Shingle Creek Trail
The Shingle Creek Trail is a narrow singletrack in the
western Uinta Mountains, about 10 miles east of Kamas. Altitude is 7,500 feet, with about
500 feet elevation gain over the 2.5 mile trail. The trail is ridden as an out-and-back
for a total ride of 5 miles. We'd have to rate this trail as advanced technical, and
moderately strenuous aerobic.
The trail breaks out of deep pines to this meadow, with Shingle Creek babbling
slowly downhill. The rounded, flat-bottomed valleys are created by the
action of glaciers. September 7, 1999 by Bruce Argyle
The Shingle Creek trail is the original Dr. Jeckyl and Mr.
Hyde. Sections of smooth dreamy hard-packed cruising alternate with nightmare sections of
rocky rough climbs. And recent "improvements" have made the trail harder for
mountain bikes. But the scenery is the best you can find anywhere in the Uinta
So it's worth doing.
Uphills can be rough and rocky. And when a "erosion control" barrier
pops up, it really tests your rock-hopping skills. September 7, 1999
||Gee, thanks guys! Obviously, whoever is in charge of this
trail doesn't ride a mountain bike. The trail is terraced in places to minimize horse
damage, but many barriers are too high to clear on the uphill. Other barriers, while
jumpable, are placed too close together -- as you're clearing your rear tire, the front
tire is hitting the next barrier.
Our casualties due to "trail improvements:"
Bent derailleur mount, broken spoke, bent rim, and half a chain-ring tooth. But you'll find
the barriers to be rather fun to pop over on the way down.
Series of 12-inch high steps (placed for trail improvement), spaced too
closely to work up with a bike. Yet the slope would be easily rideable if the rock ledges
weren't there. September 7, 1999 by Bruce Argyle
|The trail alternates between shady deep woods and open meadows with
eye-popping views. In the shade of the pines and quaking aspens, elderberry, thimbleberry,
snowberry, raspberry, and hawberry are found in abundance.
And of course, there were
plenty of squirrels to get Jackie excited.
A cluster of ripe elderberries. Elderberry makes great jelly
or pancake syrup. Not as good as chokecherry, mind you, but still quite tasty. September
The trail touches on the creek frequently. Each time, you'll want to hang
out a few minutes and take it all in. Or hang out and straighten your
miles, the trail crosses the creek. This begins the upper trail, which is essentially
non-rideable. So it's time to start an awesome downhill. You'll eat those (four letter)
words you mumbled fighting your way up the rocky parts, because the cruise back is fun fun
fun. Assuming you're good enough to handle it.
A small beaver pond, old enough that sedges are starting to
fill in the edges, viewed from the trail.
|Getting there: In Kamas, turn east towards the mountains
on the well-marked Mirror Lake Highway. Drive 6 miles to the fee station and pay your $3.
About three miles later, you'll see the Shingle Creek Trailhead road taking off on your
left. Drive 1/4 mile up the road and park at the trailhead. The metal gate north of the
parking area is the start of the trail.
Berries of mahogany
ripen in the late summer shade. September 7, 1999 by Bruce Argyle
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