Provo North Fork
The Provo North Fork Trail is a double-track that rolls up
and down through ponderosa and lodgepole pines on its way to the North Fork of the Provo
River. Altitude is 7,500 feet. There's about 200 feet of elevation gain over the two miles
of this trail. The trail can be ridden as a four-mile out-and-back, or as a loop -- if
you're lucky enough to find your way to the forest road on the other side of the creek for
the return trip.
View of the north fork at the trail's end. September 7, 1999 by Bruce Argyle
Across the road from this trail is the trailhead for the North Fork Scenic Byway Trail. It's a beginning-level trail.
We'd call this an early-intermediate trail. The road isn't
as easy to ride as you might think. There are steep rocky sections to test your climbing
power and bike handling ability. And sandy sections to test your thigh and side-slipping
control. And even in the middle of summer, we found deep mud pockets to maneuver around
Most of the time, you're riding through big pines. You won't see grand
vistas. At the road's end, you pull your bike through the fence on your left and spend
some time playing at the river.
A smooth section of the road between small rocky hills. September 7, 1999
Across the river, you may find a faint trail, which you
can follow around to a forest access road that will take you back to the Mirror Lake
Highway about 1/4 mile downhill from your starting point. Or you can head back the way you
One of the trail's tastiest treats. Sometimes called a
thimbleberry, the fruits are exactly like raspberry
|This is not a high-voltage ride. But it's something you can do in less
than an hour while the kids are chasing squirrels, or while waiting for the charcoal to be
ready for the hamburgers. And it does give you good practice at rock-banging and charging
rough hills in a non-dangerous situation.
The reddish rock along the streams is Precambrian quartzite, formed
from sandstone deposited over 500 million years ago. The Uinta Mountains
formed as an up-warp between 40 and 80 million years ago. The overlying
layers -- hundreds of millions of years of sediments hardened into rock --
eroded away as the area rose higher.
Remnants of old
logging activity. Some stumps in the Uintas are over 100 years old. September 7, 1999
||Getting there: In Kamas, turn east towards the mountains on the
well-marked Mirror Lake Highway. Drive 6 miles to the fee station and pay your $3. Then
drive another 5 miles. Just after passing the "North Fork Trailhead" parking on
your right, you'll see a small pull-off on the left side of the road, labeled
"8075." Park here and grind on up the road.
delicious when eaten right off the bush or tree. September 7, 1999 by Bruce Argyle