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Potato Hill Trail
and Red Potato Trail

The Potato Hill trail starts at a trailhead on Traverse Mountain Road and descends to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST) just west of Coyote Hollow. It's only 1/2 mile in length, but offers nice views and connections between trails to create new riding options. The Red Potato trail (new in 2014) extends from the Potato Hill trailhead west 0.7 miles downhill to the BST just east of Red Rocks.

View west from the overlook on Potato Hill. Potato Hill trail photos and GPS tracks August 17, 2011 by Bruce. Red Potato trail added May 20, 2014.

The Potato Hill trailhead parking has been expanded and paved to meet demand. It's located on Traverse Mountain Road, about half-way between Highland Drive and the Traverse Mountain summit.

This trailhead also provides a nice start for riding Ann's Trail as part the Draper Rim Loop (11.5 miles, 1500 vertical when you include the Potato Hill trail downhill to the BST at the start of the ride). And for bigger miles, when you reach the top of Clarks add a loop of Rush-down, Canyon Hollow-up for a total 17 miles, 2300 vertical.

Here's the Potato Hill trailhead, on the north side of Traverse Mountain Road, right below the Roadie Wind Tunnel Balance-test Section. (You roadies know what I mean.) There are 30 parking places in the paved lot. If it's full, drop down to the Little Valley trailhead, just 100 yards down the road.

At the trailhead, the break in the fence on the north is the bike entry to Red Potato and Potato Hill. The cindered path leaving the east side of the parking lot (near the bathroom) turns west and crosses the Potato Hill trail before ending 100 yards later at to the viewpoint over the city. It's worth going up there to look around.

Looking north from the viewpoint at the end of the cindered path.

The Potato Hill trail lets you create a small (4.6 mile) eastern loop with the BST, Clark's and Ann's trails. Red Potato lets you combine Ann's and the BST for a western loop of 6 miles.

A nice beginner ride is a loop using Potato Hill, BST, and Red Potato. This little loop is only 2.2 miles with 250 vertical feet of climbing. We decided to call this little ride "the Potato Soup loop."

Alex Argyle descends Red Potato as we ride the "Potato Soup" beginner loop before heading on to Ann's and Rush.

Potato Hill Trail

After the entry through the log fence, the Potato Hill trail is to your right. About 1/10 mile later, fork hard left to stay on Potato Hill. (Straight ahead is a short connector that continues east a few feet to Ann's Trail where it enters/exits the underpass.) 

Heading northeast toward Corner Canyon on the Potato Hill trail.

The Potato Hill trail descends a broad valley, turning slowly east into Corner Canyon. It reaches the Bonneville Shoreline trail about 1/2 mile west of the junction with Clarks Trail above the Coyote Hollow trailhead.

Potato Hill is also a great trail for climbing, with gentle slope and nothing tricky. There's 150 vertical feet of elevation change over the half-mile between the BST and the Potato Hill trailhead.

Exposed corner as we look north.

Red Potato Trail
As you go through the gate, Red Potato forks west to your left. This descends 0.7 miles as it heads slightly west to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.

View west as Alex Argyle enters Red Potato, just past the first fence. (The fence on the right is to keep short-cutters from heading directly up to the viewpoint.)

 

Red Potato has 250 vertical feet of elevation change as it descends the mountain from the trailhead. It will join the Bonneville Shoreline trail about 0.2 miles east of the Red Rock trailhead on Mike Weir drive.

Alex descends Red Potato. Nicely done, Draper Trail Crew!

The trail has long traverses with a steady slope, interrupted by three or four switchbacks. The turns make Red Potato more challenging for beginning riders than Potato Hill. Walk what you must.

In May 2014, the upper switchbacks are still a bit rough. The lower part of the trail has been buffed baby-smooth by volunteer trailworkers.

  
Sample Ride:  Eastern Potato Hill mini-loop
This loop descends Potato Hill and heads east on the BST. It climbs Clarks to Anns, which returns us to the trailhead area.

Eastern Potato Hill mini-loop, clockwise:
0.0  North, then L after fence N40 29.305 W111 50.924
       Go NW up to viewpoint N40 29.326 W111 50.968
       Backtrack to fence, veer L (east)
0.2  L (North) downhill on Potato Hill N40 29.286 W111 50.845
0.7  Keep straight (east) on BST N40 29.479 W111 50.539
1.3  Straight (R) over bridge to Clarks N40 29.562 W111 50.220
2.6  Hard R onto Ann's N40 29.204 W111 49.380
4.6  R onto connector to Potato Hill N40 29.266 W111 50.815
4.8  Back at trailhead

Descending Potato Hill toward the BST.

Sample Ride:  Western Red Potato mini-loop
This ride climbs Ann's westbound to the Maple Hollow area then descends to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. The route goes eastbound on the BST to climb Red Potato back to the trailhead. Or, you can add a mile to the ride by continuing past Red Potato on the BST to climb Potato Hill.

Western Red Potato mini-loop, clockwise:
0.0  North through fence N40 29.305 W111 50.924
       then  R (east) downhill toward Ann's N40 29.286 W111 50.845
       R into underpass N40 29.270 W111 50.837
       Keep L as Little Valley forks R
1.5  Straight as Maple Hollow joins from L N40 28.647 W111 51.340
1.6  L as Maple Hollow drops R N40 28.635 W111 51.343
3.5  R onto road N40 28.880 W111 52.017
       then rapid L onto singletrack
4.0  Under road N40 29.054 W111 51.965
       At tunnel exit, fork R on BST N40 29.075 W111 51.989
4.9  Cross street, L uphill on ST N40 29.163 W111 51.645
5.3  Keep L uphill (R = down to TH) N40 29.295 W111 51.338
       Then straight (180-R = Red Rock trail)
5.4  R uphill on Red Potato
6.1  Back at Potato Hill TH

Alex heads east on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail as we approach Potato Hill.

Sample Ride:  Beginner "Potato Soup" Loop
This ride descends Red Potato, forks to the right (eastbound) on the Bonneville Shoreline trail, then climbs back up Potato Hill. It's suitable for beginners at 2.2 miles and 250 vertical feet of climbing.

0.0 Through fence at TH N40 29.312 W111 50.934
       then L down Red Potato
0.7  Hard R onto BST N40 29.344 W111 51.156
1.6  Hard R uphill onto Potato Hill N40 29.477 W111 50.532
2.1  Hard R uphill to stay on Potato Hill N40 29.285 W111 50.843
       Straight = to Ann's
2.2  L into parking

Heading eastbound, Alex approaches the intersection between the Bonneville Shoreline and Potato Hill on the Potato Soup Loop.

Sample Ride:  Potato Bow-Tie -- a Figure 8 of Draper's best
This awesome ride comes highly recommended. It can be managed by early-intermediates with reasonable leg endurance. The figure eight is 12.2 miles, with 6 miles on each side of the bow-tie. You can cut the ride in half at the mid-point if you need to. Total climbing will be around 1500 feet.

Begin the ride from the Potato Hill trailhead by taking the Potato Hill trail over to Ann's Trail and heading east. (Leave Potato Hill at the first fork by keeping straight and heading for the tunnel. Don't enter the tunnel. Keep left on eastbound Ann's.)

Alex Argyle is almost to the Clark's intersection on Ann's.

Climb to the top of Ann's and join Clarks to reach the Peak View Trailhead. Now plunge down Rush. Bail off Rush when Canyon Hollow crosses it near the bottom and take lower Canyon Hollow over to Coyote Hollow, where you'll climb up to the Bonneville Shoreline trail westbound.

Fork uphill on Potato Hill. Near the trailhead, join Ann's, but this time, go to the right and pass through the tunnel. Head west (consider the fun detour on Little Valley) climbing Ann's then descending back to the BST.

Take the BST eastbound to Red Potato, then climb up to the trailhead.

Alex plunges down Rush on the figure-eight ride.

Potato Bow-Tie Figure-eight Ride:
0.0   At TH, R on Potato Hill N40 29.312 W111 50.930
0.1   Straight at fork N40 29.286 W111 50.844
        L (eastbound) on Ann's N40 29.276 W111 50.834
2.2   Straight (R) and join Clark's N40 29.204 W111 49.382
2.4   Peak View TH. L on Rush N40 29.292 W111 49.247
2.8   L on Rush (R = The Trees) N40 29.266 W111 49.430
3.2   The Trees rejoins N40 29.461 W111 49.435
3.9   Keep L (R = to Canyon Hollow) N40 29.670 W111 49.583
4.5   L on Canyon Hollow N40 29.715 W111 49.928
4.9   Keep L, then L uphill N40 29.618 W111 50.312
        (Straight = to Coyote Hollow TH)
5.1   L on Bonneville Shoreline N40 29.560 W111 50.233
5.6   L on Potato Hill N40 29.479 W111 50.535
6.1   Straight (L = to TH) N40 29.286 W111 50.844
        then R into Tunnel on Ann's westbound
6.3   Straight (R = Little Valley option) N40 29.175 W111 50.816
6.5   Keep L (R = Little Valley) N40 29.061 W111 50.916
7.5   Maple Hollow joinsN40 28.649 W111 51.339
        200 ft, then keep L on Ann's N40 28.635 W111 51.342
8.0   Keep straight (L = to Maple Hollow TH)
        N40 28.493 W111 51.586
9.6   R on Bonneville Shoreline N40 28.874 W111 52.037
10.0 Through tunnel, R on BST (L = Oak Hollow)
        N40 29.075 W111 51.989
10.9 Cross road N40 29.166 W111 51.652
11.2 Keep R (L = to TH) N40 29.294 W111 51.344
        then stay on BST (R = Red Rocks)
11.4 R onto Red Potato N40 29.344 W111 51.156
12.2 Back at TH
Getting there: Take the Bluffdale exit from I-15 and turn east towards the mountains on Highland Drive. At the light at the top of the hill, turn right on Traverse Mountain Road. After one mile, pass Mike Weir Drive on your left. Look for the Potato Hill TH on your left about mile 1.3 from the light.

Note: See the Ann's Trail page (or click link to topo map below) for overview of some other loop ride options. For a nearby easy ride, see the Little Valley page.

Bathrooms: At Potato Hill trailhead.
Water: None at the trailhead
Camping: No
Dogs: On leash (Dogs NOT allowed on Maple Hollow DH, Rush, or Ghost Falls!)

Riding resources:
Printable one-page guide to smaller rides
One-page guide to the Bow Tie ride
GPS track files (right-click and select "Save Target as..."):
        The Potato Bow Tie figure-eight ride!
        Draper Area Trails GPX    Potato Hill - Ann's - BST Loop
        Potato Hill-Ann's-BST Loop with Rush-Canyon Hollow
        Potato Soup Beginner Loop (Red Potato + BST + Potato Hill)
        Eastern Potato Hill mini-loop    Western mini-loop
        Red Potato Only   Potato Hill Only
Topo map for printing:  View
Corner Canyon area trail overview page
Lodging, camping, shops:     Links to southern SLC resources