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Alpine to Three Falls

The long-sought dirt route from Draper's Corner Canyon to Alpine was opened in 2018. From the Peak View trailhead on Traverse Ridge, the trail has 1.6 miles on Peak View, 2.9 on Three Falls, then 2.7 to Alpine Cove for a total of 7.2 miles. From the Alpine Cove end, there's 1/2 mile of pavement to the singletrack of Lambert Park. This page will discuss the trails in Fort Canyon and Alpine Cove.

View northeast up Dry Canyon. Chipman Peak is on the left; Box Elder on the right. White Baldy Peak is in the middle. Photos and trail notes April 28, 2018 by Bruce.

Alpine Cove to Three Falls

The trail from Alpine Cove starts just off the Schoolhouse Springs dirt road at 5400 feet elevation. To get there, take Grove Drive to Alpine Cove Drive. Turn north on Aspen Drive. The road will turn to dirt.

About 100 yards later, turn left on another dirt road, and you'll see a gate 100 feet up that road. You're here. There's room for 3 cars to park at the primitive parking pad at the split in the road, plus a couple of spots on the shoulder. As you pedal toward the gate, turn onto the singletrack trail on your right.

The trail starts between the two big rocks (between the two threatening signs, but note the trail IS open to ride). Right 20 feet, left 30 feet uphill, then left and cross the road, and you're on the trail.

After your right turn to singletrack at the gate, ride northeast about 50 feet then fork left uphill. (The trail straight ahead goes to the Schoolhouse Springs horse trailhead.) Climb uphill and keep left to cross the gravel road.

(Note: the right fork before the road crossing is a new trail that climbs north, then east around the Three Falls subdivision. As soon as it was completed, the trail was posted as closed by Lehi City, which owns Schoolhouse Springs below the trail.)

Just getting started. Switchbacks cross the hill as far up as the eye can see.

The trail then begins a sustained climb. It will cross the fire road twice. Each time, there's a little "jog" where you'll pedal 20-40 feet on the fire road to pick up the continuing trail. Whether you're heading uphill or downhill, always hard turn left onto the road. 

Bottom line, if you find yourself riding more than 50 feet on the fire road, you went the wrong direction when the trail crossed the fire road. You should have turned hard left at the road. Go back and figure it out.

Looking northeast as we continue to climb. The trails look complex, because not only are there multiple switchbacks, there's an alternate trail plus the fire road crossing the trail.

The first fire road crossing is at mile 0.4. Make a hard left turn uphill on the fire road. Pedal 20 feet, then turn hard right onto continuing singletrack.

There's also one alternate trail segment, as shown on my map. It's better as a downhill, because there are several nasty climbing turns in the uphill direction. When climbing, you'll encounter it on your right at mile 0.6. (The trails will rejoin at mile 0.8, again on your right just as the trail drops down to the fire road.) Keep left here for the main trail.

When you hit the fire road at mile 0.8, turn hard left and coast downhill on the fire road about 50 feet. You'll see the continuing singletrack on your right.

Looking over a group of arrowleaf balsamroot at Lone Peak.

Now you've got a mile of uncomplicated climbing, with an occasional coasting break. Plenty of turns, most of which have a just-enough turning radius. There will be fabulous views of Lone Peak, Box Elder, and the Utah Valley.

Rolling the Rocky Mountain through forest of maple -- and an occasional fir tree -- on the Fort Canyon side of the ride.

At mile 1.8, you'll encounter the trail from Fort Canyon's public trailhead. Keep right and pedal to the ride's highest point at 5900 feet elevation.

The trail will now begin to drop into upper Fort Canyon.

Crossing the ridge between Utah Valley and Fort Canyon, with Lone Peak forming a picturesque background.

The trail will descend through a series of turns before approaching the homes of Three Falls. You'll be losing almost 200 vertical feet of your climbing.

Across the valley, you'll see a ribbon of pine trees in a ravine descending the slope of Lone Peak. That's the main creek. After you get through the subdivision, you'll hit the Three Falls trail and climb to the bridge across that creek.

Looking across upper Fort Canyon. I've noted the location of the continuing trail. The brown smudge through the middle of the photo is the construction area.

At mile 2.6, the trail starts to climb uphill again through in a forest of mixed maple and pine. You'll go around a couple of switchbacks.

Keep straight as you hit a trail fork, which will take you straight north toward the subdivision road. (There's a narrow hiking trail on the left, which turns west to a series of bike-unfriendly stone steps. The apparent sharp turn uphill on the right will take you into the construction zone in 2018.)

Riding through maple groves as we approach the Three Falls road in Fort Canyon.

When you reach the road (still unpaved with ongoing construction activity in May 2018) go straight across to the trail on the opposite side and begin climbing.

The trail becomes a bit steep and you may find yourself doing push-a-bike. As the slope eases, you may see a trail on your right. This can take you back to Alpine in a loop ride but is closed for now by order of Lehi City.

Riding through the balsam root near the ridgeline above Fort Canyon.

To ride Three Falls to Peak View, keep straight and ride across the bridge over Fort Canyon Creek. And you're on the way to Draper. See the Peak View - Three Falls Draper page.

The bridge over the creek. Take a minute to enjoy the spot.

 
Fort Canyon to Three Falls
The Fort Canyon to Three Falls trail connects the public trailhead in Fort Canyon to the Alpine Cove to Three Falls trail on the ridgeline. It's 1.4 miles long with 500 vertical feet of elevation change, making it suitable as a climbing trail or a fast downhill flow trail. 

The Fort Canyon public trailhead was not paved or ready for parking at the time of my ride on April 28..

Fort Canyon trailhead. By the time you ride this, the trailhead may be paved. Because it's still under construction, don't park here at this time.

As you drive or pedal up Fort Canyon, turn right at mile 0.9, just as you're approaching the entry to Three Falls. Take the first left into the public trailhead parking. The trail begins to the left of the bathroom building.

View to the southwest, with Utah Lake and Lake Mountain in the distance. To the right is the Fort Canyon road.

After flirting with the fences of adjacent private property, the Fort Canyon trail climbs uphill. The terrain is sage with small stands of gambel oak and occasional maple. 

You'll enjoy frequent views of Lone Peak, Little Matterhorn, and Chipman Peak ahead of your handlebars as you climb. (Far left, Lone Peak. Left, Little Matterhorn. Middle, Chipman.)

At this time, there are no trail forks until you reach the Alpine Cove to Three Falls trail at mile 1.4. Fork right to head for Alpine Cove, left for Three Falls.

A second trail is being excavated that will extend north from the Alpine side of Three Falls, and will join the Draper side near the bridge.

Arrowleaf balsamroot blooms in the April sunshine. On the far right, Box Elder Peak appears as we climb higher.

For your convenience, I've included the roads between Schoolhouse Springs and Lambert Park on my map. From Three Falls, climb up and over the ridge. Stay left as the Fort Canyon connector joins, 0.8 miles after passing through the subdivision area. Now navigate the singletrack down to Alpine Cove.

When you cross the fire road for the third time (at the bottom of the hill), drop down and join the fire road. Keep right and downhill as it joins the Schoolhouse Springs dirt road -- which will turn into the paved Aspen Drive. 

The slopes above the cove are fully sun-exposed, and will be hot at mid-day in the summer..

It will now be exactly 1/2 mile of paved road to arrive at the singletrack in Lambert Park. At the end of Aspen Drive, turn left at the T intersection with Alpine Cove Drive. Pedal 0.2 miles to the 4-way intersection and turn right downhill. Keep straight as you pass Juniper Circle and the road veers east (left). Keep straight as you pass Grove Drive on the right. Cross the bridge, then keep right on Box Elder Drive. 200 feet later, turn onto singletrack. Left off the pavement is Rodeo Up; right and downhill is Middle.

Rolling into a switchback turn as we descend the mountain toward Alpine.

 
Schoolhouse Springs

A new trail, finished in late summer 2018, lies to the northeast of the main Alpine to Three Falls route. The upper end is on Three Falls, just east of the bridge over the big ravine. From there it goes east, contouring the mountainside for a mile. Then it drops through multiple turns down to the Alpine to Three Falls trail just one turn uphill from the trailhead.

Heading uphill toward Lone Peak on the lower segment of the trail.

The trail is 2.5 miles long with 600 feet of elevation gain. The surface is smooth and turns have a generous radius. It's a fairly easy trail to pedal.

August 2018:  The trail has been posted as closed by Lehi City, which owns the Schoolhouse Springs area. The issue is watershed protection. Stay tuned.

Descending through deep maple forest just east of Three Falls.

 Three Falls to Lambert Park

 If the above video does not appear on your browser/device, you can watch it on YouTube by clicking here.

Getting there, Fort Canyon: As you drive into Alpine on Main Street, keep straight at all intersections until you reach 800 North. Then, just as Main Street turns to the right and becomes Heritage Hills Drive, fork left on Fort Canyon Road to continue north. 0.9 miles later, turn right just before the Three Falls entry. Turn left into parking.

Note!  The newer trail that runs east and north of the Three Falls subdivision (medium blue on this map) is closed for now while right-of-way watershed issues are resolved.

Getting there, Alpine Cove - Schoolhouse Springs:  Instead of turning left on Fort Canyon Road, stay on Heritage Hills Drive. Turn left uphill on Grove Drive. At the T intersection (where a right turn would take you across the bridge into Lambert Park), turn left on Alpine Cove Drive. At the 4-way intersection, turn left. As Alpine Cove Drive turns downhill, turn uphill on Aspen Drive. It will turn to the gravel Schoolhouse Springs Road. 100 feet later, the fire road forks left. Note the gate just uphill. Find a spot to park and return to the gate to start your ride. There's room for 3 cars at the road fork (where the boulders have been pushed aside as semi-official parking) plus 4 spots on the shoulder within 50 feet.

GPS track files (right-click a file and select "save as..."):  
        Area GPX multi-track file
Map for printing:   View
Lodging, camping, shops:  Links to northern county resources