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Timpanogos Foothills
Area Overview

On the southwest slope of Mount Timpanogos is a bench area at around 6000 feet elevation. Through the years, horsemen and trail hikers have created many "social trails" winding between the groves of oak and maple. Local mountain bikers discovered these trails and began riding them, although trail runners are the most frequent users. This page is a general description of the area. To find individual trail pages for this area, scroll down to the page-listing below.

View from the south shows the bench area where the trails are located. The mid-height hill is Little Baldy. The big mountain is Timpanogos. 

Note!  These trails are on Utah Division of Wildlife Resources land, purchased with sportsmen dollars and set aside as the Orem Bench Wildlife Management Area specifically to protect Utah's native animals. Mountain Biking is allowed, but only insofar as it is not harmful to wildlife. To insure continued access please be respectful to the landowner by following proper trail etiquette and obeying all posted rules. Specifically:
1.  Do not ride these trails during the winter. Deer will not survive the winter if frequently disturbed.
2.  Unauthorized trail-building is strictly prohibited!
3.  To reduce erosion and prevent "trenching" of trails, do not ride trails when muddy.
4.  Avoid disturbing wildlife, and do not allow your dog to chase animals.
The riding season is May through mid-November. This area is a wildlife management region, so it is CLOSED to cycling during the winter when it will stress the deer.

The slopes face south. In summer, these trails will be quite hot in the afternoon.

Most of the trails are intermediate in technical requirement. But there can be some sustained steepish climbing that taxes your leg stamina. 

Looking north in the Orem Bonneville Shoreline parking lot.

Because these trails began as "people going somewhere by the shortest route possible," there's no coherant trail layout. The trails simply go everywhere, crossing over the trails that happen to have a different direction.

The trails may change from year to year, falling into disuse from inactivity, then being resurrected by the traffic of a new group of trail-users. The trails used by horsemen (particularly Great Western Trail 033 and Trail 51) have hoof-churn cobble that makes them less pleasant to ride.

Typical appearance for the area trails, which tend to go through grassy areas between the stands of oak.

 

There aren't any trail signs as these "social trails" branch and cross over each other. So navigation is tricky. A map and a GPS unit help.

While you're riding here, avoid taking any trail that doesn't show obvious fresh tire tracks. First, you'll probably go somewhere you didn't plan on. And we want the abandoned trails to fill in. On a dry slope like this, it takes a few years for an old trail to disappear.

Example of trail proliferation. The arrows are all southbound trails within 100 yards of each other.

Typical for "social trails" created by horses and hikers, the trails do not have a sustainable alignment. They tend to drop down the fall line. Feet grind the dirt, then rainstorms wash that loose dirt downhill. When the trail becomes an unpleasant trench, the traffic often moves to one side and a new trail begins.

A "Fall Line" trail's evolution. The old trail has become difficult for either hiking or biking due to the deep sides and rounded bottom. So a new trail has sprung up alongside.

Some of the trails listed below are remote and primitive. They are only for adventuresome riders. I've included them because the trails are listed in other resources.

Example of a barely-visible trail in tall grass among the gambel oak.

 
Partial list of trails in the Timpanogos Foothill area
(names are not official and may vary among different groups of riders)
Name Description
Altar-51 0.9 mi. The Altar to Trail 51. 200 vertical.
Belt 0.5 mi. Primitive. Extends from Mouse Climb to Frank 033.
Betty 1.2 mi. Major access trail climbs from BST to Altar. 450 vertical.
Betty's Plunge 0.2 mi. Steep access connects lower Betty to BST further east. 150 vertical.
The Other Betty 0.6 mi. Runs alongside Betty from mid-point to near BST, pleasant trail. 200 vertical.
Blackbird 0.7 mi. From eastern Crank to Roller Coaster or Ireland near BST. 250 vertical.
Blackbird Two 0.8 mi. Mid Crank to Roller Coaster. 150 vertical.
Bramber DH 0.2 mi. Bench Road to Zorro near end of singletrack. 250 vertical.
Buckle 0.8 mi. Western Altar-51 to Little Baldy just above Altar. 200 vertical.
Cliff 0.5 mi. Bench Road along top of cliffs down to Race Loop. 200 vertical.
Crank 1.2 mi. Mid Betty to West Ridge. Connections Blackbirds and Ireland. 450 vertical.
Crank to Ireland 0.5 mi. Mid Crank to mid Ireland below Shooter. 75 vertical.
Dragon's Back 1.3 mi. GWT and BST, from Bench Road to Canyon Glen. 500 vertical.
Firing Range 0.9 mi. DH route from Ireland to BST TH. 650 vertical.
Frank 0.8 mi. Officially 033 Little Baldy GWT. From Bench Road to Altar. 450 vertical.
Ireland 1.1 mi. From Bench Road to west end of Crank. 600 vertical.
Johnson's Hole 1.1 mi. Longer alternate route on upper Dragon's Back. 300 vertical.
Little Baldy 3.5 mi. GWT 033 from Altar to junction with Dry Canyon on Little Baldy Ridge. 1800 vertical.
Machu Picchu 0.6 mi. Primitive techy trail from Little Baldy to mid Ouch. 200 vertical.
Maid Marian 0.9 mi. Higher narrow alternative route begins and ends on Trail 51. 100 vertical either direction.
Mouse Climb 0.8 mi. Runs east of Betty from mid Betty to Altar. 400 vertical.
Orem Bench 6    mi. Dirt road from BST TH to 189 in Provo Canyon. First 3 mi BST. 350 vertical.
Ouch 1.2 mi. Primitive and rough. West Taj Mahal to mid Taj Mahal. 200 vertical.
Ouch Loop 0.5 mi. Primitive but more plush. Loop begins and ends on Ouch. 75 vertical.
Prayer Circle 0.6 mi. Narrow nigher alternative trail off Trail 51. 100 vertical.
Race Loop 1.7 mi. Twisting loop between Bench Road and Canyon View Park. 300 vertical.
Race Access, Upper 0.5 mi. From high point of race loop to Bench Road. 200 vertical.
Roller Coaster 0.8 mi. Mid-lower Betty to Bench Road. 200 vertical.
Shooter 2.3 mi. Climbs from BST near trailhead to Ireland. 650 vertical.
Taj Mahal 2.5 mi. Little Baldy to Alta Ditch (Bench) Road. Often rough. 650 vertical.
Trail 51 2.1 mi. Little Baldy to Dry Canyon trail. 600 vertical.
Trail 51 Alt 0.4 mi. Primitive trail alternative below eastern Trail 51. 75 vertical
West Ridge 1.5 mi. Ireland above Shooter to Trail 51, share upper end w Ireland/Crank. 400 vertical.
West Ridge Upper 0.7 mi. Mid West Ridge to Trail 51. 250 vertical.
Zorro 1.0 mi. Bench Road to neighborhood trailhead. Upper half singletrack, lower DT. 600 vertical.
 
Trail pages on this web site
MORE NEW TRAIL PAGES COMING SOON...
Betty   with Altar-51, Buckle, Mouse Climb, The Other Betty
double figure-eight from Canyon View Park

The ride on this page is 7.4 miles with 1400 vertical feet. It uses Betty as your key into the trail system. It climbs through the Race Loop from Canyon View, climbs Betty, then does a figure-eight on Altar-51 and Buckle. Another figure-eight is formed by the descending route of Mouse Climb and The Other Betty.

[ Betty Double Figure-eight Trail page ]

Dry Canyon 51 Loop (Kris' Loop)
Betty, Lament, Trail 51, Dry Canyon and the BST

This page describes a loop ride climbing Betty and Lament (Altar-51) to Trail 51, then descending the nicer lower portion of Dry Canyon and returning via the Bonneville Shoreline.

[ Dry Canyon 51 Trail page ]

Bonneville Shoreline (BST) Provo Canyon North
Orem Bench Road and Dragon's Back Trail

The Orem Bench Road is the BST route for three miles, then it descends the Great Western Trail on the Dragon's Back area to Canyon Glen Park.

[ Orem Bench - Provo Canyon North BST page ]

Ireland to Crank to Blackbird Loop

Ride introduces you to the north-south trails on the Orem Bench (Timpanogos Foothills). The featured ride climbs Ireland, traverses east on Crank, then descends Blackbird Two

[ Ireland - Blackbird Trail page ]

 

Little Baldy Hillclimb

This page describes a tough climb up through the Timp foothills on the Great Western Trail 033 from Provo Canyon. This is a mean and steep trail, often loose and overgrown. It's for very strong adventuresome riders only.

[ Little Baldy Trail page ]

 

Provo Canyon Race Loop
with Cliff and Zorro Trail access information

The race loop lies between Canyon View Park and the Orem Bench Road (BST). Short but fun. Also provides a route from the park to the upper mountain via the access trails.

[ Race Loop Trail page ]

 

Provo River Parkway

Paved trail along Provo River provides a bike route from town to the canyon trailheads.

[ Provo River Parkway page ]

 

Shooter and West Ridge Climbing Route
with multiple loop ride options

From the BST Orem trailhead, climb via Shooter, West Ridge, and Upper West Ridge. Pick a level at which to connect to trails to the east. This page has information to help you plan a custom loop route with your desired amount of climbing. Featured ride climbs to Trail 51 and Maid Marian, descends Mouse Climb and Roller Coaster.

[ Shooter - West Ridge Trail page ]

Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu, and Ouch
tougher rides in the northeast

Tough and primitive trails higher on the mountain, east of Trail 51. This page has two loop rides, one for Taj Mahal and one for Machu Picchu and Ouch.

[ Taj Mahal and Machu Picchu Trail page ]

Getting there, Orem Bench BST Trailhead:  Exit I-15 on Orem's 800 North and drive straight towards the mountains. At 800 East, turn left and drive north about 1 mile. Immediately past the fence at the uphill end of the cemetery, turn right (east) on Cascade Drive. Drive 1/2 mile then fork uphill before you approach the water treatment plant. Take two switchbacks up, passing the lower overflow parking, to the paved parking area with the bathroom. Your trail is right across from where the road entered the parking lot.
Timpanogos Park:
  Exit I-15 on Orem's 800 North and drive straight towards the mountains. Keep left to enter Provo Canyon. After 1 mile, you'll pass the entrance to Canyon View Park on your left. About 100 yards later, there's a diversion dam, then a bridge over the river. Drive over the bridge to Timpanogos Park and park in the lot. Ride to the northwest corner of the parking area. Begin your ride by pedaling up the gravel road. Keep straight at the road fork at  mile 0.3 if you're heading for the Bottom Access trail (recommended), or fork R uphill for the Ravine or East Access trails. Ride through the race loop and take the Upper Access trail to the BST to connect to uphill trails.

Bathroom:  Orem BST TH, Dry Canyon TH, Canyon View Park, Canyon Glen Park, Nunn's Park
Water:  Canyon View Park, Canyon Glen Park, Nunn's Park
Camping:  Nunn's Park

Dry Canyon Trailhead:  Turn east off State Street (Highway 89) at 200 South in Lindon, which also happens to be 2000 North for Orem. Keep straight as you approach the mountains. When the road begins to turn right (south), turn left onto Dry Canyon Drive heading northeast. Now keep straight uphill until the road turns into the trailhead. To reach the Shooter uphill route, go south on the BST to the Orem trailhead.
Canyon Glen:
Use this trailhead if you plan to ride counter-clockwise or out-and-back. Note that if you ride this direction there are some granny-gear climbs that are a bit loose. Exit I-15 on Orem's 800 North and drive straight towards the mountains. Keep left to enter Provo Canyon. About 3 miles later, you'll see the parking area for Canyon Glen on your left. Go across the bridge to the Parkway. Turn right, and find the GWT on your left about 200 feet later, forking uphill just before the paved parkway curves around a rock outcrop.
Nunn's Park:
  This makes the ride about a mile longer, but at the expense of a rather ugly short section of trail from Nunn's park up to the aqueduct. Going up-canyon, turn right 4 miles up the canyon, then left under 89. Go into Nunn's Park. On your bike, come back through the park entrance, then turn left on a broken-up roadway just before the road goes under 89. Turn left at the fence and follow the fence uphill. This section is a hike-a-bike uphill. As the singletrack reaches the top, go left (west).
Zorro (1560 East Trailhead):
  Take 800 North in Orem toward the mountains. Just as the road starts to descend into the canyon, turn left on 1560 East. Go to the end of the pavement and park on the right. The ugly jeep road switchbacks east of the trailhead take you uphill -- 0.4 miles with 200 vertical -- to the Zorro singletrack. Zorro will add another 300 vertical and 0.6 miles. (Don't fork onto the steeper Bramber DH. You'll know it as you pass it.) When Zorro hits doubletrack, head a bit further uphill to the Bench Road for uphill connections.
Canyon Mouth Provo River Parkway:
There's a parking area on Orem's 800 North Street just before you enter Provo canyon. It's just east of the gas station. GPS N 40 18.840'  W 111 39.472'. To get to the parkway, go east over the river and through the fence. Go uphill to the Canyon View Park, Canyon Glen, or Nunn's park for uphill singletrack connections to the Bench Road.