with Altar-51 (Lament) and
plus return via The Other Betty, Mouse Climb, and Cliff
Trail is a popular access route into the Timpanogos Foothill
1.2 miles long, rising 500 vertical feet from the Orem Bench Road (BST) to
a trail junction called The Altar. It's a stiff climb but 100% ride-able,
with an intermediate technical rating. It's the climbing route for a lot
of different rides, for example the Dry Canyon 51
Loop (Kris' Loop). This page describes a double figure-eight ride that
includes multiple area trails connecting to Betty.
A rider heads
uphill on Betty. The terrain is a mix of grass and stands of gambel oak.
Photos, GPS track, and ride description by Bruce based on rides July
|Betty can be reached from several trailheads, but they all
have to hit the Orem Bench Road (North Provo Canyon Bonneville
first. Many riders start from the Orem BST trailhead off 800 East.
Our route will be more direct, starting from Timpanogos Park in Provo
pass through the Race Loop on our way to the BST. Then we'll use Betty as
a climbing route within a double figure-8, introducing you to other trails
near Betty. The ride will be 7.4 miles with 1400 vertical feet of
Climbing north on the Race Loop. We're doing the
shorter west side of the loop, because it's less complicated.
||Starting from Timpanogos Park, climb the gravel road.
Keep left at the fork at 0.3 miles, then veer right onto the Lower
Access singletrack at mile 0.4. When you hit the Race Loop, do
a 180 left and climb.
Keep straight as Cliff hits on the left (0.8). At the loop's highest
point (mile 1.1) Turn left uphill and climb the Upper Access to the
Bench Road. If you followed my track, Betty should be to the right
(east), about 50 feet down the BST on the uphill side. If you don't see
it, you probably took an alternate trail -- try the other direction.
Bench Road as we approach Betty between Cliff and the
Upper Race Access. Betty starts just after the road turns from northbound
to east. That's Little Baldy straight ahead. Betty climbs up the dip in
mid-right under Timpanogos.
|Just 100 feet up Betty, you'll reach a trail fork.
Betty is to the right. We'll be descending the other trail, which because
I don't know any other name, I'm calling The Other Betty.
Betty will climb at a tough but tolerable rate. Pass Betty's Plunge (an
ugly steep alternate route) on the right and the entry to Roller Coaster
on the left at mile 2 -- 0.4 miles from Betty's start.
A tiny bit up the trail is the next crossing trail, Mouse Climb on the
right and Crank on the left.
Heading north uphill on Betty, tall grass surrounds
the trail among stands of scrub oak.
||1/10th mile further the trail turns left to the west (mile
2.1 from the TH) as a small connector to Mouse Climb comes in on the
right. As the trail turns back to the right northbound, The Other Betty
forks away on your left.
Now crank on uphill without interruption. At mile 1.2 from the origin
of Betty, mile 2.8 from Canyon View, you'll reach a large stone pile in a
huge meadow. You'll notice a few trails forking away. This is The Altar.
Looking back downhill on Betty as we approach The
|The trail straight ahead uphill is Little Baldy
33, a mean
climbing route to Trail 51 (and the primitive trails Taj Mahal, Ouch, and Machu Picchu). The
first trail on your right is Mouse Climb. Further right is Frank,
officially still the Little Baldy Trail, Great Western Trail, Forest Trail
To your left is your next trail in the double figure-eight, Altar-51
It's often called Trail 51 by riders, but it's not. The real 51 is higher
on the mountain. Altar-51 will connect to Trail 51, but we're not taking
it quite that far. So turn 90 degrees left.
My Rocky Mountain leans on The Altar as viewed from
Betty, looking north toward Timpanogos. The Altar-51 trail heads west on
our left, just downhill from the rockpile.
||After crossing the meadow westbound from The Altar, you'll
enter deep forest of oak and maple. If you thought you were through
climbing, well, no. You're going to add another 200 vertical feet as you
go west on Altar-51.
Nice shady section of Altar-51.
|At 0.4 miles after leaving The Altar, the trail will cross
over Buckle -- your return route. Keep climbing through the forest.
There are a couple of nice meadows full of Mules Ear blossoms, if you
hit the ride during early to mid June.
Altar-51 passes through a couple of meadows like this
||At 0.6 miles on Altar-51, you'll reach a trail fork. If you
were to go straight, it would take you on uphill to Trail 51.
Instead, we'll fork left downhill to take Buckle downhill. Hey
we've finished the big climb and now comes a nice payoff.
Leaving Altar-51 to descend on Buckle, facing
|Buckle will meander down a slope of grass, sage, and low
scrub oak. 0.2 miles after leaving Altar-51, keep left as a connector
joins from downhill. (A right turn onto this trail would take you to
Ireland and West Ridge.)
Buckle is a fun little trail, winding through groves
||Like Altar-51, Buckle enters a taller forest of large gambel
oak and occasional maple.
You'll cross over Altar-51 as you head eastbound. When you reach a big
meadow, you're almost back to The Altar. Turn left as you hit the Little
Baldy Trail and coast downhill 100 feet to The Altar.
Note: The trail on the other side of Little Baldy 33 from Buckle goes a
bit east, then south down to Frank (continuing 33). It crosses and heads
toward Mouse Climb, but I don't have a track for that piece.
As we approach the meadow eastbound on Buckle, the
trees get bigger.
|From The Altar, you could simply backtrack on Betty. But
we're here to taste different trails. So we'll take Mouse Climb for
the first half of your downhill from The Altar.
As your bike rolls to The Altar from uphill, the second trail from the
left is Mouse Climb. (Leftmost is Frank 33; straight ahead is Betty.)
Back at The Altar. This time, I'm standing at the
entry to Mouse Climb to snap this photo (looking northwest).
||Mouse Climb is a nice alternate climbing route, but we'll be
doing it downhill. As you twist through the stands of gambel oak, after
1/2 mile you'll pass two faint trails branching left. These would take you
over to Frank.
At mile 0.7 from The Altar, there's another trail fork. The trail on
the right, going straight west in a dry grass area, is a connector from
Mouse Climb to Betty. Instead of finishing Mouse Climb (another 1/10
mile), we'll fork right.
Heading downhill on Mouse Climb. Nice riding,
occasionally a bit tight on the handlebar clearance.
|When you reach Betty, go straight across. You're now on The
Other Betty. The trail will turn south to go parallel to Betty as you
This trail is narrow and smooth. For your next ride, you may actually
prefer to climb this route instead of Betty.
At the crossover between The Other Betty and Crank,
I'm looking back to the north uphill.
||You'll quickly cross over Crank at mile 0.1 from Betty, then
Roller Coaster at 0. miles.
Now head downhill and merge with Betty. Dump onto the Bench Road.
Now you could simply backtrack through the Race Loop. But instead,
we're heading south on the Bench Road so we can play on the Cliff Trail.
Rolling south downhill on The Other Betty.
|Go 1/2 mile south on the Bench Road. As the road turns to
the west, spot the doubletrack dropping off by the tower-whatever-thing.
Immediately go back north on singletrack trail that follows the top of
the cliffs. That's the Cliff Trail. (Don't continue south from the
doubletrack -- that's the Zorro Trail, and it will drop you to a
neighborhood in Orem near the canyon mouth. Or hey, maybe that's what you
want. Just pedal out to 800 North and descend to the Provo River Parkway
and pedal back to Canyon View.)
Rolling downhill on the Cliff Trail toward the Race
||At mile 0.5 of the Cliff Trail, it will drop to the Race
Loop. The quickest way down is to your right -- the same trail you climbed
up. For a longer trip, consider forking left and doing the mile of the
Race Loop that you missed on the way up.
Betty is a key access trail to the Timp
Foothills. It's decent riding but
a tough climb, recommended for tough intermediates and above.
View west at the mouth of Provo Canyon from the Race
|About the sample ride below:
This ride has substantial climbing, but is do-able by strong conditioned
intermediates. It has 1400 vertical feet of climbing over 7.4 miles. When
done as a quick ride, it's fairly strenuous.
Ride variations would include:
- From the top of Altar-51 (Lament), descending a west-side trail such as
- At mid-Betty (either climbing or descending) taking Crank to
descend a Blackbird trail.
- Using Roller Coaster as your descending route.
The route is:
- From Canyon View/Timpanogos Park up through the race course to the BST
- Betty up to The Altar
- Altar-51 uphill, then Buckle back to The Altar for a figure-eight
- Descend Mouse Climb partially, then fork over to The Other Betty
- Bench Road to Cliff, descending again through the Race Loop
|Ride notes, Betty double figure-eight from
0.0 DT west of uphill parking lot
N40 19.531 W111 38.708
0.3 Keep L at DT fork N40 19.615 W111 38.826
0.4 L on Lower Access N40 19.602 W111 38.956
0.5 Hard L onto Race Loop
N40 19.618 W111 39.027
0.8 Keep R (L = Cliff) N40 19.661 W111 39.214
1.1 L uphill on Upper Access N40 19.809 W111 39.071
1.5 Keep L (R = shortcut) N40 19.807 W111 39.265
1.6 R on Bench Road (BST) N40 19.786 W111 39.350
Rapid L uphill on Betty
100 feet, keep R on Betty
2.0 Straight (R = Betty's Plunge then L = Roller Coaster)
N40 20.091 W111 39.290
2.05 Cross N40 20.130 W111 39.302
(R = Mouse Climb, L = Crank)
2.1 Veer L (R = connect Mouse Climb)
N40 20.190 W111 39.290
30 feet then veer R (L= The
|2.8 The Altar, go L to Altar-51
N40 20.633 W111 39.062
3.0 Cross Buckle N40 20.503 W111 39.431
3.4 L on Buckle N40 20.529 W111 39.550
3.7 Keep L (east) on Buckle N40 20.423 W111 39.530
3.9 Cross Altar-51 N40 20.503 W111 39.431
4.2 R on Little Baldy N40 20.662 W111 39.049
100 feet, then 2nd L on Mouse
4.9 R on connector N40 20.169 W111 39.214
5.05 Cross Betty to The Other Betty
N40 20.201 W111 39.321
5.2 Cross Crank N40 20.122 W111 39.327
5.3 Cross Roller Coaster N40 20.015 W111 39.316
5.6 R on Betty N40 19.811 W111 39.310
100 feet, then south (R) on
6.1 L on DT, 100 feet the L on Cliff
6.7 R on Race Loop N40 19.661 W111 39.214
7.0 R on connector, retrace DT
7.4 Back at parking
||Getting there, Timpanogos Park: Exit I-15 on Orem's 800 North and drive straight towards the mountains.
Keep left to enter Provo Canyon. After 1 mile, you'll pass the entrance to
Canyon View Park on your left. About 100 yards later, there's a diversion
dam, then a bridge over the river to Timpanogos Park. (The parks are on
opposite sides of the Provo River.) Drive over the bridge and park in the
lot. Ride to the northwest corner of the parking area. Begin your ride by pedaling up the gravel
road. Keep straight at the road fork at mile 0.3 if you're heading
for the Bottom Access trail (recommended), or fork R uphill for the Ravine
or East Access trails. Ride through the race loop and take the Upper
Access trail to the BST to connect to uphill trails.
Orem Bench BST Trailhead: Exit I-15 on Orem's 800 North
and drive straight towards the mountains. At 800 East, turn left and drive north about 1
mile. Immediately past the fence at the uphill end of the cemetery, turn right (east) on Cascade Drive.
Drive 1/2 mile then fork uphill before you approach the water treatment plant.
Take two switchbacks up, passing the lower overflow parking, to the paved
parking area with the bathroom. Your trail is right across from where the
road entered the parking lot.
Bathroom: Orem BST TH, Dry Canyon TH, Canyon View
Park, Canyon Glen Park, Nunn's Park
Water: Canyon View Park, Canyon Glen Park, Nunn's Park
Camping: Nunn's Park
|Dry Canyon Trailhead: Turn
east off State Street (Highway 89) at 200 South in Lindon, which also
happens to be 2000 North for Orem. Keep straight as you approach the
mountains. When the road begins to turn right (south), turn left onto Dry
Canyon Drive heading northeast. Now keep straight uphill until the road
turns into the trailhead. To reach the Shooter uphill route, go south on
the BST to the Orem trailhead.
Canyon Glen: Use this trailhead if you plan to ride
counter-clockwise or out-and-back. Note that if you ride this direction
there are some granny-gear climbs that are a bit loose. Exit I-15 on
Orem's 800 North and drive straight towards the mountains. Keep left to
enter Provo Canyon. About 3 miles later, you'll see the parking area for
Canyon Glen on your left. Go across the bridge to the Parkway. Turn right,
and find the GWT on your left about 200 feet later, forking uphill just
before the paved parkway curves around a rock outcrop.
Nunn's Park: This makes the ride about a mile longer, but at the
expense of a rather ugly short section of trail from Nunn's park up to the
aqueduct. Going up-canyon, turn right 4 miles up the canyon, then left
under 89. Go into Nunn's Park. On your bike, come back through the park
entrance, then turn left on a broken-up roadway just before the road goes
under 89. Turn left at the fence and follow the fence uphill. This section
is a hike-a-bike uphill. As the singletrack reaches the top, go left (west).
Zorro (1560 East Trailhead): Take 800 North in Orem
toward the mountains. Just as the road starts to descend into the canyon,
turn left on 1560 East. Go to the end of the pavement and park on the
right. The ugly jeep road switchbacks east of the trailhead take you
uphill -- 0.4 miles with 200 vertical -- to the Zorro singletrack. Zorro
will add another 300 vertical and 0.6 miles. (Don't fork onto the steeper
Bramber DH. You'll know it as you pass it.) When Zorro hits doubletrack,
head a bit further uphill to the Bench Road for uphill connections.
Canyon Mouth Provo River Parkway: There's a parking area on
Orem's 800 North Street just before you enter Provo canyon. It's just east
of the gas station. GPS N 40° 18.840' W 111° 39.472'. To get to
the parkway, go east over the river and through the fence. Go uphill to
the Canyon View Park, Canyon Glen, or Nunn's park for uphill singletrack
connections to the Bench Road.