Pine Hollow is a relatively steep and direct trail in
American Fork Canyon. It can be used as a climber or descending route. It
runs from its own trailhead on the Alpine Loop road to Ridge 157 about
midway between the Alpine Loop summit and the Tibble Fork - Deer Creek
South Fork junction. Because of tough climbing, roots, and steep
side-slopes this trail rates upper-intermediate in both technical and aerobic
Mad Scientist and dog at
the Pine Hollow trailhead in 1999, ready to start an adventure. Photo by
Matt Flygare. Original trail review August 21, 1999 with latest update
August 17, 2018.
|One big advantage that Pine Hollow offers is a relatively
non-crowded trailhead. When everywhere else in American Fork Canyon is
overflowing with mobs of people, you can usually find a parking spot at Pine Hollow to begin
Pine Hollow also the uppermost trailhead for winter riding. The winter gates
are located just uphill from the Pine Hollow trailhead. So this is the
spot to park if you're headed to the summit on your fat bike.
enjoys the early-morning sunshine in 2014. For winter riding in the Alpine
Loop area, start at Pine Hollow.
||The trail starts right across the street from the entry to the parking
area. This first section of
Pine Hollow is modestly steep and narrow, and will immediately challenge your lungs as well as your
If you don't like stiff climbing on a narrow trail, you can always ride
up the road to the "T" and head into the Timpooneke campground.
Because the Timpanooke trailhead is often completely full on weekends,
many riders park at Pine Hollow and ride up the road to the Salamander
Flat trail 150.
Matt attacks Pine Hollow in 1999 --
temporarily standing up on his exhausted legs so the photo will look
Bring your fossil book. In the limestone, you'll find
organisms from the
era when Utah was under the
ocean, about 320 million years ago. This is a crinoid stem.
various gastropod shells (similar to clams and snails).
The brown lace-like fossil is a
bryozoan, a type of
These rock outcrops are found on the lower Pine Hollow
||The overall average grade is around 650 vertical feet per
mile. This is a substantial slope. Most riders will attack a section of
around 1/10th mile, then put out a foot to rest before moving on. At
least, that's what I do.
Looking up the trail. The next root challenge awaits
in the upper mid-photo. Not a big deal on flat ground, but when you're
barely crawling up a steep slope, you don't have much momentum to work
|At mile 0.8 from the Pine Hollow trailhead, the Salamander
Flat trail comes in on your right. If you're heading for the Willow Hollow
trail or Timpooneke (Timpanogos Perimeter or Bear Canyon), fork to the
If you're heading for the Ridge trail or Tibble
Fork, Deer Creek South Fork, or Mill
Canyon, continue uphill on Pine Hollow.
The Pine Hollow and Salamander Flat trails meet in a
||To stay on Pine Hollow, keep left at the Salamander Flat
fork and begin a grunt climb through tall fir trees. This tough section is
known affectionately as Pine Hollow's "Puke Hill."
The grunt slope lasts about 2/10ths of a mile. During that
time, you'll gain 200 vertical feet.
Got leg? Bruce grunts up through a rooty
section on upper Pine Hollow.
|The terrain now levels out, and there's some beautiful
riding through aspen forest. You'll reach the Ridge trail at mile 1.6 and
you'll have climbed around 1000 vertical feet. Now that's a slope!
Enjoying the cruise through aspen forest after the
grunt climb is finished.
||If you stay right, it will take you southbound on the Ridge
trail 157. For example, 1/2 mile away is the Ridge Connector trail down to
Salamander Flat. This is a rather techy descent, and is part of the
classic Salamander Flat Loop.
If you go further south toward the summit trailhead, you'll hit some
very steep and rough trail. It's likely you'll do some push-a-bike, but
Coming to Ridge 157. Where now?
|If you make a hard left onto Ridge 157, you're headed for Tibble
Fork, Mill Canyon, and Deer Creek South
Fork. These make some nice
Or you can stay on Ridge 157 all the way to Pole Line Pass, then drop
down the gravel North Fork road and connect back to Pine Hollow with 4.5
miles of pavement.
Lots of great options from the top of Pine Hollow!
Steep trail. As an uphill it's best reserved for strong legs and lungs.
As a downhill, it's a fairly direct plunge back to the trailhead, with
some narrow areas on steep sideslope -- in the oak brush -- that make
Great place to start when other trailheads are overflowing with cars.
Pine Hollow. Not the easiest trail you've ever done.
||Getting there: From I-15, take the Alpine-Highland exit
just south of Point-of-the-Mountain. Go east towards the mountains on UT-92 and continue
up American Fork Canyon. There's a $6 fee per car (as of 2018). About 6 miles up the canyon, turn left at the
North Fork junction and drive 2 miles to Tibble Fork Reservoir. (While riding the loop,
you'll ride up the South Fork from this same junction.) Or park at the junction and end
your ride with a 2-mile road cruise from the reservoir.
Camping: Multiple developed and primitive campgrounds nearby