(Lake Mountain Summit)
Mercer Canyon (Lake Mountain Summit) is not going to become
your favorite ride. The gravel road to the top of Lake Mountain is
unexciting for an experienced biker, but is a bit too much climbing for a
View northward towards the Oquirrh
Mountains. Photos by Bruce, May 2004.
| Perhaps the best use of Mercer Canyon is as a training ride
to crank out some vertical during the early season. But there's a nice
view at the top (altitude 7600 feet), and if you like exploring new
places, go try it.
This route is easy technically, but fairly strenuous
aerobically. Depending on your appetite for miles, we'll suggest two
variations of this ride: (1) Park off U-68, as below, for a 21.6-mile
out-and-back, with 3000 vertical feet of climbing. (2) Follow the riding
directions in your car to mile 5.2, then turn left to park on the south
end of the open-pit mine, for a 10.6-mile, 2000-vertical ride.
climbs away from Cedar Valley.
Mercer Canyon climbs from sagebrush plain to juniper, then
to oak, then to aspen. The slope is a very do-able 8%, but is steady and
unrelenting. All but the most intense hammerheads should plan a few stops
along the way. In mid-summer, the ride is going to be hot hot hot.
Looking back near the top. The white
strip is snow.
|At the top, you can look east over Utah Lake to the Wasatch
Front. This is the highlight of the trip. After a few oohs and aahs, turn
and bomb back down. (You can complete a loop by riding north down Israel
Canyon to the highway, but the upper 3 miles of this route slope down at a
brake-smoking 700-vertical-feet per mile.)
who's happy as a clam after 16 miles, greets Dom as he nears the radio
|Riding notes, starting at highway:
0.0 Start west on dirt road
GPS N 40° 10.250' W 111°
3.1 Cross Soldier's Pass
3.2 R onto smaller road
GPS N 40° 11.968' W 111°
3.9 Fork R, N 40° 12.267' W 111° 58.706'
4.9 Keep R, N 40° 12.781' W 111° 57.997'
5.2 Keep R (L = open-pit mine)
N 40° 12.958' W 111° 57.766'
| (If starting from the mine, head northeast
40° 13.149' W 111° 57.692',
on ST 0.3 miles to road meet road at 5.7)
5.7 Trail in from mine on L
N 40° 13.135' W 111° 57.357'
10.7 Keep L
10.8 Fork R off main road
N 40° 16.645' W 111° 56.254'
uphill 100 ft, R again, up to
view at ridgetop
View east over the handlebars. The
puddle, of course, is Utah Lake. Timpanogos is left center, Provo Peak is
right center, Cascade Mountain is far right.
Lodging, camping, shops: Links to Provo
Getting there: From the intersection where U-73 meets
U-68 (about 5
miles west of Lehi), turn south on U-68. Drive 19
miles south. (Ignore multiple smaller dirt and gravel roads along the
mountain.) As you near the south end of Lake Mountain, watch for a fairly
large gravel road on your right that has a stop sign, GPS N 40° 10.250' W 111°
56.017'. Park here and ride west on the gravel road.