||Upper Pahvant System
Faulty, Juniper Drop, Spinal Tap Area
Pahvant trails lie on the hillside west of I-70 in Richfield, with
singletrack trails ranging from beginner to expert. There are also some
ATV trails in the area that are occasionally used by cyclists. This page covers the trails on the
upper mountain, above the top of Kiln-It. See the lower
Pahvant trail page for information on lower trails.
Looking east on Juniper Drop after completing the
Photos and review by Bruce on September
| The expected riding season
would be mid-May through October. The upper singletrack trails in the
Pahvant System include intermediate (Faulty) and expert (Juniper Drop and
Spinal Tap). True beginners should not ride the upper
mountain at this time. Stick to lower Kiln-It and lower Cairn-Age.
Looking uphill on FR 096, a bit uphill from the top
||Many riders prefer to climb FR096 by car or bike in
order to ride the upper mountain. From the
bottom of FR096, it's 4.1 miles and 1400 vertical feet to the top of
If you pedaled Kiln-It uphill, you still have the option of using the gravel road for
1.8 miles and 450 vertical. Or you can connect to Faulty for the
Looking west from the ridgeline near FR 096 (I'm on
the flag line for what will apparently be a future trail parallel to
The Faulty trail is 3.7 miles in length with 600 feet of elevation
change. The top elevation is 6850. It extends from FR096 (across from
One-in-a-Pinion) down to Kiln-It near the top of Cairn-Age. Faulty is a
two-way trail, used for climbing to the top of Spinal Tap, or as a descent
after climbing FR096.
When climbing on FR096, look for an ATV track on your right as you
climb northwest on a ridgeline, 1.8 miles from the top of Kiln-It.
(Immediately after the trail forks away, the gravel road descends into a
small valley.) There's a "Faulty" sign on a carsonite post.
Entry to the Cottonwood Creek Wash ATV track and
||After about 100 yards on the doubletrack, veer right
(there's a sign) at the Faulty singletrack. (The ATV route heads over to
the edge of Cottonwood Creek Wash.)
To find Faulty for an uphill climb, get to upper Kiln-It. When climbing Kiln-It, watch for it at mile 3.5 after you
pass the top of Cairn-Age. If you're starting from FR096 at the top of Kiln-It, pedal 0.7 miles
on Kiln-It and look for the trail
on your left.
Rolling on the upper section of Faulty. The trail
trends up and down.
Faulty has a lot of up-and-down riding, which will add a bit of
climbing whichever direction you're headed. There will be a few rock drops and
rollovers, but in general it's bench-cut dirt. Most riders are now using
Faulty as a climber rather than a downhill.
Looking at an alternate line. Riders heading uphill
can roll over to this ridgeline and take a 5-foot drop, then rejoin the
||The terrain alternates between red and white clay in pinion
pine forest with an occasional juniper and short meadows of sage scrub.
mile 2.0 from the top, Juniper Drop forks away downhill. If you're climbing, Juniper Drop is at mile 1.7
Pinion pine and white clay.
Juniper Drop descends southeast from Faulty. It drops 250 vertical feet
over 0.6 miles, then goes gently uphill 0.1 more mile to end on upper
Kiln-It, just 30 feet from its origin on FR096.
At the start of Juniper Drop on Faulty.
||Juniper drop features frequent highly-banked turns and lots
-- lots -- of rock drops. Some are little; some are big. At the time of my
lines for ride-arounds are not fully developed on all drops. So if you're
not a confident ledge-dropper, you'll need to get off and walk a couple of
View southeast on Juniper Drop. There three small
drops between the camera and the bermed right turn in mid-photo.
|Several of the drops are big enough that you can't roll
them. You need to take them airborne, controlling the attitude of the bike
as you leave the edge. There are a few series of drops -- so non-experts
should control their speed enough that they can rebalance and pick their
line for the next drop.
Looking back uphill at two drops, each about 4 feet.
The top drop is a full-on air launch, the closer one can be rolled.
One in a Pinion follows the ridgeline south from FR096 at the top of
Faulty. It is 1.1 miles long with trivial elevation change. It's a two-way
trail with some nice views into the wash. It can be done as an
out-and-back, or as a connector to the Spinal Tap downhill-only trail.
Views from the ridge are nice!
Spinal Tap is a downhill one-way trail that begins at mile 1.1 of
One-in-a-Pinion. (It requires expert skills, so others should turn back.)
The trail is 4.5 miles long, dropping 1300 feet in elevation.
Riders are raving about Spinal Tap.
Spinal Tap ends on FR096 just west of the freeway. To head back
uphill, climb the road a bit over 1/2 mile and find Tank Run on your right just above
the water tank. It will take you to either Big Red or Kiln-It. (See the lower
Pahvant trails page.)
Nice long downhill with good flow.
|Upper Cottonwood Wash ATV trail (alternate)
At the top of Faulty, you can keep left and follow the 2.3-mile ATV
trail downhill to the Kiln-It/Cairn-Age intersection. Like many ATV
trails, it's loose and often steep, tending to go over small hills instead
of around them. Riders are still using this ATV track occasionally, mostly
for a few nice views into massive Cottonwood Wash.
Keep right (on top of the
ridge) at mile 1.6 where a larger ATV route drops steeply into the wash.
Keep heading east. At a fork at mile 1.9, turn left and the track will
take you to the top of Cairn-Age. (The right fork takes you steeply uphill
to the top of Kiln-It.)
View into Cottonwood Creek Wash.
||Scorpion ATV trail 084 (alternate)
At FR096 mile mile 3.9 (1.4 miles from the top of Kiln-It) an ATV route
forks away on the uphill side of a 150-degree right-hand turn. After
climbing to a ridge line, it turns and descends east back to the edge of
the freeway. There are some confusing spots where ATV tracks join/leave.
It's around 4.7 miles to the bottom. Here a left turn on dirt road can
take you back to FR 096.
I saw no bike tracks on Scorpion at 2 weeks since the last rain. Since
Spinal Tap was finished in 2020, almost no bikers ride the ATV trail.
Top of ATV trail 084.
North parking: At the north Richfield exit from I-70, turn north (toward the mountains).
As the pavement ends, turn right into the ATV parking area. Start the ride
by crossing the main road to the small gravel road heading southwest
parallel to the freeway. After 1/2 mile, follow the trail sign by turning
right on a smaller gravel ATV track. (Note there's room for a couple of
cars here where the doubletrack splits.) Veer left onto singletrack after
Main parking: From Richfield's Main Street, turn west on 300
North. As you approach the freeway, turn left into the ATV parking lot.
Pedal under I-70 to head uphill on FR096 to reach the top of Kiln-It.
Shuttle: Top of Kiln-It: Drive FR 096 2.2 miles and
find DT on your right with a carsonite trail marker. Top of Faulty:
continue to mile 4.1 of FR096 and find marked ATV track on the right.
Bathrooms and water: none at trailheads (businesses nearby)