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Lambert Park, west side trails

Lambert Park has four routes that run from north to south on the west side of the park. They are have a gentle downhill slope from north to south, connecting the steeper hillside trails in the northern riding block and south riding block. These four routes are, from west to east, the High Bench trail, the River trail with a combined segment of High Bench, the Middle trail, and a combination of a bit of Spring, upper Luge, upper Poppy, and lower Ziggy.

Bruce rides the High Bench trail under large willow trees. Original Lambert Park review by Bruce published in August 1998. Latest update May 2018.

These trails dry quickly in the spring, or after rainstorms. Dry riding days begin to occur in early March for these routes, a few weeks earlier than the trails higher on the hillside. See the general information page for Lambert Park.

Taking a bit of air on the "practice jumps" on the Ruin trail. There's not much tech stuff in Lambert Park. The city wants the trails to be solid intermediate riding for contented local families. Nothing wrong with that.

The terrain for these trails tends to be similar -- groves of oak brush and occasional maples, separated by meadows of sage. They are popular with local hikers, and occasionally see horses.

The riding is dryer and hotter as you progress south or east up-slope.

Hitting a sagebrush flat between groves of oak.

The best trailhead for these trails is the High Bench (church) trailhead on Lambert Park's southwest end. There's some ongoing home construction nearby, and the trailhead is still evolving.

The Bowery trailhead in the north section also allows quick access by coasting down and across Box Elder Drive. On the far south, Alpine's Bald Mountain Drive ends at the bottom of Corkscrew, and there's room for parking here.

Most riders access the west-side trails through the trailhead at High Bench. The parking area and kiosk are just across the small bridge ahead. We're looking west.

 
High Bench
Stats
 Length: 1.1 mi. 
 Elevation change: 150 ft
 Tech: intermediate
 Westernmost trail. South half is easy technically; north intermediate
 South (lower) end High Bench trailhead N40 27.885 W111 45.348
    River trail fork m 0.2 N40 28.006 W111 45.471
    River trail rejoins m 1.05 N40 28.536 W111 45.423
 North end on Middle trail N40 28.529 W111 45.389 

Twisting through the larger trees on the southern half of High Bench.

High Bench is the westernmost and lowest-altitude trail in Lambert Park. It runs in a north-south direction. Compared to trails just 100 yards uphill, High Bench is cool and lush with tall mature trees.

The trail starts at the High Bench trailhead (sometimes called the church trailhead) at the southwest corner of the park. There's a nice new bathroom but the trailhead is still under development. High Bench follows the High Bench canal north.

High Bench is cooler and more lush. This spot is just north of the trailhead.

At mile 0.2, fork left to stay on High Bench as the River Trail heads toward the High Bench Road. As it continues north, High Bench will cross a dirt service road twice before crossing a gravel fire road. After crossing the fire road, the trail character changes as it becomes twisty and more technical.

Drone shot shows a tiny biker pedaling past a sitting area along Dry Creek on the High Bench trail.

High Bench will approach the edge of Dry Creek before turning east. Shortly after crossing the High Bench gravel road (closed to motor traffic except for service vehicles), the River trail will rejoin on the right.

The trail ends at the Middle Trail. Here a left turn takes you to Rodeo Up, straight ahead takes you to the Spring trail, and a right turn sends you downhill on the Middle Trail.

See the video below with the Poppy trail and High Bench.

High Bench is an all-season trail. In the winter when snow-packed, it's often combined with the Middle Trail as a loop ride.

 
Middle Trail
Stats
 Length: 1.0 mi. 
 Elevation change: 150 ft
 Tech: easier-intermediate, a bit more techy than River or High Bench
 Upper end Box Elder Drive N40 28.540 W111 45.393
     4-way Spring (L), High Bench/River (R) 100 ft 
     Spring Trail origin L m 0.3 N40 28.374 W111 45.432
     Lambert Luge crosses m 0.4 N40 28.296 W111 45.406
     Ruin joins L m 0.8 N40 28.025 W111 45.430
     Poppy joins L m 0.9 N40 27.995 W111 45.385
     Zag Ziggy join L m 1.0 N40 27.973 W111 45.358
 Bottom end High Bench Road and water tank road N40 27.959 W111 45.339

A bit of techy stuff on Middle

The Middle Trail runs one mile down the middle of Lambert Park from Box Elder Drive to the water tank gravel road. It's one of the park's most-traveled trails by bikers, runners, and hikers. It offers loops with High Bench, River, or the Spring/Luge/Poppy/Ziggy combo.

The Middle Trail is the most reliably packed trail for snow riding in winter, as an out-and-back or as a loop with High Bench.

There are a couple of fun dips on the Middle Trail. Nothing scary.

Navigating the Middle Trail is easy north-to-south if you simply keep straight at any trail intersections or dirt-road crossings. When you hit the bridge at the south end and cross the water tank road, follow the trail around to the High Bench trailhead.

From the south, it's a bit more complicated. There are two "Middle trail" options as you cross the bridge from the kiosk at the High Bench trailhead. Right then left takes you to the gravel road intersection, and you'll head east to the trail. Right then straight across the gravel High Bench Road take you to the curving trail, where you'll cross the water tank road northbound.

Rolling south, about half-way down the one mile run of Middle.

Most of trail forks are near the south end. As you head northbound, keep left at Zag/Ziggy, Poppy, and Ruin, then keep right as a small connector heads to the River trail. Further north, you'll cross Lambert Luge, then keep left as Spring forks away.

The Middle trail alternates between sage and small groves of gambel oak, with occasional taller trees. It's a fairly open ride compared to High Bench. It dries quickly and is usually reliably good to ride.

Hitting Middle in the frosty early morning sunshine.

In January and February, the Middle Trail is usually the first one hit by fat bikers. For most of the winter, this trail will be reliably packed down. The most common loop snow ride is the combination of Middle and High Bench.

Enjoying a bluebird day on the snow in Lambert Park.

  Middle and River trails loop...

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

 
Lambert Luge
Stats
 Length: 0.5 mi. One-way from the Poppy connector downhill
 Elevation change: 110 ft
 Tech: upper-intermediate
  
 North (upper) end Spring Trail N40 28.460 W111 45.323
     R downhill at Poppy connector m 0.2 N40 28.304 W111 45.331
     Luge becomes ONE WAY here
     Cross Middle m 0.3 N40 28.297 W111 45.406
     Cross River m 0.5 N40 28.223 W111 45.529
 West (bottom) High Bench, cross then join southbound N40 28.216 W111 45.548

Entering Lambert Luge southbound at the Spring trail fork.

Lambert Luge has a split character. As it splits off Spring, the north half is a rolling and turning ride with frequent rock gardens. After it turns westbound at the Poppy connector, it becomes a twisting luge ride and is one-way downhill -- no horses or hikers please -- from this point.

At this fork, you either enter the one-way downhill run of the Luge, or turn to the intersection of Poppy and Ruin.

The trail suddenly narrows at this point, as it zips back and forth across a small shallow ravine. Most years, the vegetation is scratchier than any other trail in the park, because we always forget to prune the downhill section.

It's a fun fast ride, although much too short.

Coming out of a turn as we ride "the Luge."

At its western end, Luge will cross the High Bench road. Then it crosses River then High Bench. After crossing High Bench, Luge take a quick dip and curve around to join High Bench southbound. A little odd, but you'll figure it out.

While the downhill section of Lambert Luge gets snowed in every winter, the upper half often gets packed down by fat bikers, proving a third north-south route that's packed for snow riding.

 
River Trail
Stats
 Length: 0.7 mi. 
 Elevation change: 130 ft
 Tech: easier-intermediate
 North end at Middle near Box Elder Drive N40 28.530 W111 45.389
   High Bench R, River L m 0.05 N40 28.536 W111 45.423
   R after bridge, L is alternate m 0.1 N40 28.517 W111 45.448
   Alternate crosses at road m 0.2 N40 28.437 W111 45.501
   Alternate rejoins m 0.3 N40 28.394 W111 45.531
   Keep R at Middle connector m 0.6 N40 28.079 W111 45.478
 South end on High Bench N40 28.003 W111 45.461

Northbound on the River Trail after the first High Bench Road crossing. It will cross the main dirt road three times.

The River trail offers another north-south corridor. In the north, it starts combined with High Bench on the Middle Trail just south of Box Elder Drive. It recombines with High Bench after 0.7 miles to continue southbound to the High Bench trailhead.

River is a fairly open trail, with a long stretch through the park's central sage brush plain. It doesn't spend much time in oak groves, tending to pass nearby rather than through.

Heading toward Lone Peak on the big sage flat in the middle of Lambert.

The River trail has an alternate line called Kharma that forks away to the left just after the trail crosses the High Bench road southbound. It crosses over at a dirt-road at mile 0.3, then joins from the right at mile 0.4. See below!

The River trail is the least likely of the north-south trails to be packed down in winter, and usually can't be done in January or February.

See video with Middle trail, above.

Northbound, dropping to a bridge in a small ravine near the north end of the trail.

 
Kharma Trail
Stats
 Length: 0.2 mi. 
 Elevation change: 30 ft
 Tech: intermediate
 Whooping in a ravine
 Upper end at near the bridge on upper River N40 28.520 W111 45.441
     Cross river and dirt road m 0.1 N40 28.437 W111 45.501
 Lower end on River N40 28.394 W111 45.529

 Playing in the ravine on Kharma.

Kharma is an alternate line on River that offers some whooshing in a ravine. It's is two-directional, but everybody rides it north to south. The north end is found on River, just as you cross the little bridge after High Bench road. It's a popular alternative to the main River trail.

Kharma forks left off River as you head north-to-south.

 

Kharma will cross River and a maintenance doubletrack at the same time. After a couple of dips through ravines, it will rejoin River to continue your southbound trip. 

Rolling up and down, back and forth. But too short.

 
Spring Trail
Stats
 Length: 2.0 mi, 0.5 of it in the western section
 Elevation change: 300 ft
 Tech: easier-intermediate
 Southwest end at Middle  N40 28.379 W111 45.437
   Passes north origin of Luge m 0.3 N40 28.463 W111 45.321
   Crosses Box Elder Drive m 0.5 N40 28.463 W111 45.321
   (See Northern trail page for northern Spring trail details)
 Circles then ends on Rodeo Up N40 28.681 W111 45.204

Northbound on the Spring trail midway between the Middle trail and the Lambert Luge origin.

Only 1/4 of the Spring trail lies in the western section below Box Elder Drive. It meanders from its origin on Middle near the "big dip" to the origin of Lambert Luge, then north to cross the road into the north section.

The Bowery trailhead on Spring is just north of Box Elder, and is often used by riders who are heading for the western trails on the other side of the road. For more details about the Spring trail, see the northern section page.

Pedaling past the Bowery trailhead on Spring.

 
Poppy Trail
Stats
 Length: 0.4 mi. 
 Elevation change: 120 ft
 Tech: easy
 Famous poppies mid to late May
 Upper end at upper Ruin and Luge connect N40 28.286 W111 45.328
     Homestead N40 28.217 W111 45.281
     Fork R, L to Ziggy N40 28.143 W111 45.281
 Lower end on Middle N40 28.002 W111 45.388

The poppies cluster under mountain mahogany trees just east of the old homestead's rock walls.

The Poppy trail is popular with hikers heading uphill to the Lambert Homestead in late May. At other times, it's one of the less-used trails. But it's a good route uphill for jumping practice on the Ruin trail. Riders working on their bunny-hop skills will ride around this 0.9-mile loop counterclockwise.

Handlebar view as we ride through scrub oak on Poppy.

The trail lies mostly in sage, with nearby gambel oak. The trail base is firm with embedded gravel.

It's worth taking a break from the bike to investigate the old Lambert Homestead. Much of this area was farm and orchard that went feral, and the poppies originally grew around the farmstead home.

Although the lower half of Poppy is a climbing and descending route, the upper half is a traverse which -- when joined with a bit of Spring, Lambert Luge on the north end and Ziggy on the south -- creates an other north-south corridor between the northern and southern sections of the park.

  Luge to Poppy to Ziggy to High Bench loop...

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

 
Ruin Trail
Stats
 Length: 0.4 mi. 
 Elevation change: 110 ft
 Tech: intermediate
 Series of small ramp jumps when done top to bottom
 Upper end at Poppy and Luge connect N40 28.286 W111 45.329
 Bottom end on Middle N40 28.027 W111 45.434

The Ruin trail is the location of small "officially sanctioned" practice jumps. Ride around them, or roll over them if you don't want to practice "taking air."

The Ruin trail is a two-direction trail where some old rock jumping ramps have been allowed to remain for your bike-hopping practice. Many riders run the jump line, then turn around and pedal back to the top for another go. Good practice for beginning jumpers.

Most of the jumps are in a line near the top of the Ruin trail, but there's half a dozen more scattered along the trail as you descend.

Looking north as we descend Ruin.

The first few jumping ramps are quite close together, designed so that you can take your choice of an easy-looking ramp or two as you coast downhill. To hit every ramp, the run needs to be taken at a slower speed.

The jump ramps are low enough that you can simply roll over them. Or ride around them.

After the first set of jumps, Ruin descends through groves of oak and maple for a high-speed and fun ride.

The Ruin trail ends on Middle, with the curve of the trail tending to send you southbound. The Poppy trail, which climbs back to the top of Ruin, is just 100 yards south of the trail junction.

View along the lower Ruin trail as we approach Middle.

 

Sample ride, Bowery to Poppies with High Bench
0.0   R downhill on Spring from TH N40 28.587 W111 45.216
0.1   Cross Box Elder Drive N40 28.549 W111 45.324
        100 feet, keep L (R=to Middle or High Bench)
        N40 28.541 W111 45.340
0.3   Straight (L) on Luge N40 28.460 W111 45.322
0.5   L on connector N40 28.304 W111 45.334
        40 feet then L on Poppy (R = Ruin)
0.6   Homestead on R N40 28.223 W111 45.284
0.7   L onto ZPC (R = Poppy) N40 28.143 W111 45.281
0.75 Keep R (L = Ziggy up) N40 28.108 W111 45.279
0.85 Straight (L = Zag) N40 28.000 W111 45.372
0.9   Keep straight, join Middle N40 27.974 W111 45.359
0.95 Cross road to ST N40 27.959 W111 45.339
1.0   Keep R and cross main road N40 27.925 W111 45.332
        Pass behind bathroom, straight to High Bench
        N40 27.917 W111 45.357
1.2   Fork L (R = River) N40 28.004 W111 45.461
2.1   Cross road and join River N40 28.532 W111 45.424
2.15 Cross Middle to connector N40 28.529 W111 45.391
2.2   R on Spring N40 28.541 W111 45.340, cross road 
2.3   Back at TH
Getting there: Take I-15 to the Alpine/Highland exit, just south of Point-of-the-Mountain. Drive straight east 5 miles towards the mountains, turning left at the stoplight in Highland (where you see the grocery store and gas station). Drive 2 miles north into Alpine to the 4-way stop at 200 North. Turn right. At the next stop sign, turn left. You'll be on 200 East, which becomes Grove Drive. Continue northeast on Grove for two miles. The road will turn 90 degrees to the right. Pass two streets on your left, then arrive at a T in the road. Turn right, across the river. At the fork in the road, go right for the Bowery parking area, left for the Rodeo grounds.

Rodeo grounds trailhead: Keep left at the fork and drive 0.25 mile on pavement, then turn right onto a dirt road and drive 0.25 mile. The trailhead is on the right side of the road, where you'll see a parking strip and a bathroom just before the rodeo arena. (Toilet.)

Bowery trailhead: Keep right at the fork as you cross the river on the paved road. Pass the High Bench dirt road on your right. About 300 feet further up the paved road, keep straight as the main road turns right, entering a smaller road. 500 feet up the dirt road,, the Bowery pavilion is on the left, with a parking lot on the right. (Toilet, pavilion, water.)

High Bench ("church") trailhead: About 1.5 miles up Grove Drive (as above), turn right on Alpine Boulevard. Go 1/2 mile until the road turns from east to south in front of a big church. After you pass the church, turn left toward the mountains. Immediately after the church fence turn left onto dirt road to the trail kiosk at the city water reservoir. Cross the bridge to join the High Bench Trail. (Toilet.)

Bald Mountain Drive:  Turn onto 100 South in Alpine. Drive east until you're forced to turn at Country Manor Lane. Go left. At 300 North, turn right, then take the next left on Bald Mountain Drive. Go to the end of the road and park.

Riding resources for Lambert Park:
     Trail maps...
         Color-coded trails on satellite view for printing
     Other Lambert Park pages...
         Lambert Park overview     North Trails    South Trails 

     GPS track files (right-click a file and select "save as..."): 
         Loop ride Spring to Luge, Poppy, Ziggy, High Bench
         Multi-track area file   Map datum GS84. Updated 2013.
      Lodging, camping, shops:      Links to northern county resources

Copyright 1998 UtahMountainBiking.com
Trail information updated May 2018