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Three Forks Loop (Cottonwood Creek to Fifth Water)
The Three Forks Loop is a strong-intermediate to advanced trail in Diamond Fork (near Spanish Fork Canyon). The trail climbs Cottonwood Canyon as a single-track, traverses over a couple of canyons on Ray's Valley Road, then drops down Lower Fifth Water to Sixth Water and back to the Three Forks parking area. This is a surprisingly pretty trail, with twists and turns, quick up and downs, creek crossings, rock-dodging and root hopping. Length is 16 miles, with 1900 vertical feet of elevation change, starting at 5200 ft.

The trail begins at Three Forks, where Cottonwood Creek, Sixth Water, and Diamond Fork come together. From the parking area, cross the bridge over Diamond Fork then continue straight 100 feet to a bridge on your right that crosses Sixth Water. After crossing the river, bike straight ahead another 100 feet and plunge straight through the gully of Cottonwood Creek. Once you're on the far side of tiny Cottonwood Creek, you're on the trail. At 4.7 miles, the trail comes onto a dirt road. (The left-hand singletrack looks good, but it disappears into a thousand cow trails.) Hop onto the dirt road and grind 1.2 miles up to the paved Ray's Valley Road. Turn left and bike 5 miles to the Fifth Water Trail. (Look for a prominent double-track crossing the road on the far side of a creek, note the sign that says "Fifth Water," and turn left downhill.) After two miles, the trail widens and runs quickly down to Sixth Water (a larger creek), then to the Three Forks trailhead. You'll come out of the woods next to the bridge you crossed to reach Cottonwood Creek.
Riding notes, counterclockwise loop
0.0   Trailhead, ride 100 feet past restroom
        N 40 05.104' W 111 21.302'  Alt=5200'
        Turn R over bridge, 100 feet, through creek
        Uphill (L) on ST immediately after creek
4.7   Cross small creek to DT (ignore ST turning L)
        N 40 03.300' W 111 17.822'  Alt=6750'
5.8   Left on paved Rays Valley Road
        N 40 02.752' W 111 16.830'  Alt=7100
6.5   Pass Second Water Trailhead
        N 40 03.383' W 111 16.750'  Alt=7200
10.7 L onto trail at Fifth Water
        N 40 06.340' W 111 17.460'  Alt=6900
12.7 Pass hot springs, falls
14.7 Bridge, cross Sixth Water
        N 40 05.132' W 111 20.330'  Alt=7200
15.8 Back at parking
Three Forks Loop Trail Map Getting there: Going south, take the first Spanish Fork exit from I-15 (US-6 to Price and Manti). Go east on US-6 and enter Spanish Fork Canyon. Drive 5.5 miles from the mouth of the canyon then turn left on the Diamond Fork road. Drive 10 miles and spot a gravel turnoff on the right (southeast side of the road) that crosses Diamond Fork Creek. Drive into the parking area (restrooms may be closed). GPS N 40 05.104' W 111 21.302'.

Copyright 2002 Mad Scientist Software Inc
Trail conditions change, and the layout of a trail may change without notice. Use this trail guide at your own risk.

Other ways you can get to the Diamond Fork trails:  (1) Hobble Creek:  From Springville, head up Hobble Creek Canyon. Once you enter the canyon, keep right at every fork in the road. You'll cross over the pass and down into Diamond Fork. You'll reach the Diamond Fork Road about 13 miles after leaving Springville. (2) Ray's Valley Road:  In Spanish Fork Canyon, go a few miles further up the canyon to Ray's Valley Road. You can access the trails directly from the paved road, or continue onto the dirt road (keep left at the intersection with the Strawberry road) and down into Diamond Fork. You'll reach the paved Diamond Fork road about 17 miles after leaving US-6. (3) Strawberry:  From US-40, turn south at the westernmost end of the reservoir. Drive 8 miles on pavement then turn right onto a dirt road. (Note: May be paved as of July 2004.) About 7 miles later, it will meet the dirt extension of Ray's Valley Road. Keep right and drop 2 miles down to the Diamond Fork road.