| Midmountain Trail
Spiro to Canyons Classic
The Midmountain trail is an awesome singletrack that traverses 20 miles of the mountains west of Park City at the 8000-foot level. It extends from Silver Lake Lodge (upper lodge) at Deer Valley in the south to the connector trail to Pinecrest in the north. Several trails climb up to Midmountain (or in spots climb above it), creating many loop ride possibilities.
Here's Mike J of Park City riding the Mid Mountain Trail, high above the city. Photos and original ride description June 17, 2002 by Bruce.
| The ride I describe here uses the Spiro Trail to climb to
Midmountain, and descends through the trails on The Canyons Resort. It's 18.8
miles point-to-point, 22 for a loop returning via the Olympic paved trail.
Absolute altitude change is 1400 feet to a maximum of 8300, but with the
up-and-down on the Mid Mountain Trail, total climbing will be close to
3000. This is a big ride.
Looking southwest on Midmountain as we approach the ski slopes of Park City Mountain Resort. Photo September 2011.
There are some rocky sections, earning it an upper-intermediate rating. The trail itself is aerobically taxing because it's long, and there's a good climb to get up to it. A ride of this size deserves plenty of water and calories packed along.
Trail surface varies greatly. This is a smoother section among the aspens. Photo 2002.
You can get to the Mid Mountain Trail via Armstrong, Spiro, Sweeney North or Sweeney South, Daly Canyon (Tour de Suds), or Deer Valley. Spiro is a direct route to Midmountain and a longtime favorite. And because the northern 11 miles of Midmountain -- from Spiro northbound -- was constructed first, the Spiro-to-Canyons loop is the "classic ride."
The trail passes over a divide at Iron Canyon, where you can see the Wasatch Crest. Here Bruce cruises through a flower-filled meadow in 2002.
|The Midmountain Trail is a beautiful ride, mostly forested with either aspen
or fir. There are periodic views over Park City and The Canyons.
Occasional meadows are covered with wildflowers, mostly penstemmon and
balsamroot. Choke cherry bushes thrive among the aspens.
Typical trail view as the Midmountain winds through aspen and fir forest. 2010 photo.
|At the north end, you can descend on singletrack via Holly's,
Ambush, or Rob's Trail. Rob's takes you into Bear Canyon. Ambush and
Holly's drop you into The Canyon's Resort. You can complete a loop by catching the Paved Olympic Trail (near the
highway as you exit The Canyons) and follow it back into town. This will
add about 2.5 miles.
|Rob's Trail Access: Climb Rob's Trail from
Bear Hollow. Keep right at the fork with Rosebud's Heaven and with Ambush.
When you hit Midmountain, fork left. (Right is the Hunter Trail to
Pinebrook -- after a couple of miles the continuing trail is private.)
Ambush Access: From the lift just above the lodges of The Canyons, find singletrack descending into the valley. Pass Rosebud's Heaven on the right, which climbs up to Rob's (it will still get you there). As you reach a flat area, Rob's Trail comes in on the right. Go left and climb to Midmountain.Spiro Trail Access: Point-to-point using Spiro uphill would be 18.8 miles. Heading south Park City, turn right towards Park City Mountain Resort. Turn right again to drive past the parking lot, towards the mountains, on Silver King Drive. Turn right on Crescent Road and follow it to the trailhead. Keep left at the first fork and climb the switchbacks. The trail will turn south-southwest. The Mid Mountain Trail forks off, heading back north, at about mile 3.5. [Trail Info]
Armstrong Trail Access: This is a mellower climb than Spiro, and cuts a mile off the total distance. Armstrong shares a common trailhead with Spiro. Just after beginning the climb, fork right on the Armstrong Trail and climb 4 miles to Midmountain. [Trail Info]
Crescent Mine Grade Access: The Crescent Mine Grade (CMG) starts as gravel road at the base of the Payday lift at Park City Mountain Resort. After 0.8 miles, a singletrackforks off the road on the right and begins winding around the mountain as it climbs. CMG is 3.1 miles to Midmountain, reaching it about 3/4 mile south of Spiro. [Trail Info]
Sweeney's and John's Access: Climb the Sweeney Switchbacks. As you reach a trail fork at mile 1.5 (just a little before Sweeney's ends on Drift Road), turn left, then right a tiny bit later. You're now climbing John's Trail. At the open area at the top, aim straight west across the saddle and climb the doubletrack to the right of the ravine (stay to the left of the building on the ridge).. You'll find the northbound Midmountain on your right after 0.1 mile. Continue straight for the southbound Midmountain Trail. [Trail Info]
Gravedigger Trail Access: Point-to-point, this is 20.6 miles. Go south in Park City until the road dumps onto Main Street. Follow it uphill into Daly Canyon. When you hit dirt, park and head uphill. After climbing up past the water tank, veer right on doubletrack, keeping right until you find yourself on Gravedigger. Gravedigger heads north to King Road, and will meet John's Trail.
|| Follow John's to the top of Payday. Head west through the
broad open area near the Silver King mine building and get onto
doubletrack climbing west, keeping to the right of the gully. The
northbound Midmountain will be on your right. Keep straight for the
southbound Midmountain Trail.
Packing the bike over one of many creeks in the early days of the "Eight Thousand Foot Trail," as the Midmountain was first called by locals. There's a big bridge here now.
Empire Link Access: As you begin climbing Tour des Suds in Daly Canyon, keep uphill and straight when Tour des Suds forks left. Stay uphill, northbound, and straight as you cross Johns99.
|Tour des Suds Access: This will be about 26-30 miles
(construction in the Deer Valley area is constantly changing these
trails). You'll need a good map, and probably some current information
from the bike shop. The object is climb Tour des Suds to Midmountain about
2/3 mile from its beginning at the Silver Lake Lodge. [Trail
Mike J. looks over the view from the northern end. The Canyons is on the left. I-80 is the horizontal line just before the distant hills.
|Silver Lake (Lazy) Access: Just drive your car
to the upper (Silver Lake) Deer Valley lodge. Facing the mountain from the
lift area, the Midmountain Trail is to your right, just a bit past the
skier underpass. Angle downhill and under the road, then veer left onto
the singletrack. You're there. [Trail Info
MidMtn-Johns99] [Trail Info Wasatch
Crest-MidMtn from DV]
Deer Crest Access: Even longer. From the lower Deer Valley lodge (Snow Park), climb the singletrack of Deer Crest to the upper lodge. As you pass by the ski lifts, find the Midmountain trail on the left, just past the skiier underpass.
|Wasatch Crest Epic Loop Option! For real
hammerheads, consider riding the Wasatch Crest in a loop with the Midmountain Trail.
Easiest: Climb Spiro and continue up Powerline past Shadow Lake to
Scott's Pass. Ride the Crest north to the junction with upper Mill Creek
Canyon, but go right to The Canyons. Drop back to the Midmountain Trail
and continue south to Spiro. (See GPS files and map options below.) [WC-MM
Approaching Scott's Pass (the notch) from the Dead Tree Trail, the hardest way to get to the Wasatch Crest to Midmountain Loop from Park City.
|Getting there, Spiro trailhead: Drive past the parking area of Park City Mountain Resort on Silver King Drive. Turn right onto Three Kings. The next left will be Crescent Drive. Park on Three Kings, then ride 0.1 mile up to the trailhead. The trail is the singletrack next to the gravel road where Crescent Drive turns left. N 40° 39.390' W 111° 30.895'|
Ride notes, Spiro to The Canyons:
Riding resources for this trail:
Option, loop Wasatch Crest with Midmountain:
Copyright 2002 Mad Scientist Software Inc