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Lazuli Trail (historic Ireland trail)
Timpanogos Foothills

The Lazuli trail runs approximately north-south on the western edge of the Timpanogos Foothill bench area. It gradually curves to the east, and reaches the Little Baldy trail 33 just 200 feet above the trail intersections at The Altar. It can serve as a climbing or descending route. The trails here are intermediate in tech requirement but fairly strenuous due to sustained pitch.

View south on Lazuli. Photos and ride description July 12, 2016 by Bruce.

Note!  These trails are on Utah Division of Wildlife Resources land, purchased with sportsmen dollars and set aside as the Orem Bench Wildlife Management Area specifically to protect Utah's native animals. Mountain Biking is allowed, but only insofar as it is not harmful to wildlife. To insure continued access please be respectful to the landowner by following proper trail etiquette and obeying all posted rules. Specifically:
1.  Do NOT ride these trails during the winter, December 1st through April 15th. 
     Deer will not survive the winter if frequently disturbed.
2.  Unauthorized trail-building is strictly prohibited!
3.  To reduce erosion and prevent "trenching" of trails, do not ride trails when muddy.
4.  Avoid disturbing wildlife, and do not allow your dog to chase animals.
The Timpanogos Foothill trails lie on a bench area south of Little Baldy on the western slope of Mount Timpangos. The trail system here is complex, consisting of many "social trails" that cross over and connect to each other erratically. The system was simplified in 2019 through 2021, with designated official routes.

This sample ride will start at the Orem Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST) trailhead. All routes to this area must use part of the Orem Bench (BST) road, which has other connecting trails from downhill. So you can also get to this loop from Zorro (1560 East in Orem), the Race Loop (Canyon View Park), and the Dragon's Back (Canyon Glen or Nunn's Park).

The Orem BST trailhead. The Provo Canyon North BST is behind me at the entry to parking.

From the BST Orem trailhead, head east into the canyon. After passing the entry to Swift Ridge (historic Shooter) at mile 0.4 of the Bench Road, your next uphill connection (as of 2016) will be Lazuli at mile 0.8. Turn left and settle into a climbing rhythm. Keep left and northbound at the first couple of trail forks, which will be a connector to Cottontail and a trail fork with the lower end of the Elk Crossing trail.

On the lower mountain, Lazuli is a narrow band in a sea of crested wheatgrass. Here Lazuli climbs up through grass on the lower mountain. Note the second "social trail." Stay on the main trail unless it's marked as a trail fork!

Option:  Elk Crossing to lower Gopher Snake (with Cottontail option)

At mile 0.6 comes your first chance to connect over to a downhill route. A hard right here will take you east on Elk Crossing eastbound.

This trail climbs up to meet the middle of Gopher Snake at mile 0.5. Stay eastbound on Elk Crossing, then turn right when lower Gopher Snake forks away to the right.

Looking southeast down Elk Crossing as it leaves Lazuli. That's Cascade Mountain on the left.

Note that Rattlesnake is just another 200 feet down Elk Crossing, giving you another descending option.

A little bit down Gopher Snake, fork left to descend on Cottontail. Or keep straight to descend Gopher Snake. Both good options.

View west at Utah Lake and Lake Mountain as we approach the Swift Ridge (Shooter) fork while climbing Lazuli.

Option:  Middle of Lazuli, taking upper Gopher Snake downhill

If you stay on Lazuli past the connector trail, you'll quickly pass a connector from Swift Ridge (Shooter) on the left at 0.7, then another at 0.8 miles. Now Lazuli and Swift Ridge will be a combined trail for the next 100 feet.

Another 100 feet uphill, keep right as Swift Ridge forks off on the left. Keep climbing straight north uphill until the trail turns to the right onto a ridgeline trail fork at mile 1.1 from the Bench Road.

Still climbing higher on Lazuli. That's Little Baldy on the left, Mount Timpanogos on the right.

Go across the ridge, and you're on Gopher Snake (historical Crank) descending south. Gopher Snake will turn back northeast, then southeast. As the trail turns back northeast again, 0.9 miles from the ridge, keep left as the Elk Crossing connector trail joins on your right.

As we turn across the ridge to the Gopher Snake (Crank) trail, we look back southwest. That's West Mountain, with Utah Lake split around the hill.

At mile 1.1 from Lazuli, fork to the right on the continuing Gopher Snake trail. 200 feet later, your options are Cottontail (left) and lower Gopher Snake (right).

The Gopher Snake trail crosses a meadow.

If you selected Cottontail, keep left and uphill, then climb over the ridge southbound. Cottontail gets steeper and a bit more tricky in the final descent down to the Bench Road.

A connector from lower Lazuli will join on your left. When you hit the Bench Road (BST), head right to return to the Cascade trailhead, left to climb up Rattlesnake.

Finally. Heading downhill towards Utah Valley.

Option: Descend Swift Ridge

When climbing Lazuli, keep straight and northbound as you pass the fork to Gopher Snake. At mile 1.3 from the Bench Road, pass the first connector on the left. Then turn left on Wild Turkey.

On Lazuli near the fork with Wild Turkey.

Climb 0.4 miles to Lament and turn left. In just 100 feet, fork left again on Swift Ridge and descend 3.2 miles back to the BST near the trailhead.

Looking uphill on Swift Ridge. The oak brush is re-growing from a fire in October 2020.

Option: The Altar

Continue on Lazuli at the Wild Turkey trail fork. Lazuli will now descend through oak forest and cross a meadow to the Little Baldy trail, just 200 feet uphill from The Altar. 

 Descending on upper Lazuli toward the Little Baldy trail.

At this point, pick an uphill loop. Like uphill on Little Baldy to Black Bear. Take a little loop by forking onto Wild Turkey and returning to Lazuli. Or do a bigger loop by riding all of Black Bear and coming back via Lament to lower Wild Turkey.

Or from The Altar, descend via Rattlesnake or Mouse or the GWT 33. Lots of ways to ride!

The rockpile in the meadow is the site of a 4-way trail intersection. The top of Lazuli is about 200 feet uphill from here, straight ahead in the photo.

NOTE! This is an area maintained for the benefit of wildlife. Bicycling is ONLY allowed when it does not impact animals.
These trails are closed from December 1st through April 15th for the benefit of the winter deer herd.

Getting there, Canyon View Park:  Exit I-15 on Orem's 800 North and drive straight towards the mountains. Keep left to enter Provo Canyon. After 1 mile, you'll pass the entrance to Canyon View Park on your left. About 100 yards later, there's a diversion dam, then a bridge over the river. Drive over the bridge and park in the lot. Ride to the northwest corner of the parking area. Begin your ride by pedaling up the gravel road. Keep straight at the road fork at  mile 0.3 if you're heading for the Bottom Access trail (recommended), or fork R uphill for the Ravine or East Access trails. Ride through the race loop and take the Upper Access trail to the BST to connect to uphill trails.

Orem Bench BST Trailhead:  Exit I-15 on Orem's 800 North and drive straight towards the mountains. At 800 East, turn left and drive north about 1 mile. Immediately past the fence at the uphill end of the cemetery, turn right (east) on Cascade Drive. Drive 1/2 mile then fork uphill before you approach the water treatment plant. Take two switchbacks up, passing the lower overflow parking, to the paved parking area with the bathroom. Your trail is right across from where the road entered the parking lot.

Bathroom:  Orem BST TH, Dry Canyon TH, Canyon View Park, Canyon Glen Park, Nunn's Park
Water:  Canyon View Park, Canyon Glen Park, Nunn's Park
Camping:  Nunn's Park

Dry Canyon Trailhead:  Turn east off State Street (Highway 89) at 200 South in Lindon, which also happens to be 2000 North for Orem. Keep straight as you approach the mountains. When the road begins to turn right (south), turn left onto Dry Canyon Drive heading northeast. Now keep straight uphill until the road turns into the trailhead. To reach the Shooter uphill route, go south on the BST to the Orem trailhead.
Canyon Glen:
Use this trailhead if you plan to ride counter-clockwise or out-and-back. Note that if you ride this direction there are some granny-gear climbs that are a bit loose. Exit I-15 on Orem's 800 North and drive straight towards the mountains. Keep left to enter Provo Canyon. About 3 miles later, you'll see the parking area for Canyon Glen on your left. Go across the bridge to the Parkway. Turn right, and find the GWT on your left about 200 feet later, forking uphill just before the paved parkway curves around a rock outcrop.
Nunn's Park:
  This makes the ride about a mile longer, but at the expense of a rather ugly short section of trail from Nunn's park up to the aqueduct. Going up-canyon, turn right 4 miles up the canyon, then left under 89. Go into Nunn's Park. On your bike, come back through the park entrance, then turn left on a broken-up roadway just before the road goes under 89. Turn left at the fence and follow the fence uphill. This section is a hike-a-bike uphill. As the singletrack reaches the top, go left (west).
Zorro (1560 East Trailhead):
  Take 800 North in Orem toward the mountains. Just as the road starts to descend into the canyon, turn left on 1560 East. Go to the end of the pavement and park on the right. The ugly jeep road switchbacks east of the trailhead take you uphill -- 0.4 miles with 200 vertical -- to the Zorro singletrack. Zorro will add another 300 vertical and 0.6 miles. (Don't fork onto the steeper Bramber DH. You'll know it as you pass it.) When Zorro hits doubletrack, head a bit further uphill to the Bench Road for uphill connections.
Canyon Mouth Provo River Parkway:
There's a parking area on Orem's 800 North Street just before you enter Provo canyon. It's just east of the gas station. GPS N 40 18.840'  W 111 39.472'. To get to the parkway, go east over the river and through the fence. Go uphill to the Canyon View Park, Canyon Glen, or Nunn's park for uphill singletrack connections to the Bench Road.
Riding resources:
Single-page riding guide to above ride
GPS track files: (Right click and Save as...)
    Multi-track area file (over 50 tracks)
Topographic maps for printing:   Orem Bench Zoom   Wider canyon mouth area
Lodging, camping, shops:     Links to Provo area resources

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