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Mueller Park Trail

In Bountiful's Mill Creek Canyon is the Mueller Park trail, a great lower-altitude alpine ride.  Riders do this trail as a 7-mile out-and-back to Big Rock, a 13-mile out-and-back to Rudy's Flat, or as a 13-mile loop using North Canyon as either the descent or the climb.

Bruce Argyle rolls down the smooth lower half of Mueller Park.
June 21, 2000. Photo Brian Hoskins

The single-track is usually open by mid-April and stays clear of snow until October. There may be a few snowdrifts in the pines at the top until early June. The first half of the trail is smooth hard-pack dirt and is easy even for novices.  The half-way point is marked by a split in the trail going on to a big rock. This rock is officially named "Big Rock", but is called "Elephant Rock" by many locals. 

Looking down the canyon at Bountiful and the Great Salt Lake. May 28, 1998.

After Big Rock, the trail becomes slightly steeper and more affected by rocks and roots, rated a solid intermediate level for aerobic effort and technical skill.  From the trailhead at the edge of the city, the Mueller Park trail gradually rises 1900 vertical feet.  This is a solid (yet not unpleasant) aerobic workout. 

Gary rides past blooming balsamroot and oak brush on the lower trail. May 28, 1998.

For beginning riders, we recommend the ride to Big Rock. This lower portion of the trail is ready for riding in April while the upper half is still snowbound.

Rudy's Flat is a fun place to hang out and picnic before descending. Photo from a June 2000 ride.

 

The reverse loop uses North Canyon for the climb, with the descent down Mueller Park trail. Park at the Mueller Park trailhead. Bike back down the paved road 0.6 miles, turning left at the intersection. At 2.3 miles, turn left onto Canyon Creek. At 3.0 miles, the pavement ends. Proceed past the gate up the dirt road. Ignore branching roads at 4.0 through 4.1 miles, keeping straight ahead. At 4.4 miles, the dirt road ends, with the singletrack climbing up the draw on your left. The singletrack is an easier pace than the road. Switchback turns are easily rideable both uphill and down. At 7.0 miles, you reach Rudy's Flat. Ignore smaller trails branching off to the right. Begin the descent. At 9.9 miles, you'll reach the Big Rock turnoff, then the bridge to the parking area at 13.5 miles.

Gary hits a spot of trail where the spring runoff has turned the route into a creek. A few snowbanks bordered the upper trail in late May. In years with heavy snowpack, snow may persist at the top until July.

This shady trail on the upper mountain is rimmed with currant, wild rose, choke cherry, and elderberry. You'll see plenty of blooming Mule's Ear, Wasatch penstemmon, and wild onion. The crest near Rudy's Flat is a good place to spot Utah's state flower.

Sego Lily. June 21, 2000

The downhill run is a great confidence-builder. For the most part, the surface is smooth hardpack. The trail is wide and forgiving. Turns are wide, banked, and smooth as silk. (Watch the trail and keep your speed in control. On steeper spots you may have trouble stopping when you spot a dog or hiker while zooming around a corner at high speed!) 

Mueller Park is one of Utah's great classic rides. It gets a little crowded on weekends, but it's a ride you've got to do.

Pat swoops through the maples on the way down Mueller Park.

Getting there: On I-15, take the 2600 south Bountiful/Woods Cross exit. Go east towards the mountains. The road will turn north and be renamed Orchard Drive. While heading north, turn right (east) on 1800 south. This street takes you to the trailhead about 2 miles later, where you'll see parking places on the right side of the road. Go across the stream on the bridge to begin the ride.
Distances from Mueller Park trailhead:
Elephant Rock  3.4 miles
Rudy's Flat 6.3 miles
North Canyon ST end 8.5
Pavement North Canyon 10.0
Full loop back to Mueller trailhead 12.7

Riding resources for this trail:
Single-page riding guide
GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
      Mueller GPX only (to Rudy's Flat)
      Mueller and down North Canyon, loop   North Canyon only
High-res topo for printing: View Map
     Include North Canyon as loop:  View 
Lodging, camping, shops:
       Links to northern SLC resources
       Links to Ogden area resources

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