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Tibble Fork via Pine Hollow Loop

View looking south towards Timpanogos from Pine Hollow.

This 11-mile long, 2200-vertical foot loop is for advanced bikers. But the payoff is awesome views and a downhill cruise that rivals anything you've ever done. This loop links a portion of the American Fork Canyon paved road, the Pine Hollow Trail, Salamander Flat #150 Trail, Ridge Trail 157, and the Tibble Fork Trail. For a color-coded map of trails linking to Ridge Trail 157, see the Ridge Trail Page.

The Mad Scientist (and dog) at Pine Hollow, with the peaks of Timpanogos in the background. Photo August 21, 1999 by Matt Flygare

Most bikers start the ride at Tibble Fork Reservoir, 2 miles up the North Fork of American Fork Canyon. After a high-speed road cruise back down to the junction, you'll climb up the paved road of the South Fork 2 miles to reach the Pine Hollow Trailhead. (The trail starts right across the street from the parking area.) Pine Hollow is modestly steep and narrow, and will challenge your lungs as well as your thighs.

If you don't like stiff climbing on a narrow trail, ride up the road to the "T" and head into the Timpooneke campground. At the parking lot, head out on the Timpooneke Trail and turn left over the creek onto the Salamander Flat Trail #150. (More on this option below.) This adds an extra couple of miles, but it's much easier.

Matt Flygare grinds up the Pine Hollow Trail. Photo August 21, 1999

Muscle-bound biker.

View from 8100 feet, looking southwest.

Riding up from Pine Hollow, you'll climb 1.9 miles through the pines and oak of the canyon, then turn left as Pine Hollow continues uphill joining the Great Western Trail at GPS N 40 26.775' W 111 37.501'. About 1/2 mile later, you'll pass a large beautiful meadow, after which Pine Hollow will link up with Ridge Trail 157. Turn left (north). After following the Ridge Trail for 2 miles (be sure to catch the right turn at the Mud Springs fork), the Tibble Fork Trail turns downhill on your left at GPS N 40 27.918' W 111 36.532'.

From the Ridge, Matt and our Team Mascott Jackie look over the valley towards a cloud-covered Mount Timpanogos. Photo August 21, 1999 by Bruce Argyle

Payoff time. The Tibble Fork Trail is a 3-mile advanced-technical descent that will leave you grinning. You'll drop around 2000 feet over logs, roots, rocks and twisting turns.

Tibble Fork dries out a little later than other AF Canyon trails. But it can get pretty slimy sometimes in summer, too, especially if the horses have stirred it up by stomping through the mud. After a big rain, consider whether you want to ride this trail -- not just because it's tricky when wet, but to avoid rutting up the trail.

ENDO!
The camera catches Matt on the first bounce, during one of several vicious wipeouts on the Tibble Fork Trail, muddied by a big rainstorm. Photo August 21, 1999 by Bruce Argyle

No broken bones!

Entire ridgetops are covered with these yellow blossoms. Portions of the trail are usually snowbound until late June or early July. Snow usually closes the trail again in late October.

The mountains to your south and west (Timpanogos, Box Elder) are formed of limestone from around 320 million years ago. The peaks to the north (Ant Hill, Lone Peak) are formed of granite from an igneous intrusion of around 26 million years ago.

Showy Goldeneye or arnica, a member of the daisy family, laden with pollen after the night's rain. This flower blooms in late summer to early fall. Photo August 21, 1999 by Bruce Argyle

An alternate route avoids the tougher climb on the Pine Hollow Trail. Instead of leaving the pavement at Pine Hollow, continue up the road another 2 miles or so, then make a right at the Timpooneke Campground. Go 1/2 mile to the parking area for the Timpooneke Trail.
Catch the Timpooneke (Great Western) Trail, but turn left across the creek. When you reach the 4-way near Salamander Flat, turn left over the creek. Keep straight past the Pine Hollow Trail as it joins on the left, then turn left onto Ridge Trail 157 a bit later.

There are several beautiful meadows that interrupt the descent on the Tibble Fork Trail. Here the Doc takes in the scenery. Photo August 21, 1999 by Matt Flygare.

The Mad Scientist.

Tibble Fork Trail Map Getting there: From I-15, take the Alpine-Highland exit just south of Point-of-the-Mountain. Go east towards the mountains on UT-92 and continue up American Fork Canyon. There's a $6 fee (as of 2009). About 6 miles up the canyon, turn left at the North Fork junction and drive 2 miles to Tibble Fork Reservoir. (While riding the loop, you'll ride up the South Fork from this same junction.) Or park at the junction and end your ride with a 2-mile road cruise from the reservoir.

 

Riding resources for this trail:
Single-page riding guide
Via Pine Hollow trailhead
   GPS track files and route (right-click and "Save as..."):
       Garmin     Nat Geo     Google Earth     GPX
   High-res topo (340 KB):  View   Low res topo:  View 
Via Timpooneke trailhead
   Garmin     Nat Geo     Google Earth     GPX
   High-res topo (340 KB):  View   Low res topo:  View
Lodging, camping, shops:
     Links to north Utah County resources

Original review 1999
Copyright 2000 Mad Scientist Software Inc
Updated 2012

Other nearby trails: Timpanogos Perimeter, Timpooneke, Deer Creek South Fork, Aspen Grove.
For a color-coded map of trails linking to Ridge Trail 157, see the Ridge Trail Page.