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Phosphate Hill  Loop Rides

The Phosphate Trail is a new addition to the Midway trails, looping around Phosphate Hill north of town. It lies on the western edge of the Dutch Hollow trail system. The western side of the loop joins a connector to the WOW (Wasatch Over Wasatch) Trail. While the Phosphate Trail itself is only 3.5 miles long, you must take other trails to ride the loop, so your minimum ride will be 6.3 miles.

Looking west on the descent into Pine Canyon, with the Wasatch Mountain State Park golf course below. Photos and review June 2, 2015 by Bruce.

On this page I'm describing two loop rides. One is a lariat from the WOW trailhead in Pine Canyon. This ride is 6.3 miles with 700 feet of climbing.

The second option below is a 9 mile loop from Dutch Hollow. This option has 1100 feet of climbing, and requires some navigation skills and careful map-following (or my GPS track). Many of the trail junctions in the Dutch Hollow system are unsigned as of June 2015.

Heading over from Dutch Hollow. We've climbed Sage Loop and will take Aqueduct uphill toward Prospect on a counterclockwise big loop.

Either loop ride will incorporate a bit of the Prospect trail, either as you approach Phosphate Hill from Dutch Hollow, or as the eastern piece of the loop if you're doing the shorter ride from Pine Canyon.

The Prospect Trail is smooth and relatively easy riding, with no steep parts.

This is a beautiful ride in maple and oak forest. There will be occasional nice views east over the valley of Heber and Midway as you climb and descend.

Heading uphill (westbound) on the northern side of the Phosphate trail loop. The forest is maple with a bit of tall gambel oak.

The northern side of the loop winds its way up and over a steep mountain ridge as it passes north of Phosphate Hill. The eastern slope tends to be smooth dirt trail with generous smooth turns passing through maple forest. You'll be torn, because a counterclockwise ride turns the east slope into a series of are great smooth climbing turns in a cooler climate. But these smooth turns also make for a swooping fast and fun descent.

Typical S turns for climbing or descending.

The western side of the north half of the loop is dryer, with oak brush. Here the turns tend to be tighter, forming hairpins. There's more loose rock in the tread, so the switchbacks are trickier both uphill and downhill than the turns on the east side of the saddle.

Choose your riding direction based on what you find fun -- or what you need to work on.

Looking north from the trail toward The Peak, which lies across the saddle from Phosphate Hill.

This northern half of the loop has a LOT of turns. 75 of them, if you care to count. If you struggle to make tight turns (uphill or down), this trail may involve a lot of dismounts. Or it may be just what you need to improve your turning speed and confidence.

Southbound through maple forest.

At the top of the ridge, enjoy the views of the granite mountains above Little Cottonwood to the northwest.

To the southwest, Timpanogos peeks from behind the Cascade Springs area, with Cascade Mountain to the south. You'll get a nice look at the Wasatch Mountain State Park golf course.

View northwest from the saddle.

At the far west side of the loop is a connector trail that descends 1.2 miles to highway 224 (note: may be labeled as 222). From Phosphate, it will drop 200 vertical feet, then climb back 100 vertical to the road.  (Turn count: 20 switchbacks!) Right across the road is the new WOW trail (partially completed at the time of this web page).

This trail would be your starting route uphill for the smaller loop ride (as shown below) from Pine Canyon.

Looking west, with Timpanogos on the skyline.

On the south side of Phosphate Hill, the trail is a high-speed traverse, with views of Midway and Burgi Hill to the south.

Heading east. That's Heber in the distance.

Ride option:  Lariat loop from Pine Canyon

6.3 miles, about 700 vertical feet of climbing. Starts on Highway 224 just uphill from the Wasatch Mountain State Park campground at 6200 feet elevation. Rides well both directions. Clockwise puts the tighter rockier west-side switchbacks on the uphill.

From the parking on the east side of the road, take the WOW connector trail southeast to the loop. (No signs as of June 2015.) For a counterclockwise ride, straight when you hit Phosphate, straight when you reach Prospect, left onto Phosphate's northeast end, hard right to descend to WOW.

Ride option:  Big loop from Dutch Hollow

9 miles, 1100 vertical feet of climbing. Starts at 5800 feet elevation in the main parking lot for Dutch Hollow. GPS track below takes Cottontail east path the bathroom, left on Sage Loop (keep right as Barrel joins), left on Aqueduct, uphill on DT. Find the top of Prospect (if you find trail going both directions as you turn left off the doubletrack, you're on Dutchman Way and need to keep going uphill). Take Prospect southwest to Phosphate. Loop around the hill. Go right when you reach Prospect, then left on Donkey Ridge and follow it back to parking.

Riding notes, Loop from Dutch Hollow:
0.0  East past bathroom N40 32.709 W111 27.198
       Immediate keep L uphill on Cottontail
       Keep R (steep horse route on L)
0.1  L on Sage Loop N40 32.737 W111 27.141
0.3  Keep R (L = end of Barrel)
       N40 32.832 W111 27.096
0.6  Join Sage uphill N40 33.047 W111 27.007
0.7  L on Aqueduct/Cottontail
       N40 33.121 W111 27.012
0.8  Keep R on Aqueduct (L = Cottontail)
       N40 33.085 W111 27.020
1.2  Keep R (L = Barrel) N40 33.117 W111 27.199
1.6  L to DT (doubletrack) and uphill
       N40 33.412 W111 27.181
1.7  Keep on DT (L = to Dutchman)
       N40 33.596 W111 27.299
2.1  L onto ST, Prospect Trail
       N40 33.847 W111 27.263
2.2  Keep R (L downhill = Dutchman)
       N40 33.752 W111 27.293
3.8  Hard R uphill on Phosphate
       N40 33.012 W111 28.151
5.0  Top of saddle, altitude 6800
6.3  Keep straight (R = WOW connector)
       N40 32.749 W111 28.978
7.3  Hard R onto Prospect
       N40 32.796 W111 28.087
7.4  Keep L downhill to Donkey Ridge
       N40 32.734 W111 28.070
8.1  Keep R (L = Dutchman Connector)
       N40 32.859 W111 27.567
8.5  Stay straight (R = Luge)
       N40 32.747 W111 27.383
8.6  Keep straight across Dutchman Way
       N40 32.750 W111 27.345
       Straight again N40 32.752 W111 27.317
8.8  Cross road N40 32.796 W111 27.259
       Fork R downhill on Cottontail
       N40 32.809 W111 27.241
8.9  Back at parking
NOTE!  The road to the Pine Canyon trailhead is labeled on my topo maps as highway 224, and on Google maps as 222.

Getting there, Pine Canyon (SR-222 vs 224) trailhead from Salt Lake City: Go up Parleys Canyon on I-80, then turn right (south) on US-40. Drive all the way into the middle of Heber, then at 100 South turn right on SR 113 to Midway. In the middle of Midway, continue straight as SR 113 turns south, and you'll be on SR 222/224. Go 2 blocks  to 200 East and turn right. Turn left at 200 North and go about 1/2 mile west and SR 222/224 will turn right to be northbound again. When the road turns west, turn right to stay east of the golf course on 222/224. Once you pass the campground, look for the parking area on the right about 1/4 mile uphill.

Pine Canyon Trailhead from Provo Canyon: Drive east to the end of Deer Creek Reservoir. Right where the water ends, turn left (north) on U-113. Zero your odometer. Drive north 3.8 miles into Midway. On Main Street, turn left (west) onto Highway 222/ 224. Follow the signs for Wasatch Mountain State Park and/or for Guardsman Pass, staying on 222/224 as below. When you pass the campground (on your left), watch for a gravel pull-out area on the right side of the road about 1/4 mile later. The trail starts across the road from this parking spot.
Getting there, Dutch Hollow trailhead:  From Provo Canyon, drive east to the end of Deer Creek Reservoir. Right where the water ends, turn left (north) on U-113. Zero your odometer. Drive north 3.8 miles into Midway, and turn right (east) as U-113 turns right in the middle of town. 0.4 miles later (mile 4.2), turn left (north) on 400 East (River Road). This is the road that goes just to the west of the memorial hill. At mile 5.4 you'll hit a traffic circle. Take the first exit (not the driveway, though), so you'll turn from north to east. At mile 6.1, a sign points you to Dutchman Hollow - Dutch Canyon. Turn left and drive 0.5 mile on pavement. The pavement ends at a turnaround where the Dutchman Way trail begins, GPS N 40 32.495' W 111 27.224'. Turn right downhill at the sign for Wasatch Mountain State Park. The preferred parking area is 0.3 miles down the gravel road to your right. Trailhead info (and bathroom) is at GPS N 40 32.704' W 111 27.187'
From Salt Lake City: Go up Parleys Canyon on I-80, then turn right (south) on US-40. Just after descending from the dam, watch for River Road on your right. Drive about 2 miles, turning right at the Dutch Canyon sign. Find the trailhead as above.
Riding resources:
Single-page riding guide, big loop from Dutch Hollow
Trail page links 
Dutch Hollow    WOW
GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
   GPX multi-track area file
   6-mile Lariat from SR224   9-mile loop from Dutch Hollow
High-res 2015 topo map:  View printable topo map 
Lodging, camping, shops:     Links to area resources

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