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View west looking over the North Fork of the Provo River.

Provo North Fork

The Provo North Fork Trail is a double-track that rolls up and down through ponderosa and lodgepole pines on its way to the North Fork of the Provo River. Altitude is 7,500 feet. There's about 200 feet of elevation gain over the two miles of this trail. The trail can be ridden as a four-mile out-and-back, or as a loop -- if you're lucky enough to find your way to the forest road on the other side of the creek for the return trip.

View of the north fork at the trail's end. September 7, 1999 by Bruce Argyle

Across the road from this trail is the trailhead for the North Fork Scenic Byway Trail. It's a beginning-level trail.

We'd call this an early-intermediate trail. The road isn't as easy to ride as you might think. There are steep rocky sections to test your climbing power and bike handling ability. And sandy sections to test your thigh and side-slipping control. And even in the middle of summer, we found deep mud pockets to maneuver around (or through).

A smooth section of the road between small rocky hills. September 7, 1999

Looking north along the trail.

Most of the time, you're riding through big pines. You won't see grand vistas. At the road's end, you pull your bike through the fence on your left and spend some time playing at the river.
Fresh berries.

Across the river, you may find a faint trail, which you can follow around to a forest access road that will take you back to the Mirror Lake Highway about 1/4 mile downhill from your starting point. Or you can head back the way you came.

One of the trail's tastiest treats. Sometimes called a thimbleberry, the fruits are exactly like raspberry

This is not a high-voltage ride. But it's something you can do in less than an hour while the kids are chasing squirrels, or while waiting for the charcoal to be ready for the hamburgers. And it does give you good practice at rock-banging and charging rough hills in a non-dangerous situation.

The reddish rock along the streams is Precambrian quartzite, formed from sandstone deposited over 500 million years ago. The Uinta Mountains formed as an up-warp between 40 and 80 million years ago. The overlying layers -- hundreds of millions of years of sediments hardened into rock -- eroded away as the area rose higher.

Remnants of old logging activity. Some stumps in the Uintas are over 100 years old. September 7, 1999

View along the creek, looking south.

Hawberries ripen in September. Getting there: In Kamas, turn east towards the mountains on the well-marked Mirror Lake Highway. Drive 6 miles to the fee station and pay your $3. Then drive another 5 miles. Just after passing the "North Fork Trailhead" parking on your right, you'll see a small pull-off on the left side of the road, labeled "8075." Park here and grind on up the road.

Hawberries, delicious when eaten right off the bush or tree. September 7, 1999 by Bruce Argyle

Riding resources:
One-page riding guide
Lodging, camping, shops:
     Links to western Uinta area resources

 

Copyright 2002 Mad Scientist Software Inc

Provo North Fork Trail Map

Easy yet powerful. PAIGE for patient instructions!