Hog Hollow closure by Blue Bison Development

December 2021:  A fence has been placed around a parcel of land owned by Blue Bison Development on the south side of Traverse Mountain. This parcel was part of the Traverse Ridge land purchase by Draper City and was subsequently sold to Blue Bison. The land lies at the city border where Highland, Alpine, and Draper meet. The developer sought to change the zoning of the land from low-density to high-density housing, and tried to force Highland and Alpine to allow new roads from the Draper land parcel through residential neighborhoods within Alpine and Highland. After losing the court case, the developer built the fence.

For residents of Highland and Alpine, the fence blocks access to lower Hog Hollow and its trail system. All three trails are cut off: (1) the connector from the Angel Gate trailhead in Highland, (2) the Hog Hollow Creek trail from Beacon Hill Park, and (3) the traditional Hog Hollow doubletrack trail along the pipeline corridor from Westfield Road to the mouth of Hog Hollow. The alternate routes to lower Hog Hollow require miles of driving plus miles of pedaling.

If the developer can't reach an agreement with the cities involved (or less likely, decides to abide by the original conditions and develop the land according to the original zoning), it will take court action to force the developer to restore public access through the property. A legal team is working on this. Expenses are funded by donations. You can help.

You can participate in the public discussion at the Save Our Trails Facebook group! Join the group to stay informed.

To help defray research and discovery expenses you can  Donate to the Legal Fund!

Please Sign the Petition!

If you're a resident of Draper, Highland, or Alpine, please watch your city council agenda. Show up to meetings and make your views known during the public comments time of the meeting.

Please review the history of Hog Hollow on this page to become familiar with the importance of access through the Angel Gate area. OPEN A PDF VERSION of the document below for downloading, printing or sharing.


Public Access to Hog Hollow for Mountain Biking

Author:  Bruce Argyle of Alpine UT, editor and principal author of the internet information web site UtahMountainBiking.com, with over 30 years of personal experience riding mountain bikes on the trails in the Alpine and Draper area.
Date:  December 5, 2021
Purpose:  The author believes that a Prescriptive Easement for Hog Hollow exists and that Blue Bison Development has no legal right to block public access to Hog Hollow from Alpine/Highland. This document will summarize evidence for that Easement and evaluate the impact of Blue Bison's action.
     1. Summary
     2. Selected History of Hog Hollow as a Mountain Bike Destination
     3. Selected Supporting Evidence
     4. Statements of Impact
     5. Individual Witnesses
     6. References

1. Summary

The Hog Hollow Trail aka Hog Hollow Road has been in continuous use by the general public since pioneer times. It was used recreationally by four-wheel enthusiasts, horse riders, and  motorcycle riders. Over the past 20 years, its principal recreational users have been mountain bikers. And in recent years, Hog Hollow is seeing increased use by hikers and horse riders as well as mountain bikers through the Angel Gate trailhead. Evidence shows that the Hog Hollow Road has been in continuous use by mountain bikers every year, and every season of the year, for 30 years. Hog Hollow was already an established biking route when Greg Bromka included the Corner Canyon to Hog Hollow Road in his book of cycling rides in 1996 (see below). It was ridden openly, was widely known as a riding location, and was used without seeking permission from any entity. Hog Hollow is a critical access point to the trail system on Traverse Mountain for those who live in the Alpine/Highland area. Before the placement of the fence by Blue Bison Development, lower Hog Hollow was seeing steadily increasing use by the public as they enter Draper's trail system through the Angel Gate trailhead. The nearest alternative trailheads are miles away on heavily trafficked roads. This is important because teenage members of school mountain bike racing teams from Lehi, Highland, and Alpine pedal directly to the Hog Hollow trail for training activities. Driving to another trailhead is not a reasonable option for these students, many of whom do not have driver's licenses or vehicles that can transport a bike. (The nearest trailheads to Angel Gate are 4.7 miles away to the west and 3.9 miles away on the east.) The fence separating the Angel Gate trailhead from the Hog Hollow Trail blocks an established public access path and places an undue burden on citizens who regularly use the trails.

2. Selected History of Hog Hollow as a Mountain Bike Destination:

Overview:  The Corner Canyon - Hog Hollow Road has been known and used extensively by cyclists since the recognition of mountain biking as a sport in the 1980s. The area, and the Hog Hollow Road itself, has seen steadily increasing use. The Draper side of the road has been improved and is now gravel for most of its length. Trailheads have been added at the Bonneville Shoreline, near the bottom of Jacob's Ladder, and at the top at Peakview. The road now serves as a driving link from the valley to trailheads higher on the mountain. Many mountain bikers still climb the hill using the gravel road for the steady exercise it provides.
The Alpine side has remained more primitive. Draper City purchased the land after passage of a bond in 2004. Hikers and mountain bikers continued to have unrestricted access to Hog Hollow Road from Alpine and Highland. As Draper developed their trail system, they converted the road to a broad non-motorized trail. Heavily used for recreation, the Hog Hollow trail also serves as a critical link to several other trails in their system on the south side of the mountain. Yet the Hog Hollow trail can ONLY be reached from Alpine and Highland by passing through the now-fenced Blue Bison property. 

1992.  A scheduled group mountain bike ride of Hog Hollow on June 3, 1992 is published in the Wasatch Mountain Club's June newsletter The Rambler. This indicates that Hog Hollow was known as a cycling route almost 30 years ago and in this case was a target destination. Riding was done openly, publicly announced, and without seeking permission from any individual or entity.

1996.  Greg Bromka publishes "Chapter 38. Upper Corner Canyon and Hog Hollow Roads" in his book "Mountain Biking Utah's Wasatch & Uinta Mountains." Greg Bromka's book was the definitive resource for area cyclists at the time of publication. The cited chapter establishes Hog Hollow as an actively-used cycling route, provides a map showing the route through Hog Hollow, and describes a recommended route for access to Hog Hollow from Alpine. Original copy in possession of Bruce Argyle.

2000.  Bruce Argyle publishes the web page "Hog Hollow" within UtahMountainBiking.com, a dedicated website for mountain biking information. Utah Mountain Biking was the definitive source of detailed Utah bike trail information on the internet. The Hog Hollow page was published with photos from 1999 and 2000 showing riders in Hog Hollow and an original hand-drawn map showing access to Hog Hollow through northwest Alpine. Hog Hollow was a known cycling destination, in use by groups and individuals. (Printed photos used to create the original web page are dated on the back and are in the author's possession.) The web page has been frequently updated since, as the trail has been in continuous use by cyclists.

2003, 2004.  A winter hill-climb and down-hill bike race in Hog Hollow was sponsored by Utah Mountain Biking for two consecutive years (2/1/2003 and 2/7/2004).  The events in 2003 and 2004 were publicly announced and promoted during January before each race. Web articles about these races were published shortly after each race in UtahMountainBiking.com and remain in publication. The 2004 event was the subject of an article by a Provo Daily Herald writer (copy of the newspaper story in possession of Bruce Argyle). The event organizer's best recollection is that, in preparing for the race, he spoke with the Chair of the Alpine City Trails Committee and with the Alpine City Manager and was told that there was a "public easement" for the Hog Hollow Road, and that no permission was required from any landowner as long as racers stayed on the roadway and the base of operations for the race was within 10 feet of the road.

[ Years circa 2005-2010. ]  Hog Hollow was the primary climbing route of the race course for the expert division at the Alpine Days mountain bike race (held yearly in early August) for several years. These races were sponsored by Alpine City. Was permission sought from any individual or entity to use the Hog Hollow Road? 

2006.  Hog Hollow is the subject of a satirical post in Elden Nelson's popular internet blog "Fat Cyclist." One can conclude from this blog post that the post's author knew Utah's mountain bikers were familiar with Hog Hollow and would be interested in an article concerning it -- whether satire or fact.

2017.  The Angel Gate trailhead (a cindered parking area just west of the Hog Hollow Road near the three-way border of Draper, Highland, and Alpine) is first described in UtahMountainBiking.com as a location for public parking when riding bikes in Hog Hollow. (The connector from the Angel Gate trailhead to the Hog Hollow and Hog Hollow Creek trails is now blocked by the Blue Bison fence.)

2017.  The Hog Hollow Creek trail makes a continuous corridor from Westfield Road through Beacon Park and on uphill to join the lower Hog Hollow Road. It is an alternative singletrack route, bypassing the lower (Alpine) portion of the broad Hog Hollow trail. It is considered an established biking route with formal trail signs and connector trails to receive hikers and riders from nearby homes and deliver them uphill to the Hog Hollow Trail. (The Hog Hollow Creek trail is now blocked by the Blue Bison fence.)

2017.  The Porcupine Trail is constructed, joining the Peakview Trail to upper Hog Hollow from the east (the connection is currently just above the merger of the Two Hollows trail with the Hog Hollow trail).

2018.  The Two Hollows trail traverses the hillside to connect the Mercer Canyon trail (west of Hog Hollow) to the upper Hog Hollow trail, with trailhead connection at the subdivision uphill.

2018.  The one-way Achtung Baby trail is constructed from the Two Hollows trail (just downhill from the junction with the Hog Hollow Road) down to the western side of the lower Hog Hollow Trail. (Achtung Baby is later extended uphill so it begins where the combined Hog Hollow/Two Hollows trail goes under the subdivision road at the trailhead.) The Hog Hollow trail is used as the uphill access route to the top of Achtung Baby, with Utah County riders entering the trail system through the Angel Gate trailhead.

2019.  The Fango trail is constructed from the lower Hog Hollow Trail over to Mercer Hollow, leaving the Hog Hollow trail just below the end of Achtung Baby.

2019.  High school mountain bike team riders are regularly using Hog Hollow as their access point for training rides.

2020.  The connector trail from Fango to Woods Hollow increases the utility of Angel Gate as an access point for all of Draper City's south-side trails.

2021.  The Hog Hollow trail is again the climbing route for the Alpine Days mountain bike race in August.

2021. The Longview and the Carpe Diem trails join the lower Hog Hollow trail on the eastern side of the path. These trails substantially increase the number of hikers and bike riders entering Hog Hollow through the Angel Gate trailhead.

2021. During the 11 weeks of August through mid-October, 11 school race teams used Hog Hollow for training rides on 41 individual days, with a total of 4816 students among those teams.

3. Selected supporting evidence:

Upcoming event for 1992 as reported in The Rambler (Wasatch Mountain Club) page 6 of a 60-page publication mailed to members.
Note size of membership in the 20-page insert between pages 20 and 21. View full PDF

The Hog Hollow Road was a known and highly used route at the time of the publication of Greg Bromka's "Mountain Biking Utah's Wasatch & Uinta Mountains" in 1996. Bromka is the author of several mountain bike guidebooks, and was the definitive expert for Utah's trails at the time of this publication. The cycling route listed in his book runs from Draper to Alpine, consisting of the Corner Canyon Road on the north and the Hog Hollow Road on the south. 
View 150-151 in higher resolution View 152-153 in higher resolution
Original riding map of Hog Hollow published in 2001
by Utah Mountain Biking, created by Bruce Argyle
Map for February 2003 "Frozen Hog" Race sponsored
by Utah Mountain Biking
Handlebar photo in Hog Hollow dated April 3, 1999
by Bruce Argyle. This photo was used in the original 2001
publication.  See current trail page.
Group photo at the top of Hog Hollow 01/08/2000 by Bruce Argyle,
showing Mike Engberson, Chad Hunter, Gary Argyle.
This photo has been in continuous publication since 2001.
Matt Flygare descends Hog Hollow on 1/15/2000.
Photo by Bruce Argyle
Crew of the first Frozen Hog winter bike race at Hog Hollow
02/01/2003. [ 2003 race - 2004 race ]
Frozen Hog time trial race in Hog Hollow 2003 (YouTube) Frozen Hog hillclimb race in Hog Hollow 2004 (YouTube)
Hog Hollow was being used by cyclists in all seasons, long before "Fat Bikes" were generally available. This publication by Provo's The Daily Herald contains an article on the 2004 Frozen Hog race on the Hog Hollow Road. The photo shows the hillclimb race. 

View higher-resolution JPG

(After two years in Hog Hollow, in 2005 the Frozen Hog event was moved to Alpine's Lambert Park, where it was held every February for several years. This was done because the popularity of the event required more parking than was possible on the side of the Hog Hollow Road and nearby subdivision streets, and not due to any restrictions or lack of permission.)

Location of nearest trailheads for riders in Alpine and Highland. In every case, it requires several miles of road and trail riding to reach Hog Hollow from any alternate trailhead. The Angel Gate connector is critical.
With the fence in place:
  To reach Hog Hollow from the east, riders would take Westfield Road to Alpine's Main Street, then north to Fort Canyon Ranch TH to reach the trail system, then climb up and over the mountain and descend to Hog Hollow on their bikes.
  To the west, riders would climb Suncrest Drive and divert into the subdivision to reach southern Maple Hollow, climb uphill to a connecting trail, then ride a few miles of trail (again crossing Suncrest Drive) over to Hog Hollow.
Note that the Hog Hollow Creek trail from Westfield Road is blocked near Angel Gate, as is the broad doubletrack trail (to the right, mid-map) and the connector from the Angel Gate trailhead. (Three trails are blocked with a single fence. There is no way to reach Hog Hollow without miles of detour.)
On the Trailforks trail navigation app, the Hog Hollow trail has a popularity rating of 90 on a scale of 100. (A trail's popularity is established by comparing the number of Strava app subscribers who ride it compared to how frequently they use other trails in the area.)

As a comparison, the Three Falls Fort Canyon trail has a popularity of 70. To reach the Fort Canyon Ranch trailhead (the nearest trailhead to the east) requires 3.9 miles from the Angel Gate trailhead by street, then 7.1 miles on trails to reach upper Hog Hollow.

The Fango Trail and its connector to Woods Hollow have a popularity of 65. The street route from Angel Gate to the Brookside trailhead in Draper (the closest trailhead to the west) is 4.7 miles, then 3.9 miles on trail to reach lower Hog Hollow.*

   *mileage source is GPS track files published on UtahMountainBiking.com

School mountain bike team organized practices in Hog Hollow

During August through mid-October 2021, a total of 11 school racing teams used Hog Hollow on 41 individual days. There are 4816 student athletes among these teams. This data is obtained from the High School Mountain Bike Practice Coordination Spreadsheet used by the school teams to coordinate practices by reserving a trail or trail system for specific teams on a given day. (Note that in addition to organized practices, nearby student athletes often go for training rides in Hog Hollow on their own.) Spreadsheet data for Hog Hollow provided by Ryan Smith at the link below.
Download Spreadsheet

4. Statements of Impact:

John Rosenvall:
Wow our high school bike team uses that trailhead regularly. That's a key trailhead for us.
Jonathan Ludwig:
At least 4 large high school teams use it weekly during the training season.
A lot of the riders on our team bike to that trailhead from home, because it is close and safer to access on a bike than other trailheads. With the current closures, they won't be able to do that either.
Paul Fulton:
My boys were (are) on the Lone Peak mountain bike team. I want them (and all Utah County mountain bike kids and all trail enthusiasts) to have access to Hogs from Highland as soon as possible. It's that simple.
Rick Louder:
Our home sits adjacent to the 110-acre Blue Bison property. I look out the window to the north each morning and see a parking lot full of biking enthusiasts taking advantage of the plethora of trails.
Elden Nelson:
At least a couple thousand of us have ridden it since 2010 (did Strava exist before then?), and many of us have ridden it hundreds of times (I show a couple hundred for myself, the earliest in 2010). https://strava.com/segments/746465 This doesn't even take running, horseback riding into account, or people who ride without tracking.
Michael Dutton:
1) Cutting off Highland/Alpine access to Hog Hollow will force more traffic onto Draper residential streets as everyone from mountain bikers, horse owners with trailers, high school mountain bike teams divert traffic from Hog Hollow to other trailheads within Suncrest neighborhoods; 2) Longstanding routes for these groups will now be cut off -- no more access to epic routes on Three Falls/Alpine/Lambert/back up Hog Hollow; riding gravel bikes up CC and down HH and then connecting to AF Canyon and Murdock Canal, etc...
John Dunn:
I'm shocked, saddened and a bit outraged by this sudden lack of access both for my personal riding and because I do help coach one of the HS and Jr Devo teams who use those trails regularly during the season.
Breezy Anson (Alpine City Trails Committee):
I was literally in diapers when my parents would take me on horse rides from our home and up Hog Hollow to the Corner Canyon look out. The summer going into 8th grade (circ. 1991) I started and continued to ride up Hog Hollow and down into Draper. I would stop by the old German restaurant, Hiedles or Heidi's, to call my mom to come pick me up.
Elden Nelson:
I'd add my own name and Doug Anderson's name to the list of folks who have ridden this trail for at least 20 years. I distinctly remember it was one of the first "big" rides he showed me when I was just starting mountain biking, back in 1995.

5. Individual Witnesses:
(These individuals can attest that they have been riding mountain bikes through Hog Hollow for at least 20 years and continue to do so)
Bruce Argyle (Alpine) riding Hog Hollow since 1997
Chad Hunter (Highland) rides from  1980
Gary Argyle (Highland) rides from  2000
Dominic Bria (Logan) rides from 1999
Matt Flygare (Tooele) rides from 2000
Mike Engberson (Eagle Mountain) rides from 1999
Lane Stevens (Alpine) rides from 1999
Steve Winters rides from 1993
Greg Schauerhammer rides from 2002
Jon Beesley rides from 2000
Greg Paul (Alpine) rides from 1995
Breezy Anson (Alpine) rides from 1991
Doug Andeson rides from 2000
Elden Nelson rides from 2000
Dan Jimenez rides from 2000
Brianne Hamilton riding since late 1980s
Randy Hamilton riding since 1980s
Eric Harrison rides from 2002
Jay Griffin rides from 1990

6. References:

1. Allred, C Ed (1992). The Rambler Vol. 69, No. 6, page 6. Wasatch Mountain Club, Salt Lake City UT.  View PDF

2. AllTrails (2021). Hog Hollow Trail, AllTrails (website). https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/utah/hog-hollow-trail

3. Argyle, B (2001). Hog Hollow, UtahMountainBiking.com (DBA of Mad Scientist Software Inc) Lehi UT. http://utahmountainbiking.com/trails/hog.htm

4. Argyle, B (2003). The Frozen Hog, UtahMountainBiking.com (DBA of Mad Scientist Software Inc) Lehi UT. http://www.utahmountainbiking.com/racing/Hog03-mainpage.htm
Argyle, B (2003). Frozen Hog 2003 (video), YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkyb5iFu9K8

5. Argyle, B (2004). Frozen Hog 2004, UtahMountainBiking.com (DBA of Mad Scientist Software Inc) Lehi UT. http://www.utahmountainbiking.com/racing/Hog04-mainpage.htm
Argyle, B (2004). The Frozen Hog (video), YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmph2ZrLSGQ

6. Bromka, G (1996). Mountain Biking Utah's Wasatch & Uinta Mountains (pp. 150-153: "38. Upper Corner Canyon and Hog Hollow Roads"), Offroad Publications, Salt Lake City UT.

7. Draper Parks and Recreation (2021). Hog Hollow Rd Trail, Draper UT City (website). https://www.draperutah.gov/1658/Hog-Hollow-Rd-Trail

8. MTBproject (2021). Hog Hollow Road, MTBproject (website). https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7034457/hog-hollow-road

9. Nelson, E (2006). Utah Legislature Passes Bill to Rename Hog Hollow Trail, The Fat Cyclist (website), Salt Lake City UT. http://www.fatcyclist.com/2006/10/19/

10. Smith, R (2021). 2021 High School Practices at Hogs, Google Docs (website). https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1FOUV37iHxhVinCQG7EeLsoFi__eNE371DTkxzQOgiqk/edit?usp=sharing

11. Trailforks (2021). Hog Hollow Road, Trailforks (website). https://www.trailforks.com/trails/hog-hollow-road/

12. Warnock, C (2004). Riders face off for cold competition. The Daily Herald, Provo UT. View JPG

13. Wasatch v Okelberry (2008). (Relevant case law)  http://www.utcourts.gov/opinions/supopin/Okelberry021208.pdf