Jordanelle Perimeter Trail West

Park City and Deer Valley

Rolling terrain above the shore of a large lake.

Trail Running Easy

Distance
18 km
Ascent
286 m
Descent
285 m
Duration
2-3 hrs
Low Point
1.9 km
High Point
1.9 km
Gradient
Jordanelle Perimeter Trail West Map

Jordanelle Reservoir is a large lake in a state park that’s popular for boating and fishing. It’s less popular for its trails, but the Perimeter Trail is an often-overlooked gem for runners. It more or less traces the shoreline of the reservoir, undulating across open hillsides of chaparral overlooking the blue water. Staying in the range of 6,200 to 6,400 feet elevation, this trail is good for altitude training if you’ve just arrived in Park City, or for a leg-friendly recovery after running in the mountains.

Description

Access to the west end of the Perimeter Trail is at Ross Creek Trailhead. It’s not the main entrance to Jordanelle Reservoir State Park, but still requires a fee. Bring cash or check to put the $10 day-use fee in a pay box at the trailhead. There is ample parking, a toilet, and sign kiosk, but nothing else in the way of amenities.

You’ll start by running on or beside the crumbling asphalt of a disused highway, descending toward the shoreline where you can pick up the trail. The trail is doubletrack that’s mostly packed dirt, but rocky or grassy in places. It can be snowy in winter, but usually melts out quickly and remains muddy for sometime after. There is no shade, and it can get very hot. Therefore late spring, cool summer days, and fall are the best times for this run.

The Perimeter Trail remains typically between 50-100 feet above lake level but dips down to the water in some places. Side trails can be used to reach the water in other places, so you can cool off if you do get too hot. The trail eventually ends at a road on the west side of the lake, touching some very panoramic points along the way. It does not make a loop or connect to the marina area at the main park entrance, so you’ll simply return the way you came.

Sources: https://www.stayparkcity.com/blog/top-park-city-hikes/ https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/jordanelle/facilities/

Difficulty

Easy

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area