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Mojave and Three Candles Trail

The Mojave Trail is a downhill-only trail at Park City Mountain Resort. It runs from Thaynes Road at the top of Steps (at the Yurt) to Midmountain near the CMG crossing. The Mojave trail is new in 2013.  You can reach the Yurt and the top of Mojave via Steps or Tommy's Two Step. The newer bidirectional trail called Three Candles extends from the top end of Mojave further uphill to Keystone.

Handlebar view of the aspens as we near the Yurt. Trail review and photos by Bruce on August 5, 2013.

Mojave is one mile in length with 380 vertical feet of elevation change, from 8640 at the Yurt to 8260 at Midmountain. The downhill is fairly steady with banked turns and rollers but very little technical stuff.

Three Candles is 0.8 miles to Keystone, rising 240 to 8880 feet. The surface is broad and smooth, with a sustained rate of climb.

View uphill near the bottom of Mojave.

The trail has been built with some rollers and twists. This adds to the downhill fun, but it does reduce the sight lines in the trees. Let's assume you're coasting a casual 15 mph downhill and spot a 5-mph uphill rider 30 feet away. You've got exactly one second before impact. Keep your eyes up and stay at a controllable speed.

Typical downhill view on Mojave. Twists and dips.

The bottom of Mojave is on Midmountain, 0.7 miles south of the junction with CMG and one mile north of the connector to Jenni's and Johns.

The top end of Mojave is on the north side of the Yurt on Thaynes Road. If you climbed up via Steps, turn right on the road to find it. If you're descending Three Candles, just cross Thaynes Road.

On the southbound Midmountain looking west to the junction with Mojave.

This page will feature two rides:
Point-to-point to Scott's Pass using Crescent Mine Grade (CMG) to Midmountain, Mojave as a climber, then Keystone to the Shadow Lake Trail. 8.5 miles one way, 2700 vertical feet.
Lariat loop consisting of CMG, Apex, and Keystone then Mojave dowhill, 11.3 miles, 2000 vertical feet.

The yurt at the top. We're actually looking from Steps. The entry to Mojave (for a downhill) and Three Candles (to climb) is to the right of this photo.

Sample Ride: 
Down Mojave from Shadow Lake and Scott's Pass
Three Candles and Mojave offer a fairly direct downhill route from the Scott's Pass area. From Shadow Lake it's 7.6 miles to the Park City trailhead at CMG. From the Wasatch Crest it's 8.5 miles.

Overview of the route to Scott's Pass. We start on the left with Blazing Saddle, Shadow Lake, Keystone, Three Candles, Mojave, Midmountain, then CMG.

From Scott's Pass (however you got there), turn east to the old road then find the singletrack Blazing Saddle trail on your right. Keep right at the fork above the lake and you're on the Shadow Lake trail. 

Looking down on Shadow Lake as we descend from Scott's Pass.


When you hit the Jupiter dirt road, turn right (downhill) for a tiny bit then turn to the left onto the Keystone trail. Keystone is a fairly straight and gentle descent.

We're at the Shadow Lake Trail.

Keystone heads straight northeast contouring the mountain. Then it veers slowly to the right after crossing Apex. It traverses around the mountain to head southeast. The fork for Three Candles will be on your left. (If you hit Meadow Road, you went too far on Keystone.)

Heading west on the Keystone Trail, we pass above old mine tailings.

Three Candles is around 3/4 mile long, meandering through meadows and aspen. It will cross Meadow Road twice, then end on Thaynes Road. Straight across the dirt road is Mojave.

On the Three Candles trail when it was brand new.

As you enter Mojave, the rate of descent increases. Mojave will twist and turn through the trees, with plenty of rollers and banked turns. You'll drop about 400 vertical feet over a mile. Mojave will cross the Claimjumper and Rosebud dirt roads on the way.

Looking back uphill to show a tight bermed turn on Mojave.

When you hit the Midmountain trail (and the end of Mojave), make a hard left. Pedal around 1/2 mile on Midmountain. When it reaches the next gravel road, make a hard right turn downhill on the doubletrack then immediately fork to the right onto CMG. 

We're still on the Mojave Trail, almost to Midmountain.

Descend eastbound on CMG until you hit a 4-way trail crossing. To your left is Jenni's climbing route (uphill only). Ahead and uphill right is Jenni's climbing to the Jupiter lift area. Ahead and left downhill is the continuation of CMG. 

Heading downhill on CMG.


At this point, CMG becomes downhill-only. After 1.2 miles CMG will take you to the Park City base.

Entry to the Crescent Mine Grade (CMG) trail. Jenn's (180 degrees opposite) is the uphill climbing route.


Sample Ride: 
Descend Mojave -- Lariat loop via CMG and lower Apex
OK, there are figuratively a zillion ride options in this area. I'll list another couple of routes that include Mojave on the trail page for Tommy's Two Steps. You can mix it up, for example by climbing Jenni's all the way to the top, catching Midmountain southbound to Tommy's to reach the Yurt and Mojave. This ride goes counterclockwise climbing CMG and Apex, then descending Keystone and Mojave. It's 11.3 miles with 2000 vertical feet.

Overview of the route. Be sure to grab the GPS file and high-res topo maps below.

Climb Jenni's, then CMG from Park City Mountain Resort as above. But when you reach the Midmountain Trail, go to the right instead. The trail will descend a little then cross a meadow. Just before you leave the meadow, fork left uphill on the continuing CMG.

Cruising a beautiful meadow on upper CMG. We're now well above the Midmountain Trail.

Keep climbing on CMG until it ends on Thaynes Road. Fork hard left and climb uphill on the road. As the road crosses a ski slope, fork right onto Apex.

Apex zips across the ski slopes, in and out of aspen groves as it climbs.

Where Apex crosses the Keystone Trail, fork left on Keystone. Descend gradually until you reach the junction with the Three Candles trail. Fork left onto Three Candles.

Gettin' up there. The Keystone trail is a short traverse. Watch for the trail fork.

Descend Three Candles. When you reach Thaynes Road, veer to the left and cross the road to the Mojave trail

Three Candles trail.

When Mojave reaches the Midmountain trail, keep left and downhill. Follow Midmountain to the rough gravel road, then turn hard left downhill to join CMG where you left it.

A balance log with a wheelie-drop at the end on Mojave heading downhill.

Riding notes, loop CMG-Apex-Mojave
0.0   Edge of parking, looking southwest to Alpine Slide
        N40 39.172 W111 30.519
0.1   Find Jenni's trail and start uphill
        N40 39.023 W111 30.511
1.0   Cross doubletrack N40 38.598 W111 30.657
1.5   Fork R onto CMG
        N40 38.636 W111 30.883
3.2   Up on DT, fork R onto Midmountain
        N40 38.258 W111 31.445
3.4   Fork L uphill on CMG
        N40 38.192 W111 31.509
4.4   Hard L uphill on Thaynes Road
        N40 37.825 W111 32.015
4.8   L uphill on Apex N40 38.014 W111 31.755
5.4   Hard L on Keystone N40 37.786 W111 31.863
5.8   L downhill on Upper Mojave
        N40 37.701 W111 31.514
6.6   Cross Thaynes Rd to ST
        N40 37.849 W111 31.248
        L downhill on Mojave 
7.6   Keep L onto Midmountain
        N40 38.410 W111 31.421
8.2   Hard R downhill on DT, R on CMG
        N40 38.256 W111 31.442
9.2   Stay R on CMG
9.9   Cross Jenni's (straight and L)
11.3 Back at parking
Getting there:  In Park City, follow the signs to Park City Mountain Resort. As you see the first parking area, turn in and park there. Look to the southwest (toward the main resort. Pedal toward the spot where the parking lot meets the condos. As you reach a wire gate, the gravel doubletrack that heads uphill toward the Alpine Slide is the beginning of our ride. As you reach pavement again, you'll pass the entry to Jenni's Trail (to your right). Look to the left. See the log squeeze chute? That's the exit from the downhill portion of the Crescent Mine Grade (CMG) trail. Jenni's trail (an uphill only climbing trail) is behind you.
Riding resources:
Trail guide Loop Ride
GPS Track File  (Right-click and "Save as...")
     GPX Mojave only  
     Track Loop CMG-Apex-Down Mojave
     Park City multi-track area file
Topo maps for printing:
     Route to Scott's Pass     Loop Ride
Lodging, camping, shops:
     Links to Park City area resources

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updated 2020