The Solamere Loop starts at Deer Valley, runs up and down
two mountains, around a third mountain, then up and over a fourth. It's
great working on those summit attacks, while enjoying views over Deer
Valley, Park City, and Jordanelle. Because of the steep grade and multiple
switchbacks (around 80), I'd rate this trail advanced or
upper-intermediate technical. Total climbing is 1200 feet, split between
three hill-climbs, with base altitude of 7250 and peak of 7650. Distance
around the loop is 7.2 miles.
Looking down from the first climb, the
lifts of Deer Valley sit next to the Snow Park Lodge. Photos June 27, 2002
|The loop can be ridden either direction. Switchbacks tend to
be a bit more angular and rough on the southern hillsides: if you like the
tight switchbacks uphill, ride counterclockwise. If you like rounded turns
uphill and can navigate right switchbacks downhill, go clockwise. Another
factor: clockwise puts two of the climbs in the shade, if you're riding on
a hot day.
Trail view on the south side: brush,
sage, and flowers.
||At this altitude, southern slopes are brush and gambel oak.
Northern slopes are quakies, maple, and choke cherry, with an occasional
fir. Wildflowers abound, and include Wasatch penstemmon, larkspur, sticky
geranium, and scarlet gilia (desert trumpet).
Toadflax blooms in the June sunshine.
|From the ridgetop, you'll be able to see Jordanelle
Reservoir in Heber Valley. In the other direction, you'll look over Deer
Valley Resort and the southern end of Park City.
Typical north slope trail view.
Quakies, lupine, choke cherry, and deep grass.
||Climbs are fairly stiff, with a rate of about 500 vertical feet per
mile. But because they're fairly short (a mile or less), they make good
"interval training" climbs. The trail surface can get loose and
dusty, with a few loose rocks.
From the hilltop, looking east over
|Trail notes, counterclockwise loop:
0.0 Out of parking lot, up street to south 50 feet
Trail on left, N 40° 38.304' W 111°
0.1 First fork, keep right (L=mountainside return)
1.0 Top of first mountain
1.7 Cross mountainside trail, cross road by gatehouse
2.3 Top of second mountain
3.0 Bottom, begin Hidden Hollow Trail
3.5 Reach dead-end circle on pavement
Turn hard left on ST
3.8 Trail comes in from R
4.0 Fork, go R down to street (L=mountainside return)
Go right uphill at street, L at stop,
L at 2nd stop
Singletrack on right, Solamere
5.4 Reach ridgeline, watch for fork sharp L
N 40° 39.088' W 111° 28.937'
(If you cross a broad trail at 5.6,
you missed it)
Gambel Oak Trail
6.1 Street, GPS N 40° 38.803' W 111° 29.346'
Turn L, then keep straight all the
7.2 Back at Snow Park Lodge
|Getting there: In Park City, follow the signs
to Deer Valley Resort. Just after you turn past the Snow Park Lodge, turn
left into the first parking lot. Get on your bike. As you leave the lot
the way you came, turn left into the first street, and find the
singletrack trail on your left about 50 feet up. GPS N 40° 38.304' W 111°
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