Place store identification
|Mormon Pioneer Trail (Parley's Canyon)
The Mormon Pioneer Trail climbs from near Little Dell Reservoir up to Big Mountain Pass, following the path blazed by the Donner Party and followed by the Mormon pioneers. This trail is quite smooth, but gets a bit steeper as it climbs the switchbacks to the pass. It's easy-intermediate technical, but pretty strenuous aerobic. Starting altitude is 6040, with 1000 vertical feet of climbing, much of it in the last couple of miles. If started from Little Dell, the ride is 5.4 miles each way; from the roadside parking, 3.5; from Affleck Park, 2.5. At the top of the pass, you can link to the Mormon Trail in Little Emigration Canyon, ride around the advanced-tech Lookout Peak loop, or ride south towards Bald Mountain.
Ride Notes, from Little Dell trailhead:
2.7 Affleck Park, join DT. Straight uphill past gate,
then R over creek, then L (uphill)
2.9 North end of Affleck, keep straight on cindered trail
4.8 Cross road
5.4 Parking area at top of Big Mountain Pass
GPS N 40° 49.687' W 111° 39.244'
|Getting there, roadside trailhead (3.5-mile option): On I-80 in Parley's Canyon, take
the Little Dell Recreation Area exit. From the exit, drive uphill 4.1
miles, then park on the right side of the road near the outhouse at GPS N
40° 47.996' W 111° 40.750'. The trail begins on the opposite side of the
road, just downhill.
Affleck Park trailhead (2.5-mile): For a shorter ride, drive another 0.8 miles uphill, then turn left and descend to Affleck Park. Keep right and proceed uphill to the north end of the park, and find the sign indicating the Mormon Pioneer Trail. (The return trail is across the creek.) Subtract 1 mile, for a 2.5-mile ride each way.
Little Dell trailhead: At mile 2 after exiting the freeway, turn right into the Little Dell recreation area (fee required). Roll down to the trail parking lot near the water. Trail begins paved at GPS N 40° 46.622' W 111° 41.317', then turns to cinder as you pass close by a picnic table. This option adds 1.9 miles each way, and 300 vertical feet of climbing. There are a couple of turnouts on the R side of the road about 1/2 mile past Little Dell, where short trails drop downhill to join the Mormon Pioneer Trail.
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