via East Side Ridge
You've looked at Pot Hollow, and noticed that there's a loop of
singletrack trail around Mill Canyon Peak. Wow. Looks like a great add-on,
OK. This trail is mean. Brutal. Painful. It's only for the most skilled
and strongest bikers. Still want to do it? Read on.
View of Lone Peak and the Snowbird
Ridge from Ridge Trail 157. Photos August 12, 2006.
|If you haven't already, go to the "normal sane
person" Pot Hollow Page, and read about
the trail. That page shows you the official ride. On this page, I show you
the areas you WON'T see on that ride, but would see if you're tough enough
to ride the East Side Ridge Trail.
Pot Hollow via the East Side is an 18.7-mile ride, 23.7 if you start
from Cascade Springs. There will be only 2900 hundred vertical of
climbing, but the steep and technical spots on the East Side Ridge Trail
will beat you up. Done as described below, you can expect some short
push-a-bike uphills and some spooky mountain-surfing steep downhills. And
don't underestimate the difficulty of pushing your bike uphill at 9000
On Ridge 157, we're heading south
toward Forest Lake.
||If you ride this trail, the payoff is I make somebody else
suffer as much as I did. No seriously, there's beautiful mountain scenery,
plus a chance to really challenge yourself. But it is a very, very hard
Staying on Ridge 157, you'll climb an extra 700 vertical feet to Rock
Springs. There are fantastic views, and except for a couple of short
painful steeps just past Forest Lake, it's not a bad ride at all. At
least, so far.
We're at Rock Springs. I don't see a
"No Swimming" sign...
|Just past Rock Springs, you'll fork left onto the East Side
Ridge Trail. From the fork, you'll climb gently toward the southern ridge
of Mill Canyon Peak. Then you'll traverse along an old erosion trench back
toward the north. So far, so good.
Now it gets ugly. You'll suddenly plunge 500 vertical in less than 1/3
mile through torn-up rough switchbacks. Then it's another 3/4 mile of
technical up-and-down riding. Pedal what you can; walk the rest. Then the
mountain mellows a little. No, it's only toying with you. It's another
plunge of 400 vertical in 1/3 mile. Then more up-and-down.
We're on the East Side Ridge Trail,
heading slightly uphill southwest toward the ride's high point on the
southern flank of Mill Canyon Peak.
||The ride mellows out a little now. There are some long
descents, a few flat meadows, and an occasional short grunt climb. The
trail takes you gradually downhill.
We're at the top of the ridge, 9700
feet elevation. That's Deer Creek Reservoir in the distance.
| You may see an occasional faint
horse-trail forking off in the draws. Don't take any sucker-trails
downhill until you're sure you've found Trail 37, the Pot Hollow Trail.
You'll know it when you see it.
The Pot Hollow Trail forks sharply 150-degrees right
downhill, just 1/2 mile from the fork at Sandy Baker Pass where you
followed Ridge 157. There's an initial steep plunge, then the trail runs
down the draw toward Little Deer Creek (Provo Deer Creek).
Many of the climbs on the East Side
Ridge Trail are difficult in the extreme. This little hill, for example,
is steeper and trickier than it looks.
Bomb down Pot Hollow, then hang right when you hit the dirt road.
Another two miles of dirt road, and you're back at the road fork where the
We're looking east down the Pot Hollow
Trail, shortly after passing Big Spring. Note the ferns in the understory.
|Fork of Road 220 and Little Deer Creek
0.0 Starting from fork, go east (R if coming uphill) on Rd
N40 29.409 W111 31.968 -
Cross creek and go uphill
0.7 Crest hill, fork L at 4-way
N40 28.858 W111 31.871
3.2 Keep straight R (L = bail to Little Deer Creek Road)
N40 30.825 W111 31.922
4.1 Pass DT connector to upper L.D.Creek
N40 31.447 W111 32.376
5.7 Turn L and continue on gravel road
N40 32.388 W111 33.189
7.3 Pole Line Pass - N40 31.900 W111 34.244
L on ST just before road turns
7.9 Fork Right on Ridge 157
N40 31.404 W111 34.249
9.5 Keep straight (L) at Forest Lake fork
N40 30.347 W111 34.861
|10.1 Keep L (R=181) - N40 30.091 W111 35.281
10.2 Keep L (R = 181 again)
11.0 Keep L (R = Holman)
N40 29.472 W111 34.938
11.2 Pass Rock Springs, Fork L onto East Side Ridge
N40 29.472 W111 34.760
11.5 Top of ridge
14.0 Keep L uphill
15.2 Fork hard R downhill - Pot Hollow Trail!
N40 31.113 W111 33.981
16.8 R on DT (Little Deer Creek Road)
N40 30.978 W111 32.585
17.7 Fork L (R = into Little Deer Creek campground)
18.1 Pass exit from L.D.C. campground
18.7 Back at fork
Getting there: Drive to the top
of the Alpine Loop, either from the North Fork of Provo Canyon (past
Sundance and Aspen Grove) or from American Fork Canyon. Just 1/4 mile east
of the summit, turn east on Road 24 (Cascade Scenic Drive). Drive 7 miles.
Just before Cascade Springs, the paved road takes a hard right turn. Turn
left onto a gravel road here, labeled "Wasatch
Mountain State Park" and "Little Deer Creek Campground."
Drive uphill 2.5 miles to the fork in the road. You can park at the side
of the road and start the ride here, or proceed straight to Little Deer
Creek Campground (fee required) and start the ride there.