For those of us lucky enough to live here in Salt Lake City, the Wasatch Crest Trail is one of the “must ride” trails in the area. While Park City has built some phenomenal trails, the Crest continsues as the crowning glory ride in the area. Why? Well, one look at my Suunto Observer and you’ll see: 1500 ft. of climbing and 5300 ft. of descending over the course of a 3-hour afternoon ride.

Our ride would start at the Park-n-ride on the SW corner of 3900 S and Wasatch Blvd where the Wasatch Crest Shuttle happily took our $15 each and dropped us off near the top of Guardsman’s Pass. That shuttle is well worth the cost since it would have taken at least an additional hour to do the shuttle ourselves–and parking at the gate is typically limited.

Through the gate, the trail is doubletrack as it winds up Puke Hill towards the actual Crest. From there, it’s another couple miles of doubletrack until it switches to singletrack in earnest. Cleaning Puke Hill is always the goal and with the Ibis Mono underfoot, I was feeling pretty darn good by the time I got to the top. From there, the majority of the Wasatch is opened up with stunning autumn colors all around–I heart the Wasatch!

Guardsman's Pass to Wasatch Crest Trail - September 26, 2009

Jason Mitchell Enjoying the Wasatch Crest Trail - Sept 26, 2009

Snaking through the mixed aspen-shaded singletrack towards The Spine (great video of my friend Jim McIntosh cleaning it–finally) is always a treat–one that must be taken with care as one slip to the left and you could take a serious tumble. Once at The Spine, the smart ones just walk it. A tumble here will result in serious carnage. Back in the day on my old Turner RFX, I would clean The Spine, but I’m a little smarter than that now–just let the kiddies ride it with their DH garb.

Wasatch Crest Trail - Singletrack... Finally! - Sept 26, 2009

USA Bowl from the Wasatch Crest Trail - Sept 26, 2009

Wasatch Crest Trail - Sept 26, 2009

Once past The Spine, the trail continues on the ridgeline towards Mill Creek Canyon (which is only open to mountain biking on even days–keep that in mind). Once at the North Mill Creek Canyon Trail, this is where the trail opens up into a wide and buffed-out singletrack delight for miles and miles. This is why this trail is so epic and it’s also why I don’t have any pictures of that section–because there was no way I was going to stop and ruin the flow.

Keep in mind that you should always carry enough water and EXTRA TUBES when riding the Crest Trail. I get a pinch-flat every time–without fail (see below).

Wasatch Crest Trail - Sept 26, 2009

There are a few YouTube videos out there that can show you just how awesome this trail is, like this one or this one or this one.

With the recent cold snap and snow above 7000 ft, we chose the perfect time to enjoy this gem of the Wasatch.

More Info: Visit UtahMountainBiking.com for a Map & Info

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 --sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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