Monks Hollow Trail
The Monks Hollow Trail is an ATV trail that's also popular
with mountain bikers. The trail isn't at all technically difficult, but the sustained
climb may be tough for beginning bikers. Vertical rise is 1900 feet over 7 miles, to the
ridgeline at 7000 feet. Out-and-back is 14 miles. For a good intermediate rider, riding
time will be about 2-1/2 hours.
Much of the trail runs through small groves of Gambel Oak.
August 25, 1999 by Bruce Argyle
From the trailhead, you have a choice of a route to the
left that's 1 mile shorter, but has a tougher initial climb. This trail gains 500 vertical
feet within 1/2 mile. It joins the main path at 1.5 miles.
The straight-ahead route (up the road, then across the wash to the left at
0.5 miles) is a steady but mild incline that winds around the hillsides. Most riders will
prefer this path.
Jackie enjoys a brief
respite from the sun alongside the Mad Scientist's bike. August 25, 1999 by Bruce Argyle
The lower sections of the trail travel through raw dirt
hillsides studded with juniper. At this low altitude temperatures can be very hot in the
middle of the day.
The trail rises to rolling grass meadows with clusters of oak trees.
You'll see plenty of squirrels, chipmonks, and lizards. And maybe deer or elk -- at the
right time of day.
View on the lower trail showing juniper and red hillsides
right fork trail). August 25, 1999
Higher up, the trail passes through cedar trees, maple,
choke cherry, and maybe a pine tree or two. Between groves of trees, you'll still
appreciate rolling meadows with fabulous views of mountain peaks several valleys away.
A couple of choke cherries darken in the sun along the side
of the trail. Photo August 25, 1999 by Bruce Argyle
At the summit ridgeline, you'll have a view back into
Diamond Fork, and a forward view towards Spanish Fork Canyon. Although the trail continues
on, this is the turn-around point for most bikers, for a round trip of 14 miles.
The downhill run is fast and not-too-tricky. Unless you meet a
teenager-driven ATV coming fast around a corner. So stay in control.
View from the ridgetop looking south into Spanish Fork
Canyon. August 25, 1999 by Bruce Argyle
During the Mad Scientist's weekday ride on this trail, not a single other
human was encountered. The only sound was the flipping of mud off the bike tires and the
panting of Jackie as she ran alongside the bike.
Getting there: Going south, take the first Spanish Fork exit from I-15 (US-6 to Price and Manti).
Go east on US-6 and enter Spanish Fork Canyon. Drive 5.5 miles from the mouth of the
canyon then turn left on the Diamond Fork road. Drive 7.6 miles and spot a small turnout
on the right, with a one-lane bridge going over the river and a small sign brown saying
"72." GPS N 40° 04.480' W 111° 23.510'.
Note: I haven't been to Monk's
Hollow since the road and water project construction was finished in July
2004. The trailhead, and trail layout, may have changed.
Riding the morning after a very heavy rain, wet trail
surfaces made it hard work grinding uphill. August 25, 1999 by Bruce Argyle
The trail begins just across the bridge. The left branch turns immediately
left, going past the side of the wooden barn: after dipping through the wash, keep right
and climb the hill. The right branch heads up the dirt road, where you'll see a small
section of wooden fence with an ATV-sized hole in it on your left. Drop through the deep
wash and up the other side, turning right on the trail.
|Other ways you can get to the Diamond Fork
trails: (1) Hobble Creek: From Springville, head up Hobble Creek Canyon.
Once you enter the canyon, keep right at every fork in the road. You'll cross
over the pass and down into Diamond Fork. You'll reach the Diamond Fork Road
about 13 miles after leaving Springville. (2) Ray's Valley Road: In
Spanish Fork Canyon, go a few miles further up the canyon to Ray's Valley Road.
You can access the trails directly from the paved road, or continue onto the
dirt road (keep left at the intersection with the Strawberry road) and down into
Diamond Fork. You'll reach the paved Diamond Fork road about 17 miles after
leaving US-6. (3) Strawberry: From US-40, turn south at the
westernmost end of the reservoir. Drive 8 miles on pavement then turn right onto
a dirt road. (Note: May be paved as of July 2004.) About 7 miles later, it will meet the dirt extension of Ray's
Valley Road. Keep right and drop 2 miles down to the Diamond Fork road.
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