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View from the left fork trail, looking southeast.

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

Cute dog by expensive bike.
View from the longer, but less steep right fork.

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

Coke cherries ripe on the tree.

Made it to the top!

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

Mud makes it more aerobic!
Monks Hollow Trail Map

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

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