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
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
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
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...
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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.
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
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)
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
(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