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Little Valley Trails

The Little Valley Loop Trail forks from, and rejoins, Ann's Trail just across Traverse Ridge Road from Potato Hill. The area is just east of Draper's Corner Canyon. The main Little Valley trail was completed in 2013, with the beginner trails and trailhead completed in December 2014.

Looking north as we approach a rock outcrop from the uphill end of the trail. Photos and review by Bruce on August 11, 2013 and updated December 11, 2014.

The main Little Valley trail is only 0.7 miles in length, running joining to Ann's Trail at both ends. Because it starts a short distance from the Potato Hill Trailhead on Traverse Ridge Road, it's possible to ride the trail as a short lariat loop of only 1.4 miles.

At the Potato Hill trailhead. The ride starts at the break in the log fence. Beginners with young children will want to use the new Little Valley trailhead.

A short loop trail lies to the west of the main Little Valley Trail. This loop is only 0.6 miles, and connects to the Little Valley trailhead. Two other trails lie within the loop. All of the Little Valley trails are suitable for beginners. Grades are mild and the surface is smooth. This little trail system was built specifically for families and beginners to work on their biking skills.

The new Little Valley Loop in December 2014. The exit off Traverse Ridge Road to the trailhead is still under construction.

Little Valley Main Trail

From its beginning on Ann's Trail about 200 feet south of the tunnel, the Little Valley Trail will descend only about 60 vertical feet, then regain 80 vertical to reach the high spot as it rejoins Ann's further southwest. There are occasional views of the valley, but most of the riding is in thick oak forest.

Typical riding view. Lots of deep gambel oak forest.

There are three trail forks on Little Valley. Unfortunately, the first one is right at the point where Little Valley forks off Ann's. Two separate riders came by while I was taking a photo of this spot (see above) and despite the nice trail sign they were confused. When you reach the first trail fork on Ann's 200 feet from the tunnel, veer to the right (you're now on Little Valley). Keep straight. The immediate left fork takes you back up to Ann's.

The trail on the right (between the two big rocks heading west downhill) is a steeper narrow route that crosses the east side of Little Valley Loop trail before ending on the broad middle trail.

The ride's Oh Wow spot. The trail climbs around this rock outcrop. Later, we'll be on top of this rock.

The next fork, on your right, is the connector to the loop trails. For now, keep straight and left to stay on the main Little Valley route.

The neighborhood connector trail is plainly marked and non-confusing. It's found just a bit past the half-way point of Little Valley (when riding counterclockwise east-to-west) and descends 1/10 mile to Maple Park Court. Yes, I suppose you could ride the road to the trailhead to make a loop-on-the-loop.

View to the west from the trail as we approach the connector to the homes.

The highlight of the ride is the rock outcrop you'll pass, first on the underside and then over the top. Looks like some type of marble.

We've now climbed and reversed direction and are riding across the top of the rock cliff we skirted below.

Most riders will do Little Valley as an alternate route while riding Ann's Trail or Potato Hill. It's an interesting little trail that adds to the riding options in Draper, but few riders would consider it a destination in itself. The exception would be true beginners and young riders for whom a 1.4-mile loop is plenty.

The upper trail fork. We're looking west. That's Ann's on the left, and Little Valley to our right.

Riding notes, mini-loop from Potato Hill:
0.0  North through opening in fence, right
0.1  Keep R (L=Potato Hill Trail)
       N40 29.285 W111 50.845
       50 feet, then R and through tunnel
0.2  Fork soft R then keep straight
       N40 29.176 W111 50.817
       (90-degree R = to streets)
0.6  Keep L (R = to streets) N40 29.072 W111 51.102
0.9  Straight onto Ann's N40 29.061 W111 50.920
       (hard R = uphill on Ann's)
1.2  Keep R past first fork
        After tunnel, fork L
1.3   Keep L (R = Potato Hill Tr)
1.4   Back at trailhead

View north from the junction of Little Valley with Ann's on the uphill end.

  
The Little Valley Beginner Trail System
Between the subdivision and the main Little Valley trail is a system of trails designed for new riders. You can access this trail system directly from the new Little Valley trailhead. A broad flat trail leaves the southeast corner of the parking area. This trail continues up to the intersection with the main Little Valley Trail. It's crossed by the beginner loop near the parking area and at the top.

View northwest on the east side of the beginner loop. The path is wide enough for Moms to ride alongside their little bikers.

The mini-loop is 0.6 miles long. The portion south of the middle trail is very easy riding. The part to the north has some humps and turns, and a little bit of slope, but is still within the range of a brand-new mountain biker.

The easiest possible loop is to ride up the middle connector, then down the easier southern part of the mini-loop. This will be about 0.4 miles total, and is flat and wide with very easy pedaling.

There are occasional breaks in the oak brush groves. We're heading counterclockwise on the north side of the mini-loop.

There's some fun stuff built into the trails. For example, a series of rollers gives kids and newbies a bit of practice at keeping their weight centered as the bike tilts. Occasionally the trail gets a bit narrower, but for the most part it's possible for the beginner and the instructor to ride side-by-side.

A series of rollers on the northern half of the mini-loop, eastbound clockwise.

There's also a short one-way downhill trail that extends from the loop's upper end (where the middle trail meets the loop and sends an extender over to the main Little Valley trail). It rejoins the south side of the loop a bit before the parking lot. The turns have nice berms to herd the little ones along the path.

The one-way trail is narrower and a bit more challenging, but would still be considered very easy.

The Little Valley beginner trail system is going to be your best choice in the Corner Canyon area for children and beginning riders. And for advanced riders, it's worth a detour off Ann's to check it out.

Bridge over a ravine around the highest point of the mini-loop.

   
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Getting there, Little Valley trailhead:
Take the Bluffdale exit from I-15 and turn east towards the mountains on Highland Drive. At the light at the top of the hill, turn right on Traverse Ridge Road (also called Traverse Mountain Road). After one mile, pass Mike Weir Drive on your left. Continue uphill past the paved turnoff into the homes on the right, then turn right into the Little Valley trailhead. The trail begins at the southeast corner of the parking area. N40 29.203 W111 50.994
Potato Hill trailhead:

Drive up the Traverse Ridge Road as above, but go past the Little Valley turnoff. About 100 yards further uphill, turn left into the Potato Hill TH,  N40 29.300 W111 50.925
Riding resources:
Printable one-page guide to this trail
GPS track files (right-click and select "Save Target as..."):
       Little Valley only   Little Valley from Potato Hill
       Little Valley multitrack trails
       Draper Area Trails multi-track file   
Satellite map for printing:  View
Corner Canyon area trail overview page
Lodging, camping, shops:     Links to southern SLC resources