Wasatch Crest Loop

Park City and Deer Valley

Salt Lake City

A pedal-driven loop of the Wasatch Crest Trail, using Pinecone to gain the ridge.

Mountain Biking Difficult

Distance
41 km
Ascent
1.2 km
Descent
1.2 km
Low Point
2 km
High Point
3 km
Gradient
11˚
VIEW ON MAP
Wasatch Crest Loop Map

Description

Flowy ridgetop singletrack with jaw-dropping views of Big Cottonwood Canyon and the Park City region make the Wasatch Crest trail the most memorable mountain bike trail in Park City. While you could shuttle up Guardsman’s Pass, local badasses choose to pedal up the Armstrong Trail to Pinecone to reach the top of the ridge under their own power.

The Pinecone Trail was finished in 2012, and this addition to the Park City trail system was lauded as a “bar-setting, blow your mind, instant classic kind of trail,” according to MountainTrails.org. The grade was specifically designed to be pedaling-friendly. While you’ll consistently gain elevation as you climb, and over 4,000 feet of total gain on this 25-mile loop will demand some serious exertion on your part, overall the ascent is exceedingly rideable.

Once at the top, the red dirt and rocks along the Wasatch Crest provide an interesting accent to the high-speed riding, as it's very different than the dark black dirt in Park City proper. Overall this trail is flowy, but the flow doesn't last—an extremely technical, rocky descent along the ridge known as "The Spine" is absolutely brutal, but can be walked by intermediate riders. Again the singletrack switches back to flow.

The route shown here finishes by descending through the Canyons Resort down the Park City side. Never fear: instead of dropping into the uber-gnarly downhill-only bike park, the route sticks to classic intermediate/advanced singletrack. Despite not necessarily being a legit bike park trail, the singletrack here is often chunky and rutted, with log drops and rock gardens interspersed. The high amount of traffic definitely shows in the trail wear.

Note that the Wasatch Crest has multiple options for the final descent. Several trails drop toward Park City, but one of the most popular descents actually drops down the other side of the mountain, all the way to Salt Lake City. If you're riding the Wasatch Crest, make doubly sure that you're descending down the correct side so you successfully end up back at your car and don't get stranded.

Difficulty

Difficult

Mostly stable trail tread with some variability featuring larger and more unavoidable obstacles that may include, but not be limited to: bigger stones, roots, steps, and narrow curves. Compared to lower intermediate, technical difficulty is more advanced and grades of slopes are steeper. Ideal for upper intermediate riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

July, August, September

Features

  • Technical
  • Picturesque
  • Singletrack
  • Roots
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area