||Rocky Top (Kamas Valley Overlook) Trail
The Rocky Top trail starts on Highway 32 just east of the Jordanelle
Reservoir. It climbs 900 feet over four miles to a viewpoint on the rocky
hilltop. The trail is easier-intermediate in overall technical
requirement, and moderate in aerobic strenuousness.
View northeast just after hitting the
singletrack. Photos and review by Bruce
on June 22, 2015.
|The parking lot for the trail is on the north side of
Highway 32. The entry to parking is on the road to the Rock Cliff Nature
Center and Jordanelle State Park, just a few feet after that road leaves
Highway 32. Although it's just outside the fee station for the state park,
there's no fee to park or ride here. (The nearby Jordanelle
Perimeter Trail is 1.2 miles down the road, at the west end of the
park area, and does require a day-fee to ride.)
On reaching the first ridgeline above
the cliffs, we're looking west at an arm of the Jordanelle Reservoir. The
Jordanelle Perimeter Trail is about a mile away, to the right of the
water. You might see a piece of it.
From the trailhead parking, go back to the Rock Cliff
road, go to the right around the culvert, then turn right on the gravel
road. Go through the smaller side gate (close it behind you). About 100
feet up the thistle-infested gravel road -- just when you're thinking
"this can't be the right trail" -- nice smooth narrow
singletrack forks uphill to the left.
east along the cliff line. The Provo River peeks through the trees in the
|Climb uphill through two switchbacks, and you're at the top
of the cliffs. The trail will work generally northeast. You'll have
periodic views of the Provo River and surrounding hills. In season, there
may be flowers.
Sample prickly pear. There were reds,
purples, pinks, salmons, yellows and greens.
||For most of the year, this will be a very dry and warm
hillside. An early morning start works best.
The terrain is mostly sage brush with occasional small stands of scrub
oak. You'll pass through some areas of open igneous rock. In the higher
elevation there's a bit of elderberry, chokecherry, and wild currant.
Getting a little higher on the
|Navigation is easy. There are no trail forks. The trail is
crossed once by a dirt road, but it's obvious that you just continue
As you reach the ridge, you might think you're there. Nope.
Another half mile. But pause to look at the views over the little town of
Francis to the east.
Looking east after reaching the ridge.
Francis lies just in front; Woodland is along the hills in the distant
||The trail will now drop to the east side of the ridge,
traverse north, then climb up to the Rocky Top. Suddenly there's a lot of
greenery. Here the trail dead-ends
in a group of granite boulders.
The Superfly rests at the top.
|Kamas is the larger town to the northeast, on the far side
of the valley. The letters on the hillside are for South Summit High
School, if I recall my rock and roll musician days correctly.
View northeast toward Kamas.
||You'll need to scramble a bit to get a view south into the
valley. That's the Provo River down there just before it enters the
Looking southwest. You can see bits of
the river in the trees just above the highway.
|The downhill is fast and scenic. Beginners may find the
turns a bit tight. But there aren't that many of them, so if you're having
trouble rolling through, just put your feet down, swing the bike around,
and continue on.
The round trip is 7.9 miles and your total climbing will be 900
Ready for some "scrunch" as
the trail crosses broken granite and tuff.
Go to US-40 north of Heber, via Provo Canyon from Utah County or I-80 up
Parleys from Salt Lake. Just south of the Jordanelle dam, turn east onto
State Highway 32 at the traffic light. Climb up and past the south side of
the reservoir's east arm. When the road crosses the Provo River, turn left
toward Rock Cliff Nature Center and Jordanelle State Park. Immediately as
you swing off of Highway 32, turn to the right into the gravel trailhead
parking lot. The ride starts at the gate on the gravel path just north
across the creek from parking.
Map kiosk, but no other services
Water, toilets, and camping at Jordanelle State Park (fee area).
Nearest bike services in Heber (Slim and Knobby's).