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Wild Rose Trails

The Wild Rose area lies in steep foothills above the North Salt Lake bench. There's a short-but-sweet singletrack loop suitable for early-intermediate riders and a short DH (downhill, bikes-only) trail for techies. And there are connectors to the upper ridgeline trail, for adventuresome riders only. 

View over the Eaglewood golf course from early in the clockwise trip around the Wild Rose Loop. Photos and description from a ride by Bruce on October 9, 2012.

There's also hiker-only trail called the Chukkar* Loop. While it's clearly marked on the east end, you might accidentally blunder onto the west end where the 5-way trail intersection is confusing. Be aware that it's there. Watch the trail description and check the signs carefully. Hopefully, the signage at the 5-way will improve soon. The signs at every other trail fork are excellent.
*The chukkar is a robin-sized game bird that looks like a midget grouse. Not worth the price of a shotgun shell, if you ask me.
The trailhead is at 5150 feet of elevation, already 900 feet above the valley floor. You can ride singletrack directly from the asphalt extension of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail on Eaglepoint Drive, or drive to the Wild Rose Trailhead Park on Sky Crest Lane to start 1/10 mile further up the trail.

This is the trailhead park as we pedal into the parking lot. The easiest access to the trail is singletrack by the toilet on the left, at the uphill end of the parking area. You can also catch the trail at the upper end of the grass area.

Here are the three access points to the trail:
(1) Where the (paved) BST crosses Eaglepoint Drive, singletrack heads uphill in a grove of maples about 100 feet north of Sky Crest Lane. Keep L at the next two forks.
(2) From trailhead parking, go north (left) on singletrack past the kiosk and toilet. Fork R uphill when you hit the main trail.
(3) Go uphill on the paved path through the park. At the uphill end, find the trail that doesn't end in a picnic table. Keep R when you hit the main trail and head uphill.

Typical trail view as we ride through maple forest. Smooth broad track with a steady pitch. 

Main event: The Wild Rose Loop.

The main biking loop is the Wild Rose Trail. When done from the BST (and with a short side-trip to Sunset Point) it's only 2.4 miles. My recommended ride: start in City Creek and take the BST five miles north to Wild Rose, do the loop as your finale, then head back.

The trail splits into the Wild Rose Loop at 0.3 miles from Eaglepoint Drive. The loop can be done in either direction. My ride description goes clockwise.

Riding past the end of the DH trail. 

The trail climbs 400 vertical feet to a top altitude of 5500. It's a fairly sustained 8% climb to the top of the loop. The track is broad and smooth, and for a new trail it's already very well-packed. Strong beginners can do the Wild Rose loop but should stay away from the DH or viewpoint trails.

The main fork of the Wild Rose Loop. Straight for clockwise; right for a counterclockwise loop or for a quick trip to the top of the DH trail.

As the trail climbs around steep mountainsides, you'll be riding in maple forest. There are frequent breakout views north to Bountiful and west over the southern edge of the Great Salt Lake.

Climbing uphill. The mountainsides are steep, but the slope of the trail is gentle. Middle-ring climbing.

About a mile up the hill, you'll reach the fork to Sunset Point. Head west (left) on the top of the little fingerling ridge. Stop to take in the views. As the name suggests, this spot is popular for watching the sun go down.

At the viewpoint, you're only about 150 feet above the uphill trail, but you won't see it below you in the maples.

Trail spur to Sunset Point.

After reconnecting to the main loop, you'll reach the fork to the east viewpoints at mile 1.3. There's trail construction going on (2012), so this spot will change. There are ribbons in the brush indicating it will connect to Wild Rose a bit further west in the future.

View north over the golf course toward the Bountiful LDS temple.

If you head to the viewpoint trail, expect some adversity. See the description below. For now, let's keep to the right on Wild Rose. You've just passed the ride's highest point.

A little further along Wild Rose at mile 1.5, you'll come to another trail fork. The trail to your left splits about 50 feet later into the DH trail (downhill-only) and the Chukkar Loop trail which is feet-only (no bikes). For now, go right on Wild Rose.

High point of the loop. Straight ahead intersects the viewpoint trail in 300 feet. Right continues the loop.

Keep left as the Shortcut Trail joins 0.2 miles later. In 200 feet, the Wild Rose trail hits the gully and pops up sharply to join the DH trail for 30 feet. (Caution!) Now keep straight as the DH trail falls away to your right.

I think this crossing needs a little sight-line work. The specific danger is someone speeding downhill on Wild Rose -- and looking left for oncoming DHers -- running into a climber on Wild Rose who was hidden by the maples. Be careful.

Finishing the Wild Rose loop.

The trail will come to a confusing 5-way at 1.9 miles. The single carsonite post (Oct 2012) will have you scratching your head. Just turn hard right to stay on Wild Rose -- the rightmost of the four possible trails. (Note: Straight and leftward uphill is Chukkar -- No Bikes. 90 degrees right climbs to the ridge viewpoint. Right-right drops down a DH-only connector to the main DH trail. Rightest-right is Wild Rose. I think this intersection needs more, and more-clear, signage.)

Looking back up the Wild Rose trail. This direction provides the fastest way of getting to the top of the DH.

Cross the DH trail again. To complete the loop, pass the Shortcut (stay straight). Recommendation: If you're heading back uphill to do the DH, go left on the Shortcut, rather than completing the loop. The end of the loop is only a tiny bit further down the trail (across the pipeline corridor). At mile 2.1, you're back at the trail fork where you started the loop. Head downhill if you're done or climb back uphill for more fun.
Now, about the DH.

At mile 1.5 going clockwise on the loop above, fork left off Wild Rose. Then immediately keep right to enter the DH. (Left is Chukkar, a no-bikes loop.) 

For the shortest route to the DH trail from the BST, fork to the right as the Wild Rose loop begins at 0.3 miles. Then turn left on the Shortcut. Turn left again when you rejoin Wild Rose. Fork hard right at the top at mile 0.7 from the BST, and you're on the way down the DH.

Start of the DH.

The DH trail winds downhill, spreading its 200 vertical feet over 0.5 miles. Typically there will be a traverse with occasional tabletop jumps, then a very tight turn with high berm.

In October 2012, the turns are still very sloppy and loose. Stay high and fast, up on the berm if possible. A slower turn in the trail's middle requires good surfing skills as you wallow in deep dust and cobble. Intermediates will want to wait until next year when the trail firms up before trying the DH.

Bumps on the DH trail. Not too steep or tough except at the corners.

The DH route crosses Wild Rose twice. There are trail crossing warnings. Slow down as you approach. The first crossing is actually a "join and drop off." When the trail system is crowded, there's high "idiot potential" here. And newbies may be parked in the riding line of the conjoined trail, trying to figure out where to go. Dial it back and watch out.

Of the four trails you see below you, the second one down is Wild Rose heading towards its intersection with the DH. The others are the DH trail itself.

At the bottom of the DH, it drops onto the stem of the Wild Rose trail with your bike aiming downhill. If you want another go, do a 180. You can loop back up via the Shortcut in only 0.4 miles. See the by-the-mile description below.

Looking back up the trail at a log drop as we play in the ravine near the bottom.

Next subject: The viewpoint trails.

There are two trails leading up to the high ridgeline. The one on the east forks off the Wild Rose loop at mile 1.3 when riding clockwise.

The western viewpoint trail starts at the 5-way at mile 1.9 clockwise -- or at mile 0.5 from the BST if riding counterclockwise on Wild Rose.

Fresh trail cut on the east viewpoint trail. Narrow track but nice riding for this first 1/4 mile.

East:  For the east trail, fork uphill at the top of the ridge (this route will change as new trail is cut). 300 feet up the hill, you'll intersect 1/4 mile of narrow new trail-cut heading left. Shortly after passing a spur going left, the trail gets primitive with encroaching maples and deadfall (2012). Then comes a long and ugly 0.3-mile hike-a-bike section before you hit the cruising on the ridgeline. It's 350 vertical; 20% slope; and it seems to go on forever. You are hereby warned.

Looking west. The blue on the right is the southern arm of the Great Salt Lake.

At the ridgeline, head west (right) to the first view. Backtrack and pass the trail fork to go southeast on the ridge. There's a mile of nice cruising ahead. When you hit a doubletrack area, turn left and join DT heading east toward the big knoll. That's your viewpoint. (Alternate: At the DT, keep southbound and drop across the valley to DT heading over the rise. This DT eventually drops steeply down to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail near the radio tower north of Ensign Peak.)

The doubletrack heading west-northwest can connect you to the gas line and thereby to the west viewpoint trail, but it can also take you downhill and get you thoroughly lost. Know before you go. Few riders do this route. Don't plan to follow tire tracks.

View north toward Bountiful, Woods Cross, Farmington...

West:  The western viewpoint trail starts at the five-way intersection. If you're on Wild Rose, it's the trail across the gully that climbs uphill while traversing the slope, 90 degrees to your right. The trail that goes uphill in the gully is Chukkar, a no-bikes.

After 0.3 miles, you reach a sorta-viewpoint. Non-adventurous types should say ooh ah and turn back here. If you continue, you'll be pushing your bike. The first hike is coming right up.

Looking south toward the Salt Lake Valley as we approach the City Creek viewpoint.

Cross the gas line at mile 0.5 to stay on ST. Then rejoin the gas line at 0.7 and push your bike uphill. There will be some cruising up on top, but right now you've got a brutal half-mile ahead. Stay on the ridgeline and join doubletrack. A fork in the doubletrack means you're near the east viewpoint trail. If you keep left and head east, you'll hit the doubletrack at the end of the eastern viewpoint trail. If you can find the east viewpoint singletrack -- not easy in 2012 without GPS -- you can complete a loop.

The knoll is our turnaround, where we have a look into City Creek Canyon. (No bikes are allowed off-road in upper City Creek; don't follow any primitive trails downhill.)

Wild Rose Loop, clockwise from BST:
0.0    Leave paved BST on Eaglepointe Dr
         East uphill on ST
         N40 49.625 W111 53.842
0.1    Keep straight (L)
         (R = to BR and parking)
         N40 49.583 W111 53.766
0.2    Keep L and uphill
         Connectors to park on R
         N40 49.546 W111 53.733
0.3    Keep L (R = DH return)
         N40 49.528 W111 53.698
         100 feet, then L again
         (R = return from loop)
         N40 49.532 W111 53.683
1.1    Go L to Sunset Point
         N40 49.629 W111 53.512
1.15  View N40 49.632 W111 53.571
1.2    Straight (L) to continue loop
         N40 49.634 W111 53.513
1.3    Fork R (L = to ridgeline views)
         N40 49.587 W111 53.418
1.4    (Keep R, flagged for new trail on L)
1.5    Fork R (L = to DH)
         N40 49.522 W111 53.482
1.7    Fork L (R = shortcut)
         N40 49.481 W111 53.562
1.75  Join DH (from L)
         N40 49.476 W111 53.517
         30 ft then keep L as DH leaves on R
1.9    Hard R at 5-way
         N40 49.351 W111 53.556
         (Straight L = Chukkar No Bikes)
         Soft R across gully = ridge viewpoints
         Soft R then R = alt DH
2.0    DH crosses!
         N40 49.466 W111 53.610
         100 ft, then keep L 
         (R = shortcut uphill)
         N40 49.479 W111 53.618
2.1    L on main trail
         N40 49.532 W111 53.683
2.2    At Park, keep R
         N40 49.546 W111 53.733
2.3    Keep straight (L = to BR)
         N40 49.583 W111 53.766
2.4    Back at BST
Wild Rose mini-DH loop:
0.0   From mile 0.3 of Wild Rose above
        (Bottom of DH N40 49.528 W111 53.698)
        Uphill on Wild Rose 60 ft
        R at fork  N40 49.532 W111 53.683
0.1   L on Shortcut N40 49.479 W111 53.618
0.2   L on Wild Rose (counterclockwise)
        N40 49.481 W111 53.562
0.4   Fork hard R N40 49.522 W111 53.482
        50 ft, then keep R  (L = Chukkar, no bikes)
        N40 49.511 W111 53.480
0.6   Join Wild Rose
        N40 49.466 W111 53.610
        (Caution! uphill bikes and hikers!)
        30 ft, then drop R on DH
        N40 49.472 W111 53.522
0.9   Cross Wild Rose
        N40 49.467 W111 53.609
        50 ft then alt DH joins on L
1.0   Bottom of DH on Wild Rose
East viewpoint trail, notes:
        2012 -- will change as new trail is cut...
0.0   From mile 1.3 of Wild Rose Loop
        N40 49.587 W111 53.419
        Straight (L) up ridge 300 ft
        L at new trail-cut
        N40 49.555 W111 53.391
0.3   Spur on L, fork R
        N40 49.510 W111 53.171
        (L = views, quick drop to streets)
0.5   Primitive: deadfall and encroaching trees
0.6   Gets steep, push-a-bike
0.7   Ugly push-a-bike for 1/4 mile
0.9   Ridgeline, R to view
        N40 49.276 W111 52.911
1.0   View, backtrack
        N40 49.310 W111 53.002
1.1   Keep straight (R) at ridge fork
1.7   Fork at N40 48.965 W111 52.498
        Note gas line connects to west viewpoints
        Option 1:
           straight to DT and up next knoll 2.0
           N40 48.793 W111 52.533
           (DT drops to Ensign Peak)
        Option 2:
           L and join DT to east knoll 2.4
           N40 49.285 W111 51.953
        Option 3:
           West to gas line and loop via west viewpoint trail
West viewpoint trail, notes:
0.0   From mile 1.9 of Wild Rose above
        N40 49.354 W111 53.554
        90-degree R at 5-way
        (L = Chukkar, no bikes)
        (hard R = Wild Rose down)
0.3   Views on ridge N40 49.380 W111 53.657
         Done vs continue straight
         First push-a-bike
0.5    Cross gas line to ST
         N40 49.233 W111 53.607
0.7    Join gas line, R steep uphill
         N40 49.125 W111 53.408
         Join eastbound DT when you can
1.6    Flat area, forking DT
         Veer slightly left on DT
         Don't go downhill w gas line, stay L
         Option: return by East viewpoint trail
            On the ridgeline NE of DT fork:
            Leaves DT uphill at N40 48.901 W111 52.499
            Cairn at N40 48.965 W111 52.498
            (2012 hard to find, suggest GPS)
Getting there, via Wild Rose Park:
On I-15 northbound, take exit 312 (US-89). Just after the exit at the first stop light, turn right on Eagle Ridge Drive. Keep on Eagle Ridge (straight) at the roundabout. Climb the hill for about two miles. Watch for Eaglepoint Drive on the right at N40 49.803 W111 53.771. (If you reach the golf course, you just missed it.) Drive 0.2 miles on Eaglepoint and turn left uphill on Sky Crest Lane. The parking lot is at the end of the road. From parking, find the singletrack on the left just below the bathroom. It connects to the uphill trail. Alternately, you can take sidewalk up through the park and find the uphill trail at the top of the grass, among several picnic-table spurs.
Getting there, via BST: From the City Creek TH in Salt Lake City, pedal across the mountain, keeping R on the BST at the Ensign Peak fork at mile 2.3. Descend to the bench northbound. At Tunnel Springs Park (mile 5.0), cross the street and continue north on paved trail on the left side of the street. When the asphault ends in cement sidewalk (just after you pass Sky Crest Lane on your right) at 5.4, cross the street on the crosswalk. The Wild Rose trail is just a few feet away. The dirt ST N40 49.623 W111 53.840 heading uphill in the maples is it.

Singlepage-riding guides: Wild Rose Loop   Mini DH Loop
GPS track files and route (right-click and "Save as..."):
     GPX area multi-track (includes viewpoint trails)
     Wild Rose Loop   Mini-DH Loop
     Bonneville Shoreline from City Creek
Printable high-res maps:    Topo     Satellite
Lodging, camping, shops:
       Links to northern SLC resources
       Links to Ogden area resources

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