I love living at the mouth of American Fork Canyon. In fact, that’s the main reason why we purchased our home in the location we did–quick access to one of the best canyons for a myriad of outdoor adventures in the state of Utah. AF Canyon adventure comes in many forms and everyone chooses their own form of fun whether it be mountain biking, hiking, fishing, backcountry skiing, climbing or causing trouble on motorized vehicles of all sorts. While there are hundreds of miles upon which motorcycles and ATV’s can ride, I revel in the serenity of the Wilderness Areas where the 2-stroke banter of the Metal Mulisha wanna-be’s is left far behind.

This afternoon, I slipped out for a trail run in an area where I typically backcountry ski in the winter. The trail slips away into the Wilderness Area to the Northwest of Granite Flats Campground (I believe it’s Trail 045) on its way up White Canyon towards the saddle between Box Elder Peak and White Baldy. I know this trail well when covered in snow, but in dirt it is an entirely different experience.

American Fork Canyon Trail Running

Slipping away from Granite Flats, I was quickly reminded just how rocky this trail is in the Summer. The initial pitch from the trailhead is rockstrewn and challenging. Once past the campground, it mellows out considerably and is a hoot until the climb out of White Canyon and onto the switchback-laden traverse of the Southern flanks of White Baldy where it gets steep and rocky once more.

Coming back down, it’s an ankle-turner through those rocky sections, but all-in-all a great out-n-back trail. Another time I’ll have to make it to the saddle, but this one was slightly time-constrained.

A solid 1000-ft. elevation gain over several miles, I turned around when I ran out of time, but the views of Box Elder and the White Canyon basin were stunning and serene–a welcomed experience after rallying through the mayhem of ATV-land at the Tibble Fork Reservoir parking lot. To each his own when it comes to outdoor enjoyment, but I truly appreciated my quiet escape in “No Motor Land” today.

My gear was perfect for this 1-hour trail run: The Arc’teryx Velox Comp Crew, the GoLite Sky Runner, Smith V90 Max sunglasses shorts and the New Balance 875 trail runners. I juiced up with Banananuun before heading out and polished it off after returning.

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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