||Park City Town Loop
The Park City Town Loop is a dang good ride. There's 7 miles
on dirt, of which 5 is high-quality forested singletrack. This loop links
the Sweeney Switchbacks, John's, and Gravedigger trails for a nice taste
of Park City riding without spending all day. It's intermediate with a few
slightly technical spots, climbing 1200 feet.
Climbing the Sweeney Switchbacks, the
Town Lift crosses the trail. Photos June 18, 2002 by Bruce
|The ride begins at 7000 feet on Lowell Avenue, via a short
doubletrack that takes you to the nicely-buff North Sweeney Switchbacks.
The climb is fairly gentle, through choke cherry, aspen, fir, and a maple
or two. Wildflowers include Wasatch penstemmon, scarlet gilia, and
balsamroot. Sweeney's connects to the top of the Town Lift via a stretch
of gravel road.
Most of the trail is sweet and buff.
There are a few slightly technical spots, especially on the Gravedigger
||From the ride's high point (8200 feet), you'll drop onto the
insane John's Trail. This trail bobs and weaves through tight
aspens, with more hairpin turns and root maneuvers than you can count. No
chance to let it roll -- you're constantly making a move to clear a root,
dodge an aspen, or roll a tight turn. If
you're an advanced rider, the aspen-run is a fun mile, but it's a bit of work. If you're
struggling, well, think of it as bike-control practice.
Near the Town Lift stand the remains
of an old mine building.
|Personally, I think John's Trail is the highlight of the
whole loop. I love this trail, both uphill and down. It's best on a plush
full-suspension bike -- DH or freerider.
Gravedigger offers a different type of technical when it
climbs up the rocks and roots, but it also offers a bit of cruising. The
trail exits the shade of the firs into gambel oak, then drops down to the
dirt road where you'll bomb back to town via Daly Canyon.
A look forward on John's Trail, as the
route bobs and weaves through twisted aspens.
0.0 Head up doubletrack, keep straight at 0.1
0.3 Fork L to climb singletrack (N Sweeney)
N Sweeney Switchbacks
0.85 Keep L uphill as trail joins
1.15 Fork, turn hard R
1.6 R on doubletrack (ignore singletrack across road)
1.7 Fork hard L on singletrack
1.8 Fork R uphill (L= to John's at m4.4)
2.0 Keep left onto gravel road uphill
2.7 Saddle, turn L past Town Lift on singletrack
2.8 Fork, turn R downhill
4.4 Fork R (L=connector from Sweeney's m1.8)
N 40° 38.415' W 111°
4.85 Cross road to find singletrack
5.15 Dump down onto DT, go uphill
5.15 Cross creek onto ST
6.0 Singletrack drops onto road
Follow road around bend
6.2 Drop down L past water tank
6.9 Pavement. At stop sign, angle across to Park Ave.
Turn L just past tram on
8th St., becomes Tram Crescent
At Empire Ave, turn left,
follow curve around to
8.2 Back at car
Getting there: On Park City's main drag, turn towards
Park City Mountain Resort. Keep straight on Three Kings, then turn left
between parking lots on Lowell Drive. Keep straight past the resort. When
you reach the spot where the road turns around in a loop, the doubletrack
straight ahead is the trail. N 40° 38.785' W 111°
Mike J. cruises out of deep fir