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Cutler Flat Loop
Bicentennial, Long Loop, and Middle Fork trails in North Fork Park

The Cutler Flat Loop is a short ride at the north end of North Fork Park. It includes Long Loop, Middle Fork, most of Bicentennial and a piece of Cutler's Twist. This traditional ride has changed a bit in 2021 after the addition of new trail. This page describes a 6.2 mile lariat-loop ride with around 1000 vertical feet of climbing. Top elevation is 6300 feet; bottom is 5700. The expected riding season is June through October.

Looking up Cutler Flat as we begin the climb up the Middle Fork to Bicentennial Trail. Original review and map October 12, 2010. Update by Bruce on August 13, 2021.

Cutler Flat will seem quite non-flat to you. Although the elevation change is not great, much of it occurs over fairly short distances. There will be some granny-gear climbs with a pitch of 9-10%. The Long Loop downhill portion is for expert or confident upper-intermediate riders.

View to the east near the top elevation of the ride.

Picking a trailhead

If you begin from the traditional parking area down at the road fork (see map), your ride will start as a climb on "you gotta be kiddin me" ugly loose gravel road. As you approach a utility shed and pavilion, you'll pass two singletracks. One is the Cutler Springs trail, and the other is Cutler's Twist. Stay on the doubletrack and aim for the left side of the pavilion. This is NOT my recommended route, so let's backtrack for a sec.

We're looking back at the pavilion we just passed on the way to the trail. If you see this, you went the right way.

Mule Ear

I'm going to suggest that you start at the trailhead on the northern end of the Mule Shoe to Mule Ear loop. Catch the connector at the northwest corner of the loop and turn left onto Mule Ear climbing uphill. From there, you'll ride up Mule Ear, cross over the main gravel road, and cross over Mule Connector. (In August 2021, the trail markers at this intersection were not helpful. Of the three options, pick the trail in the middle that goes uphill.) At the next trail fork at mile 0.2 uphill from the trailhead, turn right onto Cutler's Twist.

At the Mule Loop trailhead off the North Fork Park main road. The connector trail is to the left of my car, below the big tree. We're looking west.

Cutler's Twist

Assuming you started via the Cutler's Twist route, the trail will head north and arrive at the group area (the pavilion) at mile 0.5 from the trailhead. Cross the first doubletrack. As you reach the second gravel road, the singletrack starts uphill to a trail fork. Don't go there. Instead, turn left onto the gravel road and ride past the pavilion.

Heading north on Cutler's Twist.

Cutler Creek

The route veers to the west on the doubletrack that sits on top of the water line. After descending into the canyon, you'll climb gently along Cutler Creek. This is the Cutler Creek trail, here combined with the Bicentennial route.

Around mile 0.4 from the pavilion, there's a singletrack on the left that you can take for a short while. It rejoins after about 1/10th mile.

We're heading out onto the Cutler Creek DT. The manhole cover is the only sign that it lies on a waterline corridor.

Bicentennial trail

At mile 0.6 from the pavilion (mile 1.1 of the ride), there's a marked singletrack on the right. This is the Bicentennial Trail. The doubletrack Cutler Creek trail continues uphill. Turn right and pedal up to the bridge to cross the creek. (Or splash through at the horse crossing. Your call.)

At the beginning of the Bicentennial singletrack. From here, the trail will head west a bit before crossing the creek and coming back east.

Climb Bicentennial for 0.3 miles to a saddle. Here you'll find a trail fork. You're now at mile 1.4 of the ride. The Bicentennial trail continues on the right, and will be your return route.

Climbing northbound on Bicentennial.

Long Loop trail

Straight ahead is Long Loop. The Long Loop trail is 0.8 miles, and will drop 200 vertical feet. There will be a bit of climbing on the way downhill.

View from the trail fork, looking down the Long Loop trail.

The upper end of Long Loop has been rebuilt into a flow trail. But the smooth swooping riding won't last long (as of 2021).

In the middle of the fun swooping part.

On the rebuilt upper part of Long Loop. Pretty plush.

Off the main trail onto a log ride. Nice challenge

The trail turns tough for a while, with up-and-down riding through thick maple forest. There are a lot of roots and tree-trunks to get across. This is where the ride earns its expert rating. But it won't last too long.

A bit of uphill that ends in a tree-trunk challenge.

The trail gets easy again as it falls onto an old road-grade. You'll descend along a canyon, then reach a dirt road. This is where the original Long Loop trail ends. (The traditional ride turned downhill on the DT here.) Go across the road to continue on singletrack. This is the Long Loop extension. 

Looking down North Fork from lower Long Loop.

Long Loop extension

As you cross the road at mile 2.2 of your ride, the singletrack will continue another 0.4 miles down through forest of maple and oak. As you reach a dirt road, turn right downhill. (The singletrack across the road -- as of 2021 -- is a hike-and-horse trail named Scrub Oak. Don't go there.)

Descending the extension to Long Loop, as the trees change from maple to oak.

North Fork Ogden River Road

Go 0.3 miles southeast down the doubletrack. Keep left and downhill as another dirt road (the one you crossed a while ago) joins. Once you're in a sagebrush flat, watch carefully for the Middle Fork to Bicentennial trail. It will be on your right, hidden from view by a tree. You're now at mile 2.9 of the ride.

Descending the doubletrack through Cutler Flat. The Middle Trail to Bicentennial is behind that tree on the edge of the dirt road.


Middle Fork

Start uphill on the Middle Fork to Bicentennial trail. After cruising gently uphill through the flat, it will cross over to forest and begin climbing. There will be a bit of up-and-down riding as you work your way uphill.

Looking west as we begin Middle Fork.

Middle Fork is 0.8 miles long and will gain 150 vertical feet of elevation. It's a fairly easy climb with nothing technical on the trail surface. As with 95% of this ride, you're constantly in shaded forest of maple, oak, aspen, and the occasional fir.

Climbing Middle Fork through maple and ferns.

At mile 3.7 of the ride, you reach the Bicentennial trail. Turn uphill right.

This is the uphill trail junction between Bicentennial and Middle Fork. We're looking north, the way we just came, toward Middle Fork from Bicentennial.

Bicentennial trail, part 2

There will be some stiff pitches to climb here. Over the next 0.6 miles, you'll gain 300 feet of elevation. If the trail surface is loose, some of these pitches may be hike-a-bikes for you. Once you reach the sign indicating the trail's high point (elevation 6300), descend Bicentennial another 0.3 miles back to the Long Loop trail fork.

Trail summit. How nice of them to let us know the grunt climbing is over!

It's now around mile 4.7 of your ride. Consider another go around the loop. This time, you could descend dirt road all the way to the bottom of Bicentennial. Here you could climb back up via Bicentennial for a longer loop, or take the very-much easier climb back to the pavilion on the Traildemic trail.

To follow the traditional loop ride, turn left away from the top of Long Loop and descend Bicentennial back to Cutler Creek and climb out to complete your 6.2 mile ride.

Descending Bicentennial back toward Cutler Creek.

Ride notes, lariat loop as above
0.0 ST from parking off North Fork Park road
      Immediate left uphill on Mule Ear
      Cross gravel road
0.1 Cross Mule Connector
0.2  R on Cutler's Twist
0.5  Onto DT, pass L of pavilion
1.1  R onto Bicentennial ST
1.4  Keep L to descend Long Loop
2.2  Cross dirt road
2.6  R on DT
2.9  R on Middle Fork trail
3.7  R on Bicentennial
4.7  L to continue Bicentennial
5.0  Keep L on DT Cutler Creek
5.7  L onto Cutler's Twist
6.0  L to descend Mule Ear
6.2  Back at TH fork

Getting there:  Go up Ogden Canyon. (From the north on I-15, take the 12th South Ogden exit and head east on Highway 39. From the south, exit I-15 on US 89. Pass I-84 and climb up the hill, then turn right on Harrison Blvd. Continue on Harrison until you hit U-39 and turn R toward Ogden Canyon.) Turn left across the dam at Pineview Reservoir. At the stop sign in Eden, turn left. Turn left at the stop sign in Liberty. After about 1/4 mile, take the next right. Just after you cross the river, veer left toward North Fork Park.

Mule Ear trailhead (recommended): Turn left again at the North Fork Park sign. At the campground entry gate, you can turn left into the 365 Trail trailhead for a longer ride. To park at the Mule Loop trailhead, go 1.8 miles on the main North Fork Park road from where you turned off the main road. Look for a the trailhead sign on your right. Pull into the little loop and park. Connect to the trail on the northwest side of the parking area.

Traditional road-fork entry: Pass the first entrance into the North Fork Park (on your left). Go another mile up the road and turn left at the second entry N41 22.986 W111 54.298. Fork left at the T intersection. When you reach a hairpin turn with a gate at the apex (north side) of the turn, N41 22.979 W111 55.187, you're there. There's a singletrack on the right as you face the gate. That's a shortcut for a counterclockwise loop. Ignore it. The trail is the ST that sneaks around the left side of the gate, and the trail is the soft cindered DT.

Riding resources for this trail:
GPS track files (right-click, "Save as..."):
    Multi-track GPX area file 
Area map in separate window for printing:    View map
Lodging, camping, shops:     Links to Ogden area resources

 Copyright 2010 Mad Scientist Software Inc
updated 2021