On the southwest slope of Mount Timpanogos is a bench
area at around 6000 feet elevation. Through the years, horsemen and trail
hikers have created many "social trails" winding between the
groves of oak and maple. Local mountain bikers discovered these trails and
began riding them, although trail runners are the most frequent users.
This page is a general description of the area. To find individual trail
pages for this area, scroll down to the page-listing below.
from the south shows the bench area where the trails are located. The
mid-height hill is Little Baldy. The big mountain is Timpanogos.
Note! These trails are on Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
land, purchased with sportsmen dollars and set aside as the Orem Bench
Wildlife Management Area specifically to protect Utah's native animals.
Mountain Biking is allowed, but only insofar as it is not harmful to
wildlife. To insure continued access please be respectful to the
landowner by following proper trail etiquette and obeying all posted
1. Do not ride these trails during the winter. Deer will not
survive the winter if frequently disturbed.
2. Unauthorized trail-building is strictly prohibited!
3. To reduce erosion and prevent "trenching" of trails,
do not ride trails when muddy.
4. Avoid disturbing wildlife, and do not allow your dog to chase
|The riding season is May through mid-November. This area is
a wildlife management region, so it is CLOSED to cycling during the winter when it will
stress the deer.
The slopes face south. In summer, these trails will be quite hot in the
Most of the trails are intermediate in technical requirement. But there
can be some sustained steepish climbing that taxes your leg stamina.
Looking north in the Orem Bonneville Shoreline
||Because these trails began as "people going somewhere
by the shortest route possible," there's no coherant trail layout.
The trails simply go everywhere, crossing over the trails that happen to
have a different direction.
The trails may change from year to year, falling into disuse from
then being resurrected by the traffic of a new group of trail-users. The
trails used by horsemen (particularly Great Western Trail 033 and Trail
51) have hoof-churn cobble that makes them less pleasant to ride.
Typical appearance for the area trails, which tend to
go through grassy areas between the stands of oak.
aren't any trail signs as these "social trails" branch and cross
over each other. So navigation is
tricky. A map and a GPS unit help.
While you're riding here, avoid taking any trail that doesn't show
obvious fresh tire tracks. First, you'll probably go somewhere you didn't
plan on. And we want the abandoned trails to fill in. On a dry slope like
this, it takes a few years for an old trail to disappear.
Example of trail proliferation. The arrows are all
southbound trails within 100 yards of each other.
||Typical for "social trails" created by horses and
hikers, the trails do not have a sustainable alignment. They tend to drop
down the fall line. Feet grind the dirt, then rainstorms wash that loose
dirt downhill. When the trail becomes an unpleasant trench, the traffic
often moves to one side and a new trail begins.
A "Fall Line" trail's evolution. The old
trail has become difficult for either hiking or biking due to the deep
sides and rounded bottom. So a new trail has sprung up alongside.
|Some of the trails listed below are remote and primitive.
They are only for adventuresome riders. I've included them because the
trails are listed in other resources.
Example of a barely-visible trail in tall grass among
the gambel oak.
Partial list of trails in the Timpanogos Foothill area
(names are not official and may vary among different groups of riders)
||0.9 mi. The Altar to Trail 51. 200 vertical.
||0.5 mi. Primitive. Extends from Mouse Climb to Frank 033.
||1.2 mi. Major access trail climbs from BST to Altar. 450
||0.2 mi. Steep access connects lower Betty to BST further
east. 150 vertical.
|The Other Betty
||0.6 mi. Runs alongside Betty from mid-point to near BST,
pleasant trail. 200 vertical.
||0.7 mi. From eastern Crank to Roller Coaster or Ireland near
BST. 250 vertical.
||0.8 mi. Mid Crank to Roller Coaster. 150 vertical.
||0.2 mi. Bench Road to Zorro near end of singletrack. 250
||0.8 mi. Western Altar-51 to Little Baldy just above Altar.
||0.5 mi. Bench Road along top of cliffs down to Race Loop.
||1.2 mi. Mid Betty to West Ridge. Connections Blackbirds and
Ireland. 450 vertical.
|Crank to Ireland
||0.5 mi. Mid Crank to mid Ireland below Shooter. 75 vertical.
||1.3 mi. GWT and BST, from Bench Road to Canyon Glen. 500
||0.9 mi. DH route from Ireland to BST TH. 650 vertical.
||0.8 mi. Officially 033 Little Baldy GWT. From Bench Road to
Altar. 450 vertical.
||1.1 mi. From Bench Road to west end of Crank. 600 vertical.
||1.1 mi. Longer alternate route on upper Dragon's Back. 300
||3.5 mi. GWT 033 from Altar to junction with Dry Canyon on
Little Baldy Ridge. 1800 vertical.
||0.6 mi. Primitive techy trail from Little Baldy to mid Ouch.
||0.9 mi. Higher narrow alternative route begins and ends on
Trail 51. 100 vertical either direction.
||0.8 mi. Runs east of Betty from mid Betty to Altar. 400
||6 mi. Dirt road from BST TH to 189 in
Provo Canyon. First 3 mi BST. 350 vertical.
||1.2 mi. Primitive and rough. West Taj Mahal to mid Taj Mahal. 200
||0.5 mi. Primitive but more plush. Loop begins and ends on Ouch. 75
||0.6 mi. Narrow nigher alternative trail off Trail 51. 100
||1.7 mi. Twisting loop between Bench Road and Canyon View
Park. 300 vertical.
|Race Access, Upper
||0.5 mi. From high point of race loop to Bench Road. 200
||0.8 mi. Mid-lower Betty to Bench Road. 200 vertical.
||2.3 mi. Climbs from BST near trailhead to Ireland. 650
||2.5 mi. Little Baldy to Alta Ditch (Bench) Road. Often
||2.1 mi. Little Baldy to Dry Canyon trail. 600 vertical.
|Trail 51 Alt
||0.4 mi. Primitive trail alternative below eastern Trail 51.
||1.5 mi. Ireland above Shooter to Trail 51, share upper end w
Ireland/Crank. 400 vertical.
|West Ridge Upper
||0.7 mi. Mid West Ridge to Trail 51. 250 vertical.
||1.0 mi. Bench Road to neighborhood trailhead. Upper half
singletrack, lower DT. 600 vertical.
Trail pages on this web site
||MORE NEW TRAIL PAGES COMING SOON...
||Betty with Altar-51, Buckle, Mouse Climb,
The Other Betty
double figure-eight from Canyon View Park
The ride on this page is 7.4 miles with 1400 vertical feet. It uses
Betty as your key into the trail system. It climbs through the Race Loop
from Canyon View, climbs Betty, then does a figure-eight on Altar-51 and
Buckle. Another figure-eight is formed by the descending route of Mouse
Climb and The Other Betty.
[ Betty Double Figure-eight Trail page ]
||Dry Canyon 51 Loop (Kris' Loop)
Betty, Lament, Trail 51, Dry Canyon and the BST
This page describes a loop ride climbing Betty and Lament (Altar-51) to
Trail 51, then descending the nicer lower portion of Dry Canyon and
returning via the Bonneville Shoreline.
[ Dry Canyon 51 Trail page ]
||Bonneville Shoreline (BST) Provo Canyon North
Orem Bench Road and Dragon's Back Trail
The Orem Bench Road is the BST route for three miles, then it descends
the Great Western Trail on the Dragon's Back area to Canyon Glen Park.
[ Orem Bench - Provo Canyon North BST page
||Ireland to Crank to Blackbird Loop
Ride introduces you to the north-south trails on the Orem Bench (Timpanogos
Foothills). The featured ride climbs Ireland, traverses east on Crank,
then descends Blackbird Two
[ Ireland - Blackbird Trail page ]
||Little Baldy Hillclimb
This page describes a tough climb up through the Timp foothills on the
Great Western Trail 033 from Provo Canyon. This is a mean and steep trail,
often loose and overgrown. It's for very strong adventuresome riders only.
[ Little Baldy Trail page ]
||Provo Canyon Race Loop
with Cliff and Zorro Trail access information
The race loop lies between Canyon View Park and the Orem Bench Road (BST).
Short but fun. Also provides a route from the park to the upper mountain
via the access trails.
[ Race Loop Trail page ]
||Provo River Parkway
Paved trail along Provo River provides a bike route from town to the
[ Provo River Parkway page ]
||Shooter and West Ridge Climbing Route
with multiple loop ride options
From the BST Orem trailhead, climb via Shooter, West Ridge, and Upper
West Ridge. Pick a level at which to connect to trails to the east. This
page has information to help you plan a custom loop route with your
desired amount of climbing. Featured ride climbs to Trail 51 and Maid
Marian, descends Mouse Climb and Roller Coaster.
[ Shooter - West Ridge Trail page ]
||Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu, and Ouch
tougher rides in the northeast
Tough and primitive trails higher on the mountain, east of Trail 51.
This page has two loop rides, one for Taj Mahal and one for Machu Picchu
[ Taj Mahal and Machu Picchu Trail page ]
||Getting there, Orem Bench BST Trailhead:
Exit I-15 on Orem's 800 North
and drive straight towards the mountains. At 800 East, turn left and drive north about 1
mile. Immediately past the fence at the uphill end of the cemetery, turn right (east) on Cascade Drive.
Drive 1/2 mile then fork uphill before you approach the water treatment plant.
Take two switchbacks up, passing the lower overflow parking, to the paved
parking area with the bathroom. Your trail is right across from where the
road entered the parking lot.
Timpanogos Park: Exit I-15 on Orem's 800 North and drive straight towards the mountains.
Keep left to enter Provo Canyon. After 1 mile, you'll pass the entrance to
Canyon View Park on your left. About 100 yards later, there's a diversion
dam, then a bridge over the river. Drive over the bridge to Timpanogos
Park and park in the
lot. Ride to the northwest corner of the parking area. Begin your ride by pedaling up the gravel
road. Keep straight at the road fork at mile 0.3 if you're heading
for the Bottom Access trail (recommended), or fork R uphill for the Ravine
or East Access trails. Ride through the race loop and take the Upper
Access trail to the BST to connect to uphill trails.
Bathroom: Orem BST TH, Dry Canyon TH, Canyon View
Park, Canyon Glen Park, Nunn's Park
Water: Canyon View Park, Canyon Glen Park, Nunn's Park
Camping: Nunn's Park
|Dry Canyon Trailhead: Turn
east off State Street (Highway 89) at 200 South in Lindon, which also
happens to be 2000 North for Orem. Keep straight as you approach the
mountains. When the road begins to turn right (south), turn left onto Dry
Canyon Drive heading northeast. Now keep straight uphill until the road
turns into the trailhead. To reach the Shooter uphill route, go south on
the BST to the Orem trailhead.
Canyon Glen: Use this trailhead if you plan to ride
counter-clockwise or out-and-back. Note that if you ride this direction
there are some granny-gear climbs that are a bit loose. Exit I-15 on
Orem's 800 North and drive straight towards the mountains. Keep left to
enter Provo Canyon. About 3 miles later, you'll see the parking area for
Canyon Glen on your left. Go across the bridge to the Parkway. Turn right,
and find the GWT on your left about 200 feet later, forking uphill just
before the paved parkway curves around a rock outcrop.
Nunn's Park: This makes the ride about a mile longer, but at the
expense of a rather ugly short section of trail from Nunn's park up to the
aqueduct. Going up-canyon, turn right 4 miles up the canyon, then left
under 89. Go into Nunn's Park. On your bike, come back through the park
entrance, then turn left on a broken-up roadway just before the road goes
under 89. Turn left at the fence and follow the fence uphill. This section
is a hike-a-bike uphill. As the singletrack reaches the top, go left (west).
Zorro (1560 East Trailhead): Take 800 North in Orem
toward the mountains. Just as the road starts to descend into the canyon,
turn left on 1560 East. Go to the end of the pavement and park on the
right. The ugly jeep road switchbacks east of the trailhead take you
uphill -- 0.4 miles with 200 vertical -- to the Zorro singletrack. Zorro
will add another 300 vertical and 0.6 miles. (Don't fork onto the steeper
Bramber DH. You'll know it as you pass it.) When Zorro hits doubletrack,
head a bit further uphill to the Bench Road for uphill connections.
Canyon Mouth Provo River Parkway: There's a parking area on
Orem's 800 North Street just before you enter Provo canyon. It's just east
of the gas station. GPS N 40° 18.840' W 111° 39.472'. To get to
the parkway, go east over the river and through the fence. Go uphill to
the Canyon View Park, Canyon Glen, or Nunn's park for uphill singletrack
connections to the Bench Road.