||Cutler Flat Loop
North Fork Park
Cutler Flat Loop is a short ride at the north end of North Fork Park,
only 4.3 miles long. It can be a quick ride if you know where
you're going. It's just down the road from the more popular Mule
Loop. Top altitude is 6300 feet, bottom (at the picnic area) is
5700. Cutler Flat will seem quite non-flat to you. Although the altitude
change is not great, it occurs over fairly short distances. There will be
some sustained climbs with a pitch of 9-10%. At times, the trail is
heavily used by horses, so be prepared for some horsecrap dodging.
The final rays of sunshine are hitting
the maples on October 12, 2010.
|The trail starts as "you gotta be kiddin me" ugly
loose road. As you approach a utility shed and pavilion, you'll pass two
singletracks to your left. The first is the Cutler Trail, descending from
high on the mountain.
The second singletrack, just to the left of
the utility building, rejoins the main trail before the creek crossing. I
found a couple of sharp uphill turns with timber stairs and decided it
wasn't the way to go.
We're looking back at the pavilion we
just passed on the way to the trail. If you see this, you went the right
||The trail passes a picnic pavilion to continue doubletrack
that sits on top of the water line. After descending into the canyon,
you'll climb and cross the creek.
After a short bit of additional climbing, you'll hit a singletrack fork
at mile 1.1. Right cuts through to rejoin the trail. If you can, stay left
for a longer ride in forest. (Important note:
It's reported in 2014 that the left fork is severely overgrown. If so, you
may need to fork right and shortcut on the Bicentenial Trail to rejoin the
loop on the east side of the loop. This would be mile 3.0 on our
description, but your odometer would read about 1.6. See the map)
For a little while, the trail rolls
down the water line. Be patient. Soon you'll be on trail that feels
positively primitive and remote.
|The trail reaches a doubletrack where you'll go to the right
and descend for about 1/3 mile. Watch for continuing singletrack on your
Now it's up and down again. You'll meet up with the shortcut
singletrack at about mile 3. Keep left. (Or, you can circle back to the
right for a lariat-shaped ride.)
The trail twists, climbs, drops
through varied forest. There are stands of fir, aspen, maple, and oak.
||Now you'll enter the a final plunge toward the gravel road
and the picnic area. Just keep meandering south and generally downhill. If
you hit a picnic area bordering a rough, loose steep trail heading
southwest, that's the shortcut to the trailhead. Hike-a-bike it if you
I definitely need some better photos
of this trail. Shortly after starting the ride (including a few false
starts and wrong turns), it was too dark to shoot.
|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. 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 notes, clockwise loop:
0.0 Go around gate, start up loose DT
0.2 Pass Cutler Trail (on your L)
Pass unknown trail on your L
Pass picnic pavilion, continue west
0.9 Cross to creek onto northbound ST
1.1 Keep L (R=alternate ST)
Note 2014: L
fork is overgrown and hard
to follow. You will probably need to go R
to 3.0 below
1.7 R on DT
2.1 R on DT
2.2 R on DT, continue on ST
3.0 Join alternate ST, keep L
3.5 R on DT
4.0 Right around circle
4.1 Keep straight
4.3 Keep straight
5.0 Back at parking