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Shram Creek

The Shram Creek trail runs from the Rock Spring trail down to the Winward Reservoir road in Payson Canyon. It can be done as part of a loop, as discussed on this page, or as a shuttled downhill when combined with the Frank Young or upper Lizard Lake trails.

Shram Creek is a lesser-known trail in Payson Canyon. Original review and photos by Bruce on June 5, 2006. Latest update June 24, 2017.

The Shram Creek trail itself is 2.5 miles long with 1000 vertical feet of elevation change. The upper end on Rock Spring is at almost 8000 feet elevation. The terrain alternates between forest riding and open meadows. Trees are mostly aspen and fir, with occasional spruce. The meadows often turn into a riot of flowers in June as the Mule's Ears and penstemmon bloom.

Handlebar view as we descend. The terrain is a  mix of aspen, fir, and maple.

The trail is usually ready to ride by early June. Expect a few muddy spots due to ooze from small springs, even into late summer. Because horses are frequent on this trail (and begin riding before the snow is off the trail), you may find yourself bouncing over deep, rock-hard hoof-holes on occasion.

Bruce heads downhill.

The pitch of the Shram Creek allows it to be climbed, but most riders select it as a downhill. Two trails leave the Nebo Loop road high on the ridge above:  Frank Young and upper Lizard Lake. Each of these descend from 8400 feet down to the Rock Spring trail, where a short downhill ride on Rock Spring will take you to Shram Creek.

Coasting into the junction of the Frank Young trail with Rock Spring. From here, it's a hard left turn onto Rock Spring then 0.9 miles -- mostly downhill -- to the top of Shram Creek.

 Shram Creek as a DH...

 If the above video does not appear on your browser/device, you can watch it on YouTube by clicking here.

The Jones Ranch - Shram Creek Loop

The Shram Creek Loop is an 8.7 mile loop in Payson Canyon with 7 miles of singletrack and 1.7 miles of pavement. The ride starts at 6850 feet elevation, with a gain of 1400 feet to 8250. Total climbing will be around 1700. This is an intermediate technical ride.

Most of the Shram Creek trail is a downhill plunge in aspen, fir, and spruce. Here we've hit a smooth meadow, looking north towards Lone Peak.

You can park to begin the ride at two spots. If you park at Shram Creek, you'll climb the paved Nebo Loop road first, and finish downhill. If you park in the "corral" at the Jones Ranch trailhead, you do half your climb at first on singletrack, then finish with the second half on the road.

We're climbing up alongside a little creek on the Jones Ranch trail.

Jones Ranch is a smooth and reasonably easy climb (as of 2006). But the conditions will depend on the season and on horse traffic. After two miles, you'll turn to the right on the Rock Spring trail.

Rock Spring...

The Rock Springs trail rolls up and down three hills. In spots, there may be some rough rock and erosion damage. Highlights of this trail are the springs and Lizard Lake, depending on the season.

...and Lizard Lake.

The descent down Shram Creek is fun, with some technical spots, usually due to erosion and/or horse damage. An option for expert riders is to veer onto the Lizard Lake trail as an alternative.

Descending through the aspen on Shram Creek.

Riding notes, clockwise from Jones Ranch trailhead:
0.0   ST uphill on R side of road
        N 39 56.544 W 111 39.449
1.7   Trail joins from L (Payson Lakes)
        N 39 55.383 W 111 38.939
1.9   Go R uphill on Rock Springs (trail 101)
        rough, rocky
        N 39 55.204 W 111 38.908
3.1   Fork, keep R
        N 39 54.775 W 111 39.812
3.9   Fork R downhill on Shram Creek (trail 124)
        N 39 54.765 W 111 40.674
        Keep L at first fork

5.6   Fork R
        N 39 55.890 W 111 40.868
6.1   Trail joins from R, continue straight
        N 39 56.056 W 111 40.634
6.9   Keep R until trail drops to cattleguard
        N 39 56.595 W 111 40.571
        R up gravel road to Nebo Loop
        R on pavement
8.7   At parking.

Getting there:  Going south, take the Payson exit 250 from I-15 and turn left. Head into Payson on U-115 to the traffic light, then turn left (100 North, U-198). About 1/3 mile later, at the top of a small hill, turn right at 600 East. Zero your odometer here.
Shram Creek trailhead -- Drive 9 miles up the Nebo Loop Road. (Pass the Grotto Trail and Bennie Creek Cutoff Trail.) As you approach a cattleguard at around 9.5 miles, there's a dirt road on the right. Parking is at the wide area on your left. The trail starts about 150 feet down the dirt road, just across the cattleguard, on the left.
Jones Ranch trailhead --  Drive 10.9 miles up the Nebo Loop  Road. (Pass the Grotto Trail and Bennie Creek Cutoff Trail. Pass the Shram Creek trailhead and cross a cattleguard, then go another 1.8 miles up the road.) Watch for a parking area with a wood-rail fence on your left. The trail starts uphill on the right side of the road, across from the parking area. N 39 56.544 W 111 39.449
Riding resources for this trail:
Single-page riding guide
GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
      Shram Creek trail only   GPX of loop
      Payson Canyon area file
Large-format topo map (700K): View map
        2017 upper Payson Canyon trail topo
Lodging, camping, shops:     Links to south Utah County area resources

Copyright 2006 Mad Scientist Software Inc

Updated 2017