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.
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)
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
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,
|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