via Team Big Bear and Flagstaff Loop
This ride is unique among Park
City's many offerings. It features views over 360 degrees of the mountain
peaks of the Wasatch and Uintah Mountains. The short version starts at
Deer Valley's upper Silver Lake Lodge. It's 10.6 miles round trip, with
1000 vertical feet of climbing starting at 8100 feet elevation.
to the southwest as we begin the trip around the mountain at 9000 feet on
the Bowhunter Trail. Ride, photos, and GPS track 9/2/2011 by Bruce.
|The longer version of this ride starts at the Snow Park
(lower) Deer Valley lodge and climbs Deer Crest to the upper lodge. Add
3.2 miles each way and another 900 vertical feet of climbing. Your total
ride will be 17 miles.
Navigation through the multiple trails in the area can be challenging.
I suggest using a GPS track, so the display can tell you if your bike is wandering off onto a sucker fork.
We've just left the easy Midmountain
trail and are pedaling in deep fir forest past some interesting wooden
construction on Team Big Bear.
||This ride is for upper-intermediate bikers. The climb up
Team Big Bear is a bit on the technical side and semi-steep at 400
vertical feet per mile over the first mile.
Bowhunter itself is a very narrow ribbon of trail on a side-slope,
requiring good handling skills. The slope isn't dangerous, but you've got
to aim the bike straight to keep in the 10-inch groove.
The climbing surface for Team Big Bear
is a little more technical than Tour des Suds, with tighter turns, steeper
grade, and more bumpy stuff in the trail.
|From the Silver Lake Lodge, look for a broad path on the
right, heading downhill to an underpass. Coast downhill, and as soon as you
pass below the road, veer left onto singletrack. You're now on the
We're nearing the shoulder of the hill
on Team Big Bear.
||After 0.7 miles on Midmountain, keep left and uphill as the
lower Tour des Suds drops away. Keep uphill at two more (unmarked as of
2011) trail forks. At mile 1.4, fork L uphill onto Team Big Bear.
Climb at a moderate pace on slightly-technical surface for a mile. When
the trail reaches the edge of a gravel road, keep straight and continue on
As Team Big Bear heads into the flats
east of Flagstaff Mountain, we can see Silver Lake Lodge below us.
|At mile 2.8, you've reached the fork for the Flagstaff Loop.
You'll head out on one trail, return on the other. Go either way. Let's go
right. (That's what the track file says.) Stay on Flagstaff. A new 2011
trail "Ruby Lift Road" enters on the left as you cross
doubletrack. Stay right. At another subtle fork, keep left on the main
The mountaintrails.org map. Get a
current one at a Park City bike shop. If you're not following a GPS track
(or even if you are), you'll find the map a necessity. Many intersecting
trails, new trails popping up all the time, and lots of trail forks
||The Ruby Lift Road trail will rejoin after a mile or so. At
mile 3.9, keep straight and head uphill past the return limb of the
Flagstaff Loop. Deer Camp will join on your left. As you crest the rise,
veer left at a trail fork at mile 4.3. This is Bowhunter. Cross the
doubletrack and head south around the mountain.
The Flagstaff Loop has little
elevation change. It's a fun cruiser.
|At mile 4.7, the trail dumps onto doubletrack for a few
feet. Watch for the continuing trail on your left. If you begin to descend
on doubletrack, you went too far.
On the far side of the mountain, you'll come
into a complex of trail
intersections at mile 5.6. Keep left on the trail signed for Ruby Lift
Road. At mile 5.9, you're back at the original Bowhunter loop fork.
Typical Park City terrain. Aspen, fir,
ferns and wildflowers.
Head downhill toward the intersection with the Flagstaff
Loop. When you reach it, turn right at mile 6.3 onto the return limb of
the loop. Keep straight as two trails fork off to Deer Camp on your right.
We've popped out of the forest onto
the ridgeline west of Bald Mountain. We'll head up and to the left to
|The Ruby Lift Road trail will join you after a half mile.
Keep straight. A little bit later, keep right again as the Ruby Lift Road
trail forks left uphill. Just after you cross a dirt road at mile 6.9, the trail
splits. Go right. (The trail on the left is a shortcut.) At the next fork, the shortcut rejoins. Go right again.
Starting out southbound on Bowhunter,
as a tiny ribbon of trail hugs the sideslope.
||At mile 7.8, keep right as you reach Team Big Bear again.
Retrace your route back to the Silver Lake Lodge.
At the south end of the mountain at
9100 feet, we see Cascade Mountain and Timpanogos on the skyline.
|For the longer (17-mile) ride:
Navigating from the lower (Snow Park) lodge is more complicated. If you
aren't familiar with the trail system, you'll need a GPS track. Or a
guide. Or a
current Park City trails map, an odometer, and a sense of adventure. But
A few patches of twisted aspen cling
to the slope.
||To the right of the lodge, head uphill on the dirt lift
road. Above the lift, veer L across the meadow and climb the singletrack
by the log fence. Do a 180 right turn (south). Now a 180 left toward the
Deer Crest trail system. As you reach The Gap, switchback up the hill to
Deer Crest and head south. When you reach doubletrack on the ridgeline,
keep straight until you pick up singletrack again.
On the east side, we're looking down
at Jordanelle Reservoir. The peaks of the Uintah Mountains form the
|When the trail drops onto a paved road, cross to the dirt
road opposite and slightly uphill. Follow the dirt path to the ski lift
south of the lodge. Veer right across the grass and look for the underpass
that marks the start of the Midmountain trail.
Almost to the end of Bowhunter. The
trail ends at the intersection where the route down from the lift on Bald
Mountain hits Homeward Bound and Naildriver. If you don't want to hit the
second half of the Flagstaff Loop, consider a plunge down one of these
|Short ride, from Silver Lake (upper)
0.0 R downhill on DT, aim for underpass
N40 37.284 W111 29.326
0.1 L on singletrack (Midmountain Trail)
N40 37.267 W111 29.330
0.7 Keep L uphill (R = lower Tour des Suds)
N40 37.146 W111 29.754
1.0 Keep L uphill N40 37.177 W111 29.842
1.4 L uphill on Team Big Bear N40 37.111 W111 30.155
2.4 Keep straight (don't go onto road)
N40 36.894 W111 30.031
2.8 Keep R (Flagstaff Loop) N40 36.768 W111 29.880
3.1 Keep R N40 36.537 W111 29.969
3.9 Keep R (straight) N40 36.121 W111 29.586
(L = Flagstaff second part of
4.2 Keep L (R = Deer Camp)
N40 36.298 W111 29.463
|4.3 L on smaller trail (Bowhunter)
N40 36.338 W111 29.361
4.4 Cross DT N40 36.255 W111 29.350
4.7 Join DT, rapid L off DT on ST
N40 35.945 W111 29.401
5.6 90-degree L on Ruby Lift Road trail
N40 36.322 W111 29.094
5.9 Back on original trail, retrace
6.3 R on Flagstaff return path N40 36.121 W111 29.586
6.8 Keep R (L = Ruby Lift Road trail)
N40 36.537 W111 29.877
6.9 Keep R N40 36.574 W111 29.895
7.5 Keep R N40 36.605 W111 29.889
7.8 Keep R on Team Big Bear N40 36.768 W111 29.880
9.2 L on Midmountain N40 37.111 W111 30.155
10.6 Back at lodge
||Getting there: In Park City, follow the signs
toward Deer Valley Resort. Just after the road divides, the parking lots
come into view. If you're going to the lower (Snow Park) lodge, continue
through the curve past the lodge then turn into the parking area. The ride
will start on the far left side of the lodge near the lift. Go uphill on
the dirt doubletrack about 150 yards, then turn left to cross the ski
slope. Enter the singletrack that climbs north uphill along the wooden
To get to the upper (Silver Lake) lodge, turn left on Royal Drive just
after the road divides -- before you actually see the Snow Park lodge.
Drive 4 miles uphill, following the signs. When you come to a parking lot
on your right, surrounded by tall buildings, pull in. From the lot, angle
southeast between buildings until you arrive at a wide open area. Your
ride will start by aiming right, coast downhill to below the underpass. As
you pass under, turn left onto singletrack. This is the Midmountain Trail.
Bike services, water, bathrooms are near the lift by Silver Lake Lodge.