||Lost Prospector Loop
The Lost Prospector Loop is an easy route on Park City's
east side. The loop starts on paved Park City trail, transfers to buff
easy singletrack on the side of a small mountain, then descends to the Rail
Trail. This 7.8-mile loop has
a beginning altitude of 6800 feet, with a peak of only 7100.
Looking across the valley at Park City
Mountain Resort. Photos July 8, 2002 by Bruce.
counterclockwise, much of the
climb is actually on pavement. This loop is easy-intermediate technical,
This ride is a good introduction to dirt for those who are
just starting, or aren't in the best of shape. But it's also a good quick
"off-day" hammer-down ride for advanced bikers. A conditioned
rider can complete this loop in around an hour. Its low altitude means
this trail clears of snow a few weeks earlier than the trails west and
south of Park City.
View northeast on an early section of
the trail, heading through brush and gambel oak. Most of the trail is
smoother than this.
||The singletrack begins in gambel oak and brush. The trail is
wide and smooth, fairly flat, and has gentle turns. As it curves around to
the mountain's north side, you ride through quaking aspen and maples, with
tall wildflowers. Lupine, delphinium, penstemmon, thimbleberry, and
columbine form a thick, tall carpet.
The trail winds around to the northern
hillside, where trees include maples and aspen. The trail gets smoother
and the air a bit cooler.
|As the trail begins its descent to the Rail Trail, you'll
ride a few switchbacks. These aren't particularly tight or tricky, and the
surface is smooth. Most early-intermediate riders will be able to roll
these switchbacks without touching down.
The trip back is on the smooth Rail
Trail. This is the view if you're going clockwise. The singletrack that
climbs the mountain is on the right, just before this bridge.
|Ride notes, counterclockwise loop:
0.0 Right (west) out of the parking lot
0.25 L on sidewalk
0.3 At crosswalk, cross street to paved trail
0.5 Keep straight at fork
1.4 Fork L, up to traffic roundabout
U-turn to head north
downhill on Deer Valley Dr.
1.8 Turn R uphill on Aerie Drive
1.95 Small parking lot on R, N 40° 39.034' W 111° 29.811'
Singletrack across the
street (on L)
2.1 Trail merges from L (advanced tech trail)
2.75 Crossing, keep straight (R) (L=advanced)
3.2 Fork L (R=to Gambel Oak)
N 40° 39.431' W 111° 30.004'
3.9 Cross doubletrack
4.1 Trail in from R, then fork. Go R uphill
4.85 Fork R, straight (L downhill = SOS)
5.35 Fork R downhill onto Skid Row
6.25 At Rail Trail, turn left
7.8 Back at Prospector trailhead
|Alternate loop: At the fork where you descend to the
Rail Trail on Skid Row, you can also go right, climbing uphill through a
couple of switchbacks to a paved road on top of the mountain. From here,
you can blunder your way downhill through several street intersections to
the Solamere Connector, then over the mountain
to Gambel Oak. Many riders choose to do this
loop, rather than the "official" loop using the Rail Trail and
Park City Town Trail. Follow someone who knows the way, or get a town
||Getting there: On Park City's Main Street, turn
left onto Kearns Blvd., as though you were heading to US 40. About 1/4
mile later, turn right on Bonanza Drive. At the "Rail Trail"
sign about 200 feet later, turn left onto Prospector Avenue, then right
into the parking lot for the Rail Trail. The trail is at the far (south)
end of the parking lot. N 40° 39.684' W 111° 29.894'