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Little Mountain to Killyon Canyon Loop

The Little Mountain to Killyon Canyon Loop is a nice singletrack ride with a couple of miles of pavement to close the loop. There are some fairly stiff (but not long) climbs on the ridge heading north from Little Mountain Pass, and some tricky rutted sections in Killyon Canyon, making this an upper-intermediate ride. Length is 7.7 miles, with 5.1 singletrack. Absolute altitude change is 1000 ft, with total climbing around 1600 (half of the climbing will be on pavement).

Looking back along the ridge towards Little Mountain Pass, we see early snow on the peaks of the Cottonwood canyons. Photos by Bruce, September 20, 2002.

Starting at Little Mountain Pass, the trail climbs northeast along the ridge. After the first mile, you'll gain and lose vertical before descending towards the intersection with Killyon Canyon. You'll be riding through groves of gambel oak mixed with maples and an occasional fir tree.

Early fall colors hit the maples, with oak and choke cherry remaining stubbornly green.

Turning west into Killyon Canyon, you'll start a steep and slightly tricky descent. Washout ruts make this part advanced technical. Less-brave riders can easily walk the tricky spots. This section is cooler, with taller trees and a pretty creek. You'll spash through the creek a couple of times.

View down Killyon Canyon, from the ridge. We're about a mile from the fork that will take us flying down.

You'll spend about a mile and a half on the downhill among the trees of Killyon Canyon. Most of the ride is a fast and smooth descent, with a few spots (rutted steeper areas) where you'll have to watch yourself. These areas will be muddy after rainstorms. If you decide to ride the loop using Killyun for the uphill, these short sections will be a bit of a climbing challenge.

The Killyun Canyon Trail connects to road in the Pinecrest subdivision. From here, you drop down to the Emigration Canyon road, then grind back uphill on a wide bike lane.

View down the trail in Killyon Canyon.

Ride notes, Killyon Canyon Loop:
0.0   Start northeast uphill at Little Mountain Pass
3.5   4-way intersection, turn L downhill
        N 40 48.664' W 111 41.457'
        (R = down to Affleck Park)
4.4   Trail in from R
        N 40 48.278' W 111 42.192'
4.9   Fork, keep L
        N 40 48.008' W 111 42.515'
5.1   Arrive at gravel road, straight downhill
        N 40 47.877' W 111 42.615'
5.3   Downhill on pavement
6.0   Emigration Canyon road, L uphill
7.7   Back at Little Mountain Pass
Alternate (back side) loop,
Little Mountain to Mormon Trail:

0.0   Start northeast uphill at Little Mountain Pass
3.5   4-way intersection, turn R downhill
        N 40 48.664' W 111 41.457'
        (L = down to Killyon Canyon)
4.4   Affleck Park, R downhill on DT
4.6   Exit park on ST (keep R)
5.6   Road, cross slightly uphill to continuing trail
7.3   At Little Dell picnic area, exit onto road
7.5   Turn R at Emigration Canyon Road
9.6   Back at Little Mountain Pass
Getting there:  From Salt Lake City, drive up I-80 in Parley's Canyon. Exit at the Little Dell Recreation Area - East Canyon Exit (U-65). Drive north towards Big Mountain, then turn left at the Emigration Canyon road. At the summit (top of Little Mountain), park on the north (right) side of the road. The rocky track heading up the hill on the east end of the parking area is the trail. GPS N 40 46.512' W 111 43.129'.

Riding resources:
One-page printable trail guide
GPS track file (right-click and select "Save Target as..."):
     Garmin MPS     GPX  
Topo map for printing:  View
Lodging, camping, shops:   Links to NE SLC resources

Copyright 2002 Mad Scientist Software Inc