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Wasatch Crest to Midmountain Loop
from Deer Valley

This is a epic ride of 35 miles. You'll do about 3500 vertical feet of climbing. It's for very conditioned riders only. You'll start at 8100 feet elevation, climb to over 10,000 feet, and descend to around 7800 at the ride's lowest point.

Photo courtesy of Rodney Strader, taken from the Wasatch Crest in early October 2010.

The ride starts from Silver Lake Lodge (the upper lodge) at Deer Valley. If the thought of driving uphill bothers you, climb Deer Crest from the lower (Snow Park) lodge.

From the lift area in front of Silver Lake Lodge, turn to your right and descend a little to go under the skier underpass. Immediately as you pass under, veer to the left onto singletrack trail. You're on the Midmountain.

Beginning the climb up Team Big Bear in September 2011.

At mile 1.4, turn left uphill onto Team Big Bear. The trail will zigzag up the slope, through deep fir forest and across ski slopes. As you near the top, the forest changes to aspen and brush. As the trail skirts a gravel road, keep left on the singletrack.

On the upper slopes of Team Big Bear, the grade gets milder as you follow the edge of the hill.

After traversing around the edge of the mountain, Team Big Bear ends at the beginning of the Flagstaff Loop. Take the right fork. After 1/3 mile, fork right onto doubletrack and pedal west and slightly uphill. You're on the Road to Ruby.

The Flagstaff Trail. Watch for the signs for Road to Ruby, which is your route to Guardsman.

Keep left when the doubletrack to the Ruby Lift itself forks off on your right. When you reach the paved Guardsman Road (SR 224), go across to parking, and find the doubletrack heading west at the end of the parking area.

We've crossed Guardsman Road, and we're looking back east at the parking area we crossed to get on the DT. 

Head west and uphill on the doubletrack, passing the entry to the upper TG trail after 0.1 mile. Keep heading west, ignoring any paths that take you downhill to the Guardsman Road. There will be a couple of stiff ridgeline climbs. For most of us, there will be a short hike-a-bike of about 200 feet on one of those climbs.

View south from the doubletrack, climbing westbound.

When you approach a fork in the doubletrack, watch carefully for narrow singletrack on your right. The DT will go left of the mountain straight ahead (and send a branch down to the road), and the ST will to to the right.

The trail follows the ridgeline to the north of the Guardsman Road.

The singletrack heads straight west on a steep side-slope for about 0.1 mile. When you reach gravel road, turn to the left uphill. (Note: if you need to bail, this DT takes you downhill to TG and on to Midmountain near Empire Canyon Lodge.)

At the ridgeline, go past the first DT coming in from the left (the returning DT from the other side of the mountain). Keep to the left at the fork -- don't take the steep uphill DT. Aim straight ahead and head gently downhill to join the Guardsman Road.

Singletrack entering the forest as we leave the ridgeline doubletrack.

The Guardsman Road is well-traveled. So you'll be mooshing in loose dirt under your tires and sucking it into your lungs as the monster trucks go by. But it's only for about a mile.

When you reach the parking area at Guardsman Pass, turn right onto an uphill doubletrack. This is the beginning of Scott's Bypass. Drop off the DT onto singletrack after about 0.2 miles.

Looking down Big Cottonwood as we head from Guardsman Road toward Scott's Bypass.

Scott's Bypass heads along the ridge for about 1/2 mile, then drops through a few turns through aspen forest. Then it heads downhill to Scott's Pass (where the doubletrack from the Guardsman Road in Big Cottonwood meets the trail from Shadow Lake, and where you'll start the Puke Hill climb).

Scott's Bypass Trail, northbound.

You're now on the Wasatch Crest. For about a mile, it will be doubletrack, then change to singletrack as you pedal through meadows and groves of trees on the spine of the Wasatch.

Wasatch Crest, photo by Rodney Strader in 2010.

When you descend The Spine above Desolation Lake, keep right at the fork and begin climbing again to stay on the Wasatch Crest (mile 12.3). (The trail on the left descends to Mill D North Fork in Big Cottonwood.)

Looking from the Wasatch Crest toward Solitude, photo by Rodney Strader in 2010.

As you reach the top of Mill Creek Canyon at mile 14.8, there will be a trail fork in a small meadow. Take the right fork to the edge of the ridge. You're now heading east and looking into The Canyons area of Park City.

Desolation Lake, photo by Rodney Strader in 2010.

This is the Crest Connector Trail. It will traverse a steep side-slope, cross a ridge, then descend through thick forest down to the Midmountain Trail. As you reach the trail fork, keep right and head south.

(2011: You'll skirt some construction areas. Keep generally straight and watch for the continuing singletrack.)

Crossing the ridge on the Crest Connector Trail. Photo 2010 by Bruce.

At Red Pine Lodge at mile 18.6, you can hit bathrooms, get water, and have a restaurant meal. You're more than half-way done, but there's still some serious riding ahead.

At mile 21.8, Midmountain continues straight (left) while Ironman switchbacks up and over Iron Mountain Pass. You can go either way. We assume you stayed on Midmountain.

Arriving at the Midmountain Trail, heading south.

At mile 23.6, just after reversing direction abruptly, Midmountain forks hard left. (Right takes you up to Iron Mountain Pass.) What follows is some hateful rocky rough newly-built trail. It will get better. You'll rejoin Ironman at mile 25.1.

Typical trail scene on Midmountain, near Red Pine Lodge.

At 25.6, stay right uphill as Armstrong joins from below. (Armstrong is a one-way trail -- uphill only.)

At 27.5, turn downhill left as Powerline forks off Midmountain on the right. Now take an immediate right turn to stay on Midmountain. (Straight downhill = Spiro.)

View along the Midmountain near Holly's Trail.

Intersections and trail forks are now nicely marked for the return trip. Even if it doesn't tell you what the "other" trail is, there's usually a sign indicating Midmountain. In general, just stay straight and level.

Rider southbound on Midmountain near the Empire Link trail fork.

Riding notes, clockwise loop from Silver Lake Lodge:
0.0   R downhill on DT, aim for underpass
        N40 37.284 W111 29.326
0.1   L on singletrack (Midmountain Trail)
        N40 37.267 W111 29.330
0.7   Keep L uphill (R = lower Tour des Suds)
        N40 37.146 W111 29.754
1.0   Keep L uphill N40 37.177 W111 29.842
1.4   L uphill on Team Big Bear N40 37.111 W111 30.155
2.4   Keep straight (don't go onto road)
        N40 36.894 W111 30.031
2.8   Keep R (Flagstaff Loop) N40 36.768 W111 29.880
3.1   L on DT Ruby Lift Road  N40 36.537 W111 29.969
3.3   Keep L (R = to Ruby Lift)
3.7   Cross Guardsman Rd, through parking to DT
        N40 36.390 W111 30.432
3.9   Stay on DT (R = to upper TG) N40 36.402 W111 30.654
4.6   Veer R off DT onto ST N40 36.565 W111 31.248
4.8   L uphill on DT N40 36.580 W111 31.505
4.9   Turn R corner, then straight and L level westbound DT
        N40 36.561 W111 31.512
5.2   Join gravel Guardsman Rd westbound
6.1   DT joins on R, keep straight
6.5   Guardsman Pass Parking
        R uphill on DT (leave Guardsman at parking area)
        Start Scott's Bypass N40 36.410 W111 33.294
6.9   L off DT onto ST N40 36.715 W111 33.392
7.9   Scott's Pass, uphill to L on DT
        Wasatch Crest 
8.2   Top of Puke Hill
12.2   Desolation Lake, The Spine
12.3   Keep R uphill (L = Mill D No)
         N40 39.560 W111 35.845
14.8   R to Crest Connector N40 41.204 W111 36.072
        (L = Mill Creek)
15.1   Straight
16.0  Join Midmountain, keep straight (R)
         N40 41.488 W111 35.134
18.6 Red Pine Lodge, keep straight through
        N40 40.658 W111 34.675
21.8 Keep L on MidMtn (R = Ironman) N40 39.625 W111 33.364
23.6 Hard L (R connects to Ironman) N40 40.060 W111 32.490
25.1 Keep L (R = Ironman) N40 39.299 W111 32.306
25.6 R uphill (L = Armstrong) N40 39.099 W111 32.288
27.5 L downhill (R = Powerline) N40 37.963 W111 32.180
        Then rapid R on Midmountain
28.3 Stay L (R= Crescent M.G.) N40 38.182 W111 31.514
28.4 Cross road 
30.2 L downhill N40 37.875 W111 30.915
30.3 R onto ST N40 37.906 W111 30.839
30.4 R uphill N40 37.860 W111 30.896
30.6 Cross gravel road N40 37.788 W111 30.799
31.1 Stay R uphill (L = Empire Link)
        N40 37.658 W111 30.894
31.7 Level straight N40 37.492 W111 30.993
        (Link in on L, Link leaves downhill R)
31.8 Straight (L=TG) N40 37.517 W111 30.932
32.5 Little Chief joins L, keep straight
        N40 36.949 W111 30.828
32.6 Cross DT N40 36.882 W111 30.770
32.9 Keep straight (L=to TG) N40 36.821 W111 30.594
33.2 Cross Guardsman Road N40 36.979 W111 30.451
33.3 Keep straight (L=Tour des Suds)
        N40 37.023 W111 30.400
33.5 Straight (Team Big Bear) N40 37.111 W111 30.155
34.9 Back at Deer Valley
Getting there:  In Park City, follow the signs toward Deer Valley Resort. To get to the upper (Silver Lake) lodge, turn left on Royal Drive just after the road divides -- before you actually see the Snow Park lodge. Drive 4 miles uphill, following the signs. When you come to a parking lot on your right, surrounded by tall buildings, pull in. From the lot, angle southeast between buildings until you arrive at a wide open area. Your ride will start by aiming right, coast downhill to below the underpass. As you pass under, turn left onto singletrack. This is the Midmountain Trail.

Bike services, water, bathrooms are near the lift by Silver Lake Lodge. On the ride, you'll pass the Red Pine Lodge at The Canyons, where you'll find food, water, and bathrooms.

Riding resources:
One-page riding guide
GPS Track File  (Right-click and "Save as...")
    GPX course file   Park City area file (multi-track)
Topo map for printing:   View map
Lodging, camping, shops:
     Links to Park City area resources

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