Looking for delicious upper-intermediate singletrack that you can ride in
the off-season? Or for a summer morning quickie? Head to Alpine's Lambert Park. Lambert Park is a foothill area on the edge of the national forest.
Over 16 miles of singletrack trails meander though scrub oak, maple, fir,
and sage. The singletrack rates from easy-intermediate to advanced-intermediate
on the southeast corner (the dog trails).
Mike Engberson hits the
sidewall on a tight turn in the ravine of the Rodeo Trail. June 30, 2000.
The lower and
southern side of the park -- south of Box Elder Drive -- offers snow-clear
singletrack by early March. During the winter, the snow on the loop
consisting of Middle Trail and High Bench is usually packed and ready for
Fat Bikes. (In mid-winter, other trails depend on the timing and amount of
snowfall and the determination of the local fatties.)
In the spring,
it's a mass of flowers and deer. Lambert Park is warm and dry three months
before the canyon trails clear of snow. In mid-summer, local riders hit
the trails in early morning and late evening.
There are only a few days during the
entire year when you can't ride these trails. In the winter, start your
ride around 9 a.m., before the exposed dirt gets squishy. Here Matt
makes a turn on the Rodeo Trail. January, 2000.
Lambert in the
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There are many different ways to ride Lambert Park. (You can
hit every trail in one day, but the shortest way to do that is a monster
ride of around 16 miles.) We'll tell you about a couple of the local
riders' favorite routes.
The main north-south doubletrack (High Bench Road) is a fun broad path
for beginners and families. As of summer 2017, motorized vehicles are
forbidden in Lambert Park, except on paved Box Elder Drive and the
paved roads to the Bowery and Rodeo Grounds parking areas. At this time
the ban includes High Bench Road and the Lambert Homestead (poppy field)
road ($500 fine). The moto ban may be reversed for specific roads in
the park when the new Master Plan is implemented in 2018.
Mitt flies through the trees in early
singletrack trails are closed to horses because of risk of injury to
horse/rider/cyclist (Rodeo, Lambert's Luge). Although built by cyclists
specifically for mountain biking, equestrians are welcome to ride most of
Lambert's singletrack when conditions are appropriate.
Bruce Argyle rolls among oak
on the River Trail, with his dog Jackie in pursuit.
30, 2000, photo by Mike Engberson.
Lambert in May: a loop
to the poppies and back
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Some sample rides:
Taste 'o Lambert.Beginner. Fun but non-threatening, no brutal climbing.
About 3 miles. Start at the Rodeo Grounds. Ride down Rodeo to the River
Trail. Follow the River Trail until it turns back to become the Middle
Trail. Ride Middle back to Rodeo Up.
Diane cruises past the poppies of the
May 25, 2001.
Lambert Classic.Intermediate. A
nice ride, with moderate amounts of climbing. Start at the Rodeo Grounds
parking. Go down Rodeo, turn onto River. At the south end, curve back
north onto Middle. Turn right onto Ziggy then right again to Zag. Left
downhill on Ziggy, follow Ziggy down. Back at Middle, turn right on
Middle, then right on Poppy and continue on Ruin. Right on Middle. Right
on Spring and climb all the way up and around, then connect to Rodeo Up to
get back to parking.
Dallin launches off the bridge on the
Whoop-de-doos, bike handling challenges, climbing, and bombing on the
cooler north end of Lambert. Start at the Rodeo Grounds parking. Take Rodeo Down
then left onto Rodeo Up. Right onto Middle Spring and climb the hill. Left
on Spring and bomb downhill. Catch the last 1/2 of Rodeo Up, and drop left
Rodeo Down. Fly to Middle, then turn left on Spring and climb. Just after
passing the spring, here are your options: left on Middle Spring, or right
on upper Rodeo. Drop to the bottom of Rodeo, then climb back Rodeo Up.
Repeat various permutations until you puke. After climbing up, try going
right Spring to descend the southern side (clockwise direction) of Spring.
Tour de Lambo. Expert. A longish
ride that hits many of the highlights of Lambert. Start at the Rodeo Grounds
parking. Take Rodeo Down, and continue on down Middle. Veer left at
the water tank road, then R on Flank singletrack. Left uphill on Black Dog
before the next DT. Cross the ATV-track and climb Corkscrew. Pass Brown
Dog. Left to descend Ziggy. Stay on
Ziggy to Middle Trail and turn right. Turn right uphill on Poppy
and continue around to Ruin. Left to retrace a bit on Middle, then cross
the road to River. Veer left on High Bench and follow it all the way until
it rejoins River, then keep straight to the Spring shortcut. Right on
Spring, then veer left onto
Lambert's Luge. At the bottom, join High Bench and go back south to join River.
Curve around onto Middle and ride northward, turning right on Spring.
Climb Spring all the way to the top, then drop off the hill on Middle Spring.
Connect to Rodeo and find your car.
Lambert in Four Seasons. If video will not play in window above, click to launch in separate window through YouTube
Black Dog. Trail winds from the middle of Corkscrew down to Flank and
south of the water tank. Some
technical aspects, length 0.5 miles with 300 vertical feet elevation change.
Stiff climb. Top N40 27.958 W111 45.017, bottom N40 27.936 W111 45.325.
Brown Dog. Tougher trail extending from Corkscrew to Indian, just
north of the water tank. Length 0.3 miles, 150 vertical feet elevation change,
offers some rock stunts at trailside marked by diamond posts. Some easier shortcuts have appeared 11/08
- the shortcuts offer an easy climbing route and connect to the upper portion of
Zag. Top N40 28.003 W111 45.027, bottom N40 28.043 W111 45.148.
Corkscrew. North to south, it joins the top of White Dog, traverses the edge
of the wilderness border, then plunges
rapidly to the far south end of Lambert. From the south, it's a brutal climb.
From the south, it's often used as a connector from the city trail to Flank.
Length 0.7 miles, elevation change 220 feet. North end N40 28.101 W111 45.040,
south end @ City Trail N 40° 27.656
W 111° 45.167. Flank. Short connector ties the bottom of Corkscrew to the water tank road
to join River or Middle. Usually open year-round. Length 0.4 miles. South
end at Corkscrew N 40° 27.699 W 111° 45.106 - North end water tank road N 40°
27.961 W 111° 45.317. (The south end of Flank lies on private land.)
High Bench Trail. North-south route on far western side of Lambert Park.
Upper-intermediate. Forks off River at both northern and southern ends. Forested
areas snowbound in winter. 1.1 mile, elevation change 130 feet. North
end @ River Tr just after it forks off Middle near Box Elder road N 40° 28.533
W 111° 45.423 - South end @ church road N 40° 27.898 W 111° 45.341 High Bench ROAD. Gravel road runs one mile north-south from Box
Elder Drive to the south parking area near the church. Used by horses, hikers
(especially in winter), and cyclists. Indian. Short trail connects upper Zag (just below the road past the
water tank) to Flank. North end at Zag N40 28.027 W111 45.155,
south end at Flank N40 27.825 W111 45.177.
Karma. Short optional route off River Trail, 0.3 miles. Forks off on
northern end just after River crosses gravel road then bridge.
Lambert Luge. Challenging route from the lower portion of Spring to High Bench, features tight
turns, whoop-de-doos. After passing the connector to Ruin Trail, it's downhill
only. No horses! Crosses Middle and River on the way down. 0.5 miles, elevation change 120
feet. North end @ Spring Tr N 40° 28.460 W 111° 45.323 -
South (downhill) end @ High Bench Tr N 40° 28.212 W 111° 45.593. Access to
downhill portion off Ruin @ N 40° 28.287 W 111° 45.327.
Middle Spring. Serpentine narrow trail with tight turns and challenges, connects
top of Spring to top of Rodeo Trail. Advanced. Climb or descend. 0.6 miles.
Elevation change 150 feet. Bottom @ Rodeo Up N 40° 28.669 W
111° 45.028 - Top @ Spring Tr N 40° 28.648 W 111° 44.768
Middle. Fairly straight north-south route, intermediate. "Main
Street" of Lambert, with access to River, Rodeo, Spring, Ruin, Poppy, Ziggy.
Usually open year-round. 1 mile, elevation change 130 feet. North
end @ Box Elder paved road N 40° 28.540 W 111° 45.400 - South end @ water tank
road N 40° 27.963 W 111° 45.340
Poppy. Climbs from the Middle Trail up to the poppy field near the old
homestead. Continues as Ruin Trail at the 3-way intersection with the
Lambert Luge connector.
Usually open year-round. Length 0.4 miles, elevation change 100 feet. Bottom
end @ Middle Tr N 40° 28.000 W 111° 45.388 - Top at Ruin/Luge Connector N 40° 28.287 W 111°
River. North-south route, intermediate. Usually open year-round. Access to
High Bench trail at each end. 1 mile,
elevation change 130 feet. North end @ Middle Tr N 40° 28.527 W
111° 45.390 - South end @ water tank road N 40° 27.963 W 111° 45.340 River Alternate. When southbound, forks left off of River
just after crossing the High Bench Road and the creek bridge at N40 28.517 W111 45.448.
At first, runs to the east of River. Extends about 1/2 mile, crossing River as
it crosses DT (N40 28.437 W111 45.501) near the water utility shed, then
rejoining River from the west side at N40 28.394 W111 45.529.
Rodeo Down. Downhill ONLY. No horses.
Extends from the north side of the creek at the tippy-top of Spring (where the
water comes out of the mountain, crossing bridges over the creek down to a
thrill-a-second whoop-de-do down a wash. Very popular
trail, usually snowbound in the winter, clears in March. 0.5 miles. 150 feet
elevation change. Top @ N 40° 28.620 W 111° 45.757. Short connector to rodeo grounds parking
@ N 40° 28.682 W 111° 45.033. Bottom joins Rodeo Up N 40° 28.560 W
Rodeo Up. Uphill ONLY. Climbing route to the top of Rodeo Down. Connects to
Middle Spring to continue uphill. 0.5 miles. Bottom end via
connector to Box Elder paved road N 40° 28.553 W 111° 45.392 - Upper end
connect Rodeo Down N 40° 28.693 W 111° 45.034
Ruin. From top of Poppy Trail to Middle Trail. Goes past old Lambert homestead.
Features jumps when ridden top-to-bottom. Access to Lambert's Luge just before
the first jump. Usually open year-round. Length 0.5 miles, elevation change 100
feet. Top at Ruin/Luge Connector N 40° 28.287 W 111° 45.327 -
Bottom @ Middle Tr N 40° 28.027 W° 111 45.441
Spring. Long loop, 400 feet climbing, upper intermediate to advanced. Recommend
counter-clockwise. Not recommended in winter. Runs from center of Middle Trail,
connects to Middle Spring at top, curves around to connect to Rodeo Up. Access to north end of Lambert's Luge just before crossing
Box Elder road. 2 miles. South end @ Middle Trail N 40° 28.379 W
111° 45.438 - North end connects Rodeo Up N 40° 28.681 W 111° 45.207.
(Shortcut off beginning of Middle near Box Elder Road @ N 40° 28.527 W 111° 45.390) White Dog. Winding trail connects upper Zag and Ziggy (near the private property
border) to Corkscrew, 0.4 miles. Climbing or downhill, intermediate technical
with a couple of alternate-line stunts. Rebuilt following 2013 flood to be less
strenuous on the climb. Bottom
N40 28.106 W111 45.141, top N40 28.103 W111 45.039. Wildcat. Trail plunges from southbound Corkscrew all the way to High
Bench Road across from the High Bench Trail. Fairly high-speed downhill, tough
climb. Length 0.4 miles. Top N40 27.921 W111 44.989, Bottom N40 27.903 W111 45.337.
Zag. Back-and-forth meandering trail takes its time climbing from the base of
Ziggy to the middle of Ziggy near the Corkscrew fork. Length 1 mile, elevation
change 150 feet. Downhill end on southern downhill Ziggy @ N 40°
27.998 W 111° 45.370 - Uphill end where Ziggy and White Dog meet N40 28.106 W111 45.141.
Ziggy. As DH, starts top of White Dog, connects to top of Zag (and bottom of White Dog),
then descends to
Middle Trail. As climber, connects via ZPC to Poppy then up to White Dog. Upper
portion (above Zag) has climbing route DH-only route in trees. Upper section may have deep snow in winter.
Jump, gap jump. Length
0.8 miles, elevation change 300 feet.
Southern (downhill) end @ Middle Tr near water tank road N 40° 27.973 W 111°
45.363, top N40 28.103 W111 45.039. ZPC. Ziggy to Poppy Connector is a short trail
that ties Ziggy to Poppy, with a Y-fork at the south end to smooth the uphill vs
downhill connection to Ziggy. It offers southbound riders a climbing connection
to the upper mountain without descending to Middle. Southbound, it forks left
Poppy at N40 28.145 W111 45.281 just after it exits the trees and begins descending in earnest. Descending
riders can veer off Ziggy and head for Ruin or Lambert Luge for alternate
downhills. It forks right off Ziggy about 0.2 miles from Zag at N40 28.100 W111 45.266. Length 0.2 miles
Rodeo up, lower rodeo down
Zag and White Dog up, then left down Ziggy.
Northbound River or Middle
Spring (counterclockwise from Middle)
Rodeo and Middle Spring up,
down Spring clockwise or down
Poppy up, down Ruin.
Corkscrew up, down a "dog trail."
Getting there: Take I-15 to the
Alpine/Highland exit, just south of Point-of-the-Mountain. Drive straight east 5 miles
towards the mountains, turning left at the stoplight in Highland (where you see the
grocery store and gas station). Drive 2 miles north into Alpine to the 4-way stop at 200
North. Turn right. At the next stop sign, turn left. You'll be on 200 East, which becomes
Grove Drive. Continue northeast on Grove for two miles. The road will turn
90 degrees to the right. Pass two streets on your left, then arrive at a T
in the road. Turn right, across the river. At the fork in the road, go right
for the Bowery parking area, left for the Rodeo grounds. Rodeo grounds: Keep
left at the fork and drive 0.25 mile on pavement, then turn right onto a dirt road and
drive 0.25 mile. The trailhead is on the right side of the road, where
you'll see a parking strip and a bathroom just before the
rodeo arena. (Toilet.)
Bowery: Keep right at the fork as you cross the river on the
paved road. Pass the High Bench dirt road on your right. About 300 feet further up the paved
road, keep straight as the main road turns right, entering a smaller road. The Bowery pavilion is on the left, 500 feet up the dirt
road, with a parking lot on the right. (Toilet,
trailhead: About 1.5 miles up Grove Drive (as above), turn right on
Alpine Boulevard. Go 1/2 mile until the road turns from east to south in
front of a big church. As you pass the church, turn left toward the mountains.
Continue east as the road turns to dirt. (Some riders park in the southeast
corner of the church parking lot and pedal into the park.) After two quick
right-turns on the dirt road, you'll reach the trail kiosk at the city water
reservoir. Cross the bridge to join the High Bench Trail.