0.2 miles further downhill.

However, rock-loving tech riders will stay on Ghost Falls.

View east from Ann's trail across the canyon. The Ghost Falls trailhead is on the Corner Canyon Road.

To descend Ghost Falls from the top, you'll need to be on the Corner Canyon Road. From downhill, you can pedal or drive. (Rattler has a connector that climbs up to the Corner Canyon Road. From the top of this connector to the trailhead is about 0.9 miles.)

Looking northwest downhill at the gate just uphill from the Ghost Falls trailhead. You can see the tire tracks where bikes head across the road to jump on the trail.

From the Peak View trailhead (at the top of Ann's and Clark's), descend the Corner Canyon Road 0.8 miles. Just after riding around the metal gate above the Ghost Falls trailhead, veer left onto singletrack. This trail will pass just below (and connect to) the trailhead. A fun variation on this route is to take Brock's Point from the Peak View trailhead, keep right on Canyon Hollow, then take 1/4 mile of the Corner Canyon Road down to the Ghost Falls trail. This will add about 0.2 miles and a small bit of climbing.

Typical winding trail between the trailhead and the falls.

Your first "bail" option is the connector just south of (above) the falls, 0.7 miles downhill from the trailhead. A left turn takes you across the bridge to Canyon Hollow. Fork right to continue on Ghost Falls.

The next exit is just past the falls, mile 0.8, as Rattler forks right uphill. In 2016, the 100 yards just past the Rattler fork is the most technical part of Ghost Falls. It's more do-able downhill than as a climb. Eyeball the slope and decide if you want to hit it. If so, take the left downhill fork.

At mile 1.1, there's another fork to Canyon Hollow on the left, then a fork to Rattler on the right.

A little trickle below the falls. Don't stop here -- the actual falls is uphill behind the box elder trees.

After the Rattler fork, you're on sandy trail that tends to stay dry and warm. There's one kind-of-nasty rocky turn here.

When you hit Gasline at mile 1.5, go left if you're headed to Canyon Hollow or right if you're taking Gasline over to the BST or Aqueduct.

Rocky turn on lower Ghost Falls. Intermediates can easily walk the short techy sections, but overall it earns an advanced tech rating.

 
The Clarks Ghost Loop -- an old classic
This loop combines Corner Canyon, a bit of the BST, Clark's, a bit of Ann's, a bit of the Corner Canyon Road, and Ghost Falls in a lariat counter-clockwise loop.

After climbing Corner Canyon from the Equestrian (Highland Drive) trailhead, veer right (west) on the BST and head for Clark's trail. At the Peak View trailhead, take the Corner Canyon Road (or the Brocks-Canyon Hollow-Road combo) to the upper end of the Ghost Falls trail and take it downhill to Gasline. Drop the doubletrack back to the Corner Canyon trail. Veer onto Creekview for the final descent. Altitude change by this route is 1200 feet, distance 6.7 miles.

On upper Canyon Hollow between Brock's and the Corner Canyon Road while riding a loop that includes Ghost Falls as the downhill.

Riding notes, Clarks Ghost loop from Equestrian TH:
0.0   L uphill on ST as it exits tunnel
0.4   Keep generally L uphill
0.6   ST joins DT, continue uphill
0.9   Keep slightly R (L= east BST)
1.0   Veer R on DT at fork (BST)
1.2   Join Canyon Hollow, go R
1.2   Fork L uphill on BST+Clark's
1.4   Fork L across bridge (Clark's)
2.7   L on Ann's
2.9   Trailhead, northeast on Corner Canyon Road
3.7   L onto ST Ghost Falls after gate
4.5   Fork R (L=to Canyon Hollow)
4.6   L (R=Rattler)
4.8   Keep R (L = to Canyon Hollow)
5.2   L on Gasline, cross Bridge
        R downhill on DT
5.5   Keep straight onto Corner Canyon
5.6   Veer L on Creekview Connector
6.7   Back at tunnel
Riding Resources for this trail:
Single-page riding guides: Standard loop or Clarks Ghost    
GPS track files (right-click and "Save as...") for Ghost Falls:
     Ghost Falls track only 
     Clarks-Ghost Loop as above      Loop w Ann's from Potato Hill
     Ghost Falls lower loop (CC, CanHoll, lower Ghost, Gasline, BST) 
     Master file of Draper GPX tracks 
Topo map (wider area) for printing:  View 
Lodging, camping, shops:   Links to southern SLC resources
Corner Canyon area trail overview page 

Watch yourself when you reach the falls! At times this short trail to the falls is encased in poison ivy! Look around, and if necessary find a sneaker route up to the falls.


Map updated November 2013

Getting there (Highland Drive Equestrian Center trailhead): Take the Bluffdale exit from I-15 and turn east towards the mountains. Continue on Highland Drive until you reach the ballpark parking lot. Directly across the street from the parking, the Lower Corner Canyon trail heads uphill (GPS N 40 30.351' W 111 50.721'). To reach the trailhead from the north (Sandy area), take 13th East southward until it ends at the stop sign just past the underpass. Turn left and drive 1/4 mile.
Coyote Hollow trailhead:
Take the Bluffdale exit from I-15 and turn east towards the mountains. Climb the hill as above, but turn right at the light on Traverse Mountain Road. After one mile, turn into Mike Weir Drive on your left. Pass the Mike Weir trailhead 1/2 mile later and continue another half mile until the road veers left downhill. Take the next right turn, turn right again, then left. You should now be on Gray Fox Drive. Take the next right into Coyote Hollow Court. The parking is on the right at the end of the pavement.
Facilities: There's a toilet at the upper Ghost Falls trailhead (where it meets the Corner Canyon road) and at the Equestrian Center parking. There's also a toilet where the Bonneville Shoreline Trail hits the Corner Canyon Road. Water is available only at the Equestrian Center.

Copyright 2007 Mad Scientist Software Inc
Updated trail information 11/2016. Map updated 2013.