The 9K trail is only partially built. When finished, it will contour the higher hillside
west of Park City. At around 9000 feet
elevation, it will be a higher-elevation version of the Midmountain
Trail (at 8000 feet). The first segment is complete in fall 2019. This
piece runs 1.8
miles from Empire Pass to the Black Forest
singletrack as it crosses McConkey's road.
Looking east as Bruce pedals through a grove of
stunted fir. Photos and trail review September 18, 2019.
The trail can be reached through the Empire Pass parking
area. (This is a fairly small parking lot, so on weekends you'll probably need
to find another starting spot.) Take the doubletrack west past the top of Corvair,
then turn right onto 9K 0.1 miles after leaving the parking area.
The new trail replaces
the old mix of dirt roads and singletrack between
Empire Pass and Black Forest. Next year it should extend to Fat Lip and
Heading out from the Empire Pass parking area on the
As the name implies, the 9K trail sticks to an elevation of
around 9000 feet. The terrain is a mix of fir, aspen, and low scrub.
Groves of trees alternate with open grassy areas with wide views.
The trail is a machined bench cut and is mostly smooth dirt. It's an easy technical
ride, and not too tough aerobically considering the elevation.
Fir and aspen alternate with alpine grasses and low
You can ride the trail as an out-and-back from Empire Pass,
or create a loop ride. The loop rides tend to be difficult either due to
length or technical riding. Beginning riders and early-intermediates
should do the trail as an out-and-back.
At the temporary end of 9K on McConkey's Road, Black Forest is right
across the road. Beginners can venture a bit further on this flattish
segment of Black Forest
(around 0.4 miles) before turning back.
Mixed aspen and fir forest.
Examples of loop rides would be:
1. 9K, Black Forest down, Midmountain southbound then Corvair,
Tour Des Suds, Boulder, or Team Big Bear for the climb uphill.
2. Climb to Midmountain. Catch Steps or Tommy's Two Step, then Three
Candles up, then Keystone and Fat Lip to Black
Forest, 9K, then Corvair, Payroll, or other downhill back to
The area is complex with multiple entangled trails, so it's best to carry
a device to help you navigate. See the Ruby Loop
page for trails such as Boulder and Corvair.
Northbound as the trail contours the mountain below
the Empire lift.
This first segment of the 9K trail ends on McConkey's Road,
which is a dirt/gravel road. Were you to continue north on McConkey's,
you'd arrive at the intersection of Thaynes Road, Webster Road, and Flat
Iron in the Park City Ski Area.
Where 9K hits McConkey's road, Black Forest crosses the road. If you
continue straight across, Black Forest will take you northbound on a
fairly flat traverse before dropping down to McConkey's road. At this spot
you can turn left and find Fat Lip to continue north for a big ride.
North slopes tend to have mature forest.
A hard right turn from the northwest end of 9K (at McConkey's) takes you
downhill on Black Forest. It starts out mellow, but there will be steep
rooty sections that warrant an expert rating. Black Forest joins TG2,
coming in from your right. (Resist the temptation to take TG2 south for a
loop. It gets hike-a-bike steep.) Descend to Midmountain, then turn right
to head back for a loop.
View east into Deer Valley.
Very nice trail. But if you're from outside the PC area, the currently
completed segment is a bit short
to warrant a destination trip. But it's a fun piece of
bigger rides spanning the mountain between Deer Valley and the Park City
And once it's finished, imagine the long loop rides using 9K one
direction and Midmountain for the other!
A fun log ride, just before the trail hits McConkey's.
Loop from Empire Pass,
descending Black Forest, back via Midmountain and Corvair...
If the above video does not appear on your
browser/device, you can watch it on YouTube by clicking
As you enter Park City, follow the signs for Deer Valley and Guardsman
Road. Get on Bonanza Drive heading south uphill. At the roundabout, turn
toward Empire Canyon (SR 224). Stay on that road for about 3.5 miles. Go
through the roundabout in front of Empire Canyon Lodge and head uphill on
224. Just after the turn to the right, there's parking on the left side of
the road. Park here if you'll start your ride on the Midmountain Trail (back
downhill just above the turn). For Empire Pass (direct access to 9K)
continue to the top of the mountain to the parking area.