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Little South Fork Trail

You won't see a lot of bikers along the Little South Fork of the Provo River. This trail has potential, but it's a bit out-of-the-way for what it offers. The singletrack trail itself is 8.7 miles. 

View down the canyon, with the peaks of the Uinta Mountains in the background. Photos October 2, 2001 by Bruce Argyle

Because of narrow trail, steep spots, roots, occasional quick dips and turns, rocky sections, and deadfall, this trail is rated advanced technical. The trailhead is at 7200 feet, the ridgeline 9700. If you're going the loop or out-and-back option, it's very strenuous aerobic.
Point-to-point from the ridge above Mill Hollow to the highway near the river (using a shuttle vehicle), it's 9.5 miles. This would be my recommendation for most riders.

Ridden out-and-back (up and back down) on the singletrack for a 17.4 mile, 2700-vertical ride, it can be tiring, rough, and frustrating. The uphill trail is hard to navigate (I headed a mile or two up wrong trails twice). It's a pretty mean climb.

Ridden as a loop (using U-35 then the Mill Hollow road to Campbell Hollow road before heading downhill), it's 23 miles -- over 14 miles on tedious road. Most riders will be ready to quit and go home before they ever see the singletrack. But it's a lot easier to find your way using the loop route.

The Little South Fork of the Provo River.

View of the trail's riding surface. Rocky road.

Uphill navigation:
   0.3 trail fork, keep right (left is Willow Hollow)
   0.5 sloppy steep hill, walk
   1-2 intermittent vicious rockpiles
    2.7 drop down and cross to the west side of the creek
    3.8 trail hits dirt road, continue south on road
    3.9 Do NOT go hard-right uphill on Camp Hollow Trail
          Ignore small roads that go down to creek
          Pick up singletrack on right about 200 feet past first trail
          Immediately cross 2 tiny creeks
    5.0 Trail forks, go left across branch of creek
           Keep left at fork after creek
    5.2 Trail crosses to east side of main creek
    5.6 Trail comes in from left, continue uphill
    6.9 Cross back to west side of creek
    8.7 At doubletrack, top of ridge
Loop or shuttle navigation:
    0.0 Junction of Little South Fork dirt road and U-35
          Leave vehicle here
    5.5 Turn right on Mill Hollow Road
    7.0 Just past guard station, turn right to Cambell Hollow
          Keep left at 2 road intersections after mile 9
    OR drive up Mill Hollow Road
    12.6 Intersection, head west towards Heber Mountain on road 096
    13.5 Just after short descent, look for wooden post marking trailhead on right
Reset odometer!
    2.0 Ruin of old cabin, trail fork left (north and downhill)
    3.1 Trail fork, keep left (right goes down to jeep road)
          Continue downhill as uphill trails come in from left
    4.8 Trail dumps onto dirt road
          Ignore smaller roads going down to creek
          Ignore singletrack going left uphill
    4.9 Just as road turns left, singletrack continues straight on right
    6.0 Cross creek
    6.5 Occasional rockpiles next mile
    7.5 Begin climbing ugly hill
    8.7 Singletrack reaches dirt road, head right then downhill
    9.5 Arrive at highway U-35  



Recent fire has damaged the forest in the middle to upper sections of the singletrack. In these areas, you may ride on ash, fall into holes where roots have burned away, and carry your bike over a lot of deadfall.

Near the bottom of the singletrack, there's a brutal hill (200 vertical feet in less than 0.2 mile) each way. Because horses have churned this steep section of the trail to deep rocky slop, it's virtually impossible to ride. (The over-hill route avoids traversing around the hill through private property. Unfortunate.)

Blackened tree trunks stand amid a wasteland of ash.

Between the last creek crossing and this hill, there are several areas of ugly rocky treachery, plus some deadfall to lift your bike over. In the pines, it seems like the trail turns pointlessly uphill through rough rock, then needlessly descends through the rockpile again. (Typical horse path.) If you're heading uphill for an out-and-back, just hang on, because it gets much better once you cross to the west side of the creek.

Willows put on their fall colors, matching the aspens of the hillside.

I can't give this trail an unqualified recommendation right now (year 2001) -- I found it tedious walking over and around deadfall in the fire-damaged areas. And going uphill, it was very hard to know what was trail -- and what was just another cow path. (It's easier to find your way downhill, although still very possible to get lost.) As the fire damage is fixed and trail usage increases, things will get better.  If you're looking for some adventure, or just want some different scenery after riding a dozen other singletracks, give this trail a try.
Getting there: From US-40, turn towards Kamas on US-189. Arriving in Kamas, turn right at the stop sign, towards Francis. One mile later at the stop sign in Francis, turn left towards Woodland. Drive 9.5 miles from the stop sign. Just after crossing the river, note a dirt road on your right, labeled "Little South Fork Cross-country Ski Area." Drive up the road, through 2 gates, 0.8 miles to a gate with an underground pipeline warning sign. There's a wide spot for parking, with the trial starting on the south along the fence.

Riding resources:
One-page riding guide
GPS track file for this trail (right-click and "Save as..."):
     Garmin     GPX 
High-res topo for printing:   View
Lodging, camping, shops:    Links to area resources

Copyright 2002 Mad Scientist Software Inc