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Blackridge trails

The Blackridge trails start at Blackridge Pond in Herriman. There are three major trails:  Blackridge, Diamondback, and Sidewinder. Blackridge was extended in July 2018 with a loop at the top called the Mustang Loop.

A ride here can be easy, such as the "snake loop" of 3.1 miles and 400 feet of fairly gentle climbing, or tough like Eric's trail with over 1000 vertical and some rocks to dodge.

View southeast into Utah County from the viewpoint circle of the Blackridge trail. Original photos and description by Bruce on August 25, 2014. Latest update October 1, 2018.

The Herriman singletrack trail system was started in 2013, and is still under construction. The system is planned to expand to around 20 miles, with connections to the Rose Canyon Trails and Butterfield Canyon on the north and a future southbound Bonneville Shoreline Trail. For now, it provides another "off-season" low-altitude riding opportunity. See the Juniper Crest page for additional riding in this area.

Looking northeast from the hillside. Blackridge Pond is at the left.

All trails are reached via the Blackridge trail, which starts at the northwestern end of the parking strip for Blackridge Pond in Herriman. The Pond parking can be hard to find if you're not a local, so I recommend a mobile for navigation or a printout of the ride guide from this website. 

Bikes on the rack tell me that this family is cooling off in the water of Blackridge Pond after their bike ride.

The most popular ride (2018) seems to be a 3.1-mile lariat loop. This quick ride climbs Blackridge to Sidewinder, climbs over the hill on Diamondback then rejoins Blackridge to head downhill. We'll call it "the snake loop." See the ride guide below.

Second most popular is a lariat ride up Eric's trail and around the Mustang loop clockwise. I recommend this ride highly (see video below).

Looking down at the pond, just a bit uphill on the Blackridge trail. The singletrack starts on the uphill side of the paved city trail that ends at the pond parking lot.

  
Blackridge trail

The Blackridge trail starts at Blackridge Pond and climbs 0.9 miles up the mountain. . At the top of Blackridge, it continues as either Eric's Trail or the Diamondback trail. Elevation gain is 250 feet.

 

Approaching the fork with the Sidewinder trail (the sign on the far left). A left turn continues uphill on Blackridge.

Sidewinder forks away from Blackridge on the lower mountain, just 0.3 miles from Blackridge Pond parking. Keep left to stay on Blackridge.

Rounding a turn as we climb gently uphill on Blackridge.

Blackridge continues uphill to Eric's trail, which climbs to a high ridgeline on the east slope of South Mountain. A hard left at this trail fork will put you on Diamondback. Stay left and straight to make the Eric's trail climb.

Trail fork at mile 0.9. Right and a 180 turn sends you on Diamondback, up and over the little hill. Straight ahead is the big climb up Blackridge.

  
Eric's Trail
Eric's Trail connects the top of the Blackridge trail to the Juniper Crest Loop on the other side of the hill. It's 4.7 miles long. Eric's climbs 800 vertical feet (1050 from the Blackridge Pond trailhead) to a high ridgeline at 6150 feet before descending. At the top of Eric's, the Mustang Loop continues as a lariat-loop ride option.

Much of the ride is on grassy hillside. There's scrub oak as you get higher. These lonely junipers are the exception, not the rule.

Shortly after you make the turn in Secret Canyon at mile 1.6, a trail forks away to your left. This connects to the utility road. No reason you'd want to go there unless you're making an emergency bailout down to the homes of Herriman.

At mile 2.2, there's a trail fork for the Mustang Loop. Go either direction. Eric's trail is the left one. My description here assumes you went to the left, for a clockwise ride.

Eastbound toward the first ridge viewpoint on the lower ridge. The terrain has changed from grass to sage.

The trail climbs to a viewpoint on a ridge at mile 2.5, but hang on, it gets better. At mile 3.0, elevation 6000 feet, you'll hit a trail fork. Left takes you on a loop to the top of the little knoll. 

From this viewpoint among the rough granite rock, you can see both Utah and Salt Lake counties. You'll rejoin the main trail 30 feet away from the trail fork that took you into the viewpoint loop.

Looking to the northeast from around 5700 feet elevation. More climbing to go.

After climbing to 6150 feet elevation southbound, the trail hits a fork on the ridge. At the trail fork, left is Eric's, straight is Mustang. Eric's trail descends down to the Juniper Crest trail, while Mustang loops around to a lower point on Eric's trail to form a loop.

If you descend the western side of Eric's back to Blackridge, there are a couple of rock challenges. Some you simply have to finesse your way through, others are optional rollovers or drops on the side of the trail.

Not too bad. You just need to slow down a bit to steer the bike between the boulders.

From the fork with the Mustang trail on the ridgeline, Eric's trail continues down on the eastern side of the hill. After a couple of switchbacks, it heads north. It descends 900 vertical feet over two miles down to the Juniper Crest trail. It's intermediate in tech requirement.

My Rocky Mountain Element leans on granite rock at the top of the viewpoint loop. We're looking east across southern Salt Lake Valley, but you can see the mountains of Utah County above Traverse Ridge on the right.

 

Eric's trail is also a reasonable climbing option from Juniper Crest. There's less parking at the bottom of Juniper Crest (at this time) compared to Blackridge. The upside is, fewer people to contend with. For veteran riders, the bottom of Eric's Trail is the old -- formerly closed -- Firebreak trail.

Rocking down the eastern side of Eric's, heading for Juniper Crest.

  
Mustang Loop
The Mustang trail is 1.2 miles long, with 200 feet of elevation change. The top is on Eric's trail at mile 2.4 (3.3 from Blackridge Pond trailhead). The bottom of Mustang is on Eric's 1.1 miles downhill on the western side of the ridge.

Westbound on Mustang, shortly after leaving Eric's trail on a clockwise ride around the loop.

The Mustang trail drops back to Eric's trail through a couple of switchbacks. The trip around the Mustang Loop is 2.3 miles. The downhill is a lot of fun -- swoopy and twisty. 

Heading north through tall oak forest on Mustang.

 Blackridge to Eric's to Mustang Loop

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

  
Sidewinder
Sidewinder begins at mile 0.3 from Blackridge Pond. Turn right off Blackridge and make a 180. The trail will climb gently as it contours around the hill. Technically, it's very easy, and quite suitable for beginners.

Just getting started on Sidewinder, looking back at Blackridge Pond. As you can tell, we didn't have to climb very much.

There are constant views from Sidewinder. Granted, you're not very high up. But to your right, the view will change from the south valley with the Jordan Narrows and Traverse Ridge to the northwest where the massive Kennecott tailings cover the slopes of the Oquirrh Mountains.

Looking east as we begin the trip around the mountain.

Sidewinder is only 0.6 miles long. It will climb less than 100 vertical feet, then descend a bit before ending on the northern side of Diamondback. From here, you can turn left to climb up and over the hill for a loop ride.

Looking northwest at the Kennekott tailings as we approach Diamondback.

  
Diamondback
The Diamondback trail extends north from mile 0.9 of the Blackridge trail. It will climb 300 vertical feet up and over the hill then descend 400 feet to the city streets north of the hill. There are some great views at the top. Diamondback goes through a series of switchback meanders before arriving at Friendship Drive. There's no parking lot or official trailhead at the north end of Diamondback.

The trail climbs through a burn scar from the big fire a couple of years ago. This photo is from 2014. In 2018, I didn't even notice the signs of the fire.

The climbing on Diamondback is fairly sustained, but not unpleasant. This trail is occasionally bumpy due to embedded rock but still technically easy.

At mile 1.5, you'll crest the ridge. Stop among the weathered granite boulders and take in the views. On a clear day, you can see north all the way to Ogden and south to the mountains east of Utah Valley. 

On the ridge at the top, 5600 feet elevation. The rocks are granite from the igneous intrusion that created the copper deposits at Bingham Canyon mine.

After descending north around a mile from the top, you'll reach the fork between Diamondback and Sidewinder. Turn hard left to continue descending, or keep right to take Sidewinder back to the south for a loop ride returning to Blackridge.

On Diamondback just before Friendship Drive, keep right at the trail fork to continue descending on Diamondback. The graveled trail to the left goes over a little bump on the hillside then descends north on a path that takes you between homes for about 1/2 mile.

View to the north.

Sample ride, easy loop of Sidewinder and Diamondback
0.0   Singletrack from Blackridge parking N40 28.814 W112 01.345
0.3   R onto Sidewinder N40 28.892 W112 01.558
0.9   L uphill on Diamondback N40 29.063 W112 01.840
1.7   Top of the World, take in the views
2.2   Hard L onto Blackridge N40 28.575 W112 01.530
2.8   Keep R and downhill N40 28.892 W112 01.558
3.1   Back at parking
Getting there:  First, let me caution you. Street names in this area often change as you go through a stop sign. And the names on the signs are often not the same as what you see on your auto GPS or on Google Maps. Yeah, it's messed up. But print my map (link below) and take it with you. Look carefully at the street layout as you follow my directions and you won't get lost.
Blackridge trailhead:  Get onto Juniper Crest as above. As you see that you're leaving the dense homes and are approaching a bridge across a ravine, turn right onto Ambermont Drive. (Again, caution. The continuation of Ambermont east of Juniper Crest has a different name.) Over the next half-mile, Ambermont goes southwest, then west, then turns to northwest. Now fork left on Aurora Vista. Quickly turn right onto Esher Street, then left at Ashland Ridge and enter the parking area for Blackridge Pond. The trail starts at the far end of the parking strip. (If you reach a "do-not-enter" exit from Blackridge Pond on the right and a "bozos-stay-out" sign for a private neighborhood straight ahead, you went too far on Aurora Vista. Turn around and go back to Esher Street.)
Juniper Crest (bottom of Eric's Trail):  See Juniper Crest trail page.
Riding resources for this trail:
Single page riding guide: 
      Loop ride and driving directions  
GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
      Lariat "snake" loop ride as above    Mustang loop from Blackridge    Eric's only
      Herriman area multi-trail file
Aerial map for printing:  View
Lodging, camping, shops:    Links to southern SLC resources

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Updated 2018