(Little Deer Creek Loop)
The Pot Hollow trail is a short singletrack
descent from Pole Line Pass into the Little Deer Creek valley. (Note: the
official name is "Provo Deer Creek" but nobody around here calls
it that.) Overall,
it's intermediate technical, with a couple of short trickier downhill
sections that are easy to walk for less-aggressive riders. It can be done
as a shuttled downhill or as a loop ride.
climbing on the ridge (Road 220), looking west toward Mill Canyon Peak. In
a couple of hours, we'll be coming down the slopes of that mountain.
Photos September 12, 2006.
|The loop ride is exactly 12 miles, with 2000 vertical feet
of climbing. This breaks down to 7.3 miles of gravel/dirt road, 2 miles
narrower dirt road, and 2.6 miles of singletrack. That's a fair amount of
dirt-road riding for the amount of singletrack, which explains why this
excellent trail isn't packed with bikes.
Some riders may want to park at Cascade Springs and ride 2.5 miles up
to the road fork, which would make the total ride 17 miles with 2700 feet
Looking east from the ridge, we see
the Heber Valley.
||As a loop ride, I can recommend Pot Hollow for two things:
(1) a long training climb followed by a fun descent, and (2) a group ride
for Boy Scouts from the campground. The climb up to the pass gets long and
tedious (and can be quite hot), but the descent is cool and beautiful.
As we climb toward Pole Line Pass, we
occasionally look back over the shoulder at Mount Timpanogos.
|To do the ride as a shuttle, drive the gravel road 220 to
Pole Line Pass, then descend Pot Hollow and the Deer Creek road back to the
fork in the road for a 4.7-mile ride that's virtually all downhill.
Just after starting the singletrack, there's one short steep climb, about
100 feet. If the motorcycles have churned it, expect to hike. There's also
a short but easy climb shortly after starting Trail 37. Once you're past
the first 3/4 mile, it's all downhill.
We're at Sandy Baker Pass, where the
Pot Hollow trail forks off Ridge Trail 157.
|A note on riding with Boy Scouts:
I recommend this ride for Boy Scouts camping at Little Deer Creek,
but with some cautions.
The 7-mile climb may be beyond the muscular endurance of many
12-year olds. Allow at least 3 hours for the climb up, and follow
your guys with a sag-wagon to pick up those who give out.
There are two steep spots (see below) that require off-the-seat
riding technique. Make sure your scouts know how to ride off-saddle.
Encourage them to walk the areas that are steep and loose.
Give yourself about 6 hours: 3 hours for the climb, 1 hour for the
descent, and 2 "trouble hours" for flats and breakdowns.
|For much of the climb up the gravel road, the views are
behind you. It's hot and dusty. And it seems to go on forever. But once
you're there, it's all fun.
The singletrack starts at Pole Line Pass and drops to Sandy Baker Pass,
were you fork left. After another 1/2 mile, you fork left again and drop
steeply down to Big Spring. Then the singletrack gets mellow as you drop
toward Little Deer Creek (Provo Deer Creek).
We're at Big Spring.
||There are two technical spots worthy of mention:
(1) Just after starting the singletrack, you'll encounter a section of
very soft sandy trail. Because it's fairly steep downhill, it's very easy
to endo by digging in the front tire. (2) When Pot Hollow (Trail 37) goes
left downhill off the East Side Ridge Trail, there's about 1/4 mile of
steep (20% slope). If the surface is loose, it requires good handling
skills, off-the-seat technique, and braking control.
On the Little Deer Creek Road, you'll
cross the creek twice. You're almost done, so go ahead and get wet! Splash
through -- you know you want to!
|The ride down the Little Deer Creek Road is fun and fast.
Depending on the season, there may be some deep ruts here and there. As
you come to the fork, either veer right into the campground (if you
started there, or just want to play tourist), or continue straight on down
View down the Little Deer Creek Road.
|Note to hardcore
157 to East Ridge Loop Option
Want a really tough ride? Want to show everybody how mean a biker you
really are? Or, maybe just really suffer? Instead of dropping 1/2 mile
from Sandy Baker Pass to the trail fork, go all the way around Mill Canyon
Peak first. At the first fork in the singletrack, go right and take Ridge
157 to Rock Spring. Then climb over the ridge and come back on the East
Side Ridge Trail. This adds about 7 miles and 900 feet of climbing to the
ride, on some very vicious and difficult technical singletrack.
This ride is really sick, and only a total idiot would do it. So
naturally, I've made a trail page for that route. Who knows, you just
might be up to the challenge.
here to link to Pot Hollow via East Side Ridge trail page]
||Loop ride, starting from fork of Road 220
Little Deer Creek Campground road:
0.0 Starting from fork, go east (R if coming uphill) on Rd
N40 29.409 W111 31.968
Cross creek and go uphill
0.7 Crest hill, fork L at 4-way
N40 28.858 W111 31.871
3.2 Keep straight R (L = bail to Little Deer Creek Road)
N40 30.825 W111 31.922
4.1 Pass DT connector to upper L.D.Creek
N40 31.447 W111 32.376
5.7 Turn L and continue on gravel road
N40 32.388 W111 33.189
7.3 Pole Line Pass
N40 31.900 W111 34.244
L on ST just before road turns
7.9 Left at fork onto trail 37
N40 31.404 W111 34.249
8.5 Left downhill on Pot Hollow Trail
N40 31.113 W111 33.981
10.0 R on DT (Little Deer Creek Road)
N40 30.978 W111 32.585
10.9 Fork L (R = into Little Deer Creek campground)
11.5 Pass exit from L.D.C. campground
12.0 Back at fork
Getting there: Drive to the top of the
Alpine Loop, either from the North Fork of Provo Canyon (past Sundance and
Aspen Grove) or from American Fork Canyon. Just 1/4 mile east of the
summit, turn east on Road 24 (Cascade Scenic Drive). Drive 7 miles. Just
before Cascade Springs, the paved road takes a hard right turn. Turn left
onto a gravel road here, labeled "Wasatch
Mountain State Park" and "Little Deer Creek Campground."
Drive uphill 2.5 miles to the fork in the road. You can park at the side
of the road and start the ride here, or proceed straight to Little Deer
Creek Campground (fee required) and start the ride there.