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Vertigo and Levitate
Downhill-only Trails on Traverse Mountain

The Vertigo trail was built by Gravity Logic in late fall 2016, with Levitate added in June 2017. Both are one-way downhill trails, extending from the Eagle Crest trail to the bottom of the South Maple Hollow and Woods Hollow trails. The Vertigo trail is considered a flow trail and is rated intermediate due to high speeds and high banked turns, but can be done by an experienced confident beginner. Levitate is a jumping trail and is rated expert.

View northwest early in the descent, as Bruce lands a little hop. At this spot, Levitate and Vertigo temporarily join so they can cross over. Photos and track of Vertigo by Bruce on November 8, 2016; for Levitate June 5, 2017.

The trails have 520 vertical feet of altitude loss. The Vertigo trail is 1.7 miles in length, while Levitate is 1.3 miles. They branch off the Eagle Crest trail a few feet apart, about 0.1 mile west of the Eagle Crest trailhead on the south side of Suncrest. The top altitude is 6200 feet.

The trails descend the south side of Traverse Mountain, facing Utah County. Much of the area is sun-exposed, but shady areas can hold moisture in early spring. The usual riding season will be May through November. DO NOT RIDE these trails when muddy!

Looking east to Timpanogos through the gambel oak.

It's possible to do Vertigo or Levitate as a shuttled ride. The launch spot is the Eagle Crest trailhead, with pickup on Brookside Drive (see the map). The vehicle route is Suncrest Drive to the 4-way stop, then left on Traverse Ridge Road to the Eagle Crest Trailhead.

Most riders will want to do a loop ride. The trails have a common ending on Brookside Drive. The South Maple Hollow trail is just across the road to the west. The Woods Hollow trail hooks off the bottom of Vertigo east of the road, right at the "one-way do not enter" sign.

South end of the Eagle Crest trailhead, as my Rocky Mountain Element waits for me to join it. From here, it's 0.1 mile west to Vertigo.

A nice four-mile loop is to climb Woods Hollow to Eagle Crest and turn left (west). Pedal past the Eagle Crest trailhead, then drop down Vertigo. Climbing is 550 vertical. 

For a shorter but somewhat harder loop, you can take South Maple Hollow to the Eagle Crest Connector trail, then turn hard right on Eagle Crest for the trip back to the top. This little loop is 3.7 miles per lap for Vertigo; 3.3 for Levitate. My featured ride below uses all of South Maple Hollow, so it's about 0.7 miles longer than the short loop.

View northwest up South Maple Hollow as I climb toward Eagle Crest for a loop ride.

You can also use Mercer Hollow as your climbing route for a larger loop. Descend Vertigo, then drop down Brookside Drive to Suncrest Drive and continue downhill. (This loop will put a mile of pavement at the bottom of the loop.) Cross to the small parking zone at the bottom of Mercer Hollow and climb uphill. Go down Suncrest Drive 100 yards and cross the street to Eagle Crest, continuing west back to the Eagle Crest trailhead.

A rider pauses at the spot where Eagle Crest skirts the trailhead parking area, looking west.

 
Levitate Trail

Levitate is the westernmost of two trails that branch off Eagle Crest as it crosses a doubletrack 0.1 miles from the Eagle Crest trailhead in Suncrest. Note that Levitate is an expert-level trail, specifically designed for launching your bike into the air.

When coming from the east, when Eagle Crest temporarily joins the doubletrack, pass Vertigo then veer left on Levitate. If you're approaching from the west on Eagle Crest (from South Maple Hollow or Ann's Connector), you'll need to do a hard 180 degree turn to get onto Levitate.

The Levitate trail heads is broad, with high berms on turns and multiple table-jumps on the straights.

After an initial turn, Levitate drops downhill. Levitate immediately gets down to business. And it's business is throwing you up into the air. The jumps start right away.

While never uncomfortably steep, Levitate has a steeper and more sustained pitch than Vertigo. It's also more straight, leading to the higher speeds required to send you up and over the tabletops.

Bruce lands a little hop at a "step-up," the last of four table jumps in this photo.

Levitate will join Vertigo on your left just 0.2 miles from the top. The trails are about to cross over. Prepare to veer to the left. (It's easy to be suckered into descending Vertigo instead.) The routes split again after about 100 feet, with Levitate to your left, out of sight behind a grove of gambel oak until you're almost at the trail fork. There are plenty of signs, but I still went the wrong way on my first try.

Approaching the cross-over. Vertigo is coming in to our left. After the trails merge, veer to the LEFT to continue on Levitate.

Levitate is heavily machined in order to create a controlled flow of jumps as you descend the mountain. Most are simple table-top jumps of varying steepness. Some are step-ups (where the landing puts you at a higher level than the launch lip.

Rolling up to a table jump. Note that the jumping lip is well-defined. We want it to stay that way.

At this time, there are no "gap jumps." So it's a good learning trail for very experienced upper-intermediates and experts who are just getting into "taking air." However, if you're simply not interested in jumping, may I suggest you skip this trail. Slow riders who "roll" the jump will flatten the lip, making it less fun for those who want to launch their bikes. 

OK, so my jumps are measured in inches instead of feet..

There are a few turns on Levitate. They're highly banked and designed for speed. Again, if you don't have the skill or the nerve to maintain a good speed through these turns, Levitate is not the right trail for you.

Rolling a turn. You need speed to stay up on the wall.

After 1.3 miles, Levitate rejoins Vertigo as it approaches the parking area on Brookside Drive in South Maple Hollow. Time to go up for another lap, doing Vertigo this time!  As you approach the "one-way" sign in the meadow area, the Woods Hollow forks away to your left as a second climbing route back to the top.

Heading south. In a few years, vegetation will take over the sides of the trail where the jumps were machined. 

 

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

 
Vertigo Trail

The Vertigo trail starts at the spot where Eagle Crest crosses a doubletrack, 0.1 miles from the Eagle Crest trailhead in Suncrest. When westbound, it means a 180 turn when you hit the doubletrack.

If you're approaching from the west (from the Maple Hollow trailhead or after climbing the South Maple Hollow trail), you'll see Levitate as a 180 hard turn to the right, and two trails ahead virtually side-by-side. Vertigo is the lower trail, on the right.

The trail heads southeast from its initial drop-in at the doubletrack.

Vertigo immediately begins sweeping high-banked turns. The trail is designed for continuous high-speed flow. Hit the sidewalls and rail on around.

After 0.3 miles from the top, Vertigo will temporarily join Levitate -- but only to cross over. The trails separate after about 100 feet. Keep to the right to stay on Vertigo.

Typical turn, just downhill from the trail's start. Lots of room, high banks to keep your speed.

There are a few bumps on the straightaways. You can take air at the top or simply roll over them. If you're looking for big air, though, try Levitate next time. Vertigo is considered an intermediate-skill flow trail.

Below me, a rider rails the bottom of a big S turn.

If you can take your eyes off the trail, there are great open views of Utah Valley. Utah Lake is to the southwest, with the scarps of the Wasatch Fault forming a line up the east side of the valley.

View southeast from trailside, showing the depth of the banks on a left turn.

The terrain is oak brush, becoming shorter and less dense as you descend the mountain. Near South Maple Hollow, grasses dominate.

Near the end of the ride, Timpanogos looms above the Maple Hollow subdivision. In mid-photo, Brookside Drive heads toward Suncrest Drive. This would be our route if we're looping via Mercer Hollow.

Vertigo and Levitate join in South Maple Hollow, and the trail heads over to Brookside Drive. At the sign, continue straight if you're shuttling or riding a loop with Mercer Hollow as your climbing route. To climb Woods Hollow, fork to the left right at the sign.

To climb the South Maple Hollow trail, veer right as you pass the "one-way" sign and pedal slightly uphill to the road. Veer right uphill as you cross the road to South Maple Hollow.

Looking uphill toward Lone Peak from the end of the ride. Going to go again.

Larger Vertigo Loop from Eagle Crest trailhead
This is a 4.5 mile loop that drops down Vertigo, starting from the Eagle Crest trailhead at the end of Traverse Ridge Road. It's 0.1 miles west from the trailhead to the top of Vertigo. After descending, this loop climbs to the underpass near the Maple Hollow trailhead (offering the option to cross over the mountain for more riding). This loop is larger, and has a bit of downhill on Eagle Crest that you'll need to pay back by climbing again. So it's more work than the shorter ride (below) that "short circuits" the northeast corner of the loop via the Eagle Crest connector trail.
Riding notes, loop with South Maple Hollow from Eagle Crest:
0.0   West from Eagle Crest trailhead
        N40 28.319 W111 50.160
0.1   Veer L on DT, L on Vertigo
        N40 28.353 W111 50.251
1.8   Uphill and cross paved road to South Maple Hollow
        N40 27.722 W111 50.215
2.3   R uphill (L = down to DT)
        N40 28.042 W111 50.591
2.8   R (L = old trail downhill)
        N40 28.291 W111 50.756
3.0   L (R = connector to Eagle Crest)
        N40 28.360 W111 50.718
3.5   R on Eagle Crest
        N40 28.493 W111 50.999
3.8   Keep L (R = connector)
        N40 28.397 W111 50.711
4.4   Vertigo vs Eagle Crest to TH
        N40 28.353 W111 50.251
4.5   Back at trailhead
Vertigo Loop from the lower South Maple Hollow trailhead
This is a 3.7 mile loop that drops down Vertigo. The parking is along Brookside Drive at the bottom of South Maple Hollow. Navigation is pretty simple -- just go right at every trail fork. Four loops would be about a 2-hour ride for a conditioned intermediate, with about 2200 feet of climbing.
Riding notes, Vertigo Loop:
0.0   Brookside Dr, L on S Maple Hollow
        N40 27.717 W111 50.209
0.7   Keep R  (L = down to DT)
        N40 28.041 W111 50.587
1.1   Hard R (L = foot trail down)
        N40 28.286 W111 50.756
1.2   Keep R to Connector (L = S Maple)
        N40 28.359 W111 50.714
1.5   Hard R on Eagle Crest
        N40 28.397 W111 50.706
2.0   Doubletrack, take trail on R
        descend Vertigo
        N40 28.353 W111 50.250
3.7   Back at Brookside
 

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

Getting there: From I-15 in Salt Lake City, take the Bluffdale exit and head east on Highland Drive toward the mountains. As you reach the traffic light at the top of the hill, about 3/4 mile after leaving the freeway, turn right on Traverse Ridge Road. Drive about two miles up to the top of the mountain to the stop sign.
From Utah County, get on the Timpanogos Highway. At the Lehi-Highland border, go north on Highland Blvd at the big stop light east of Smiths. This will become Suncrest Drive as it enters Draper. Climb to the stop sign at the top of the hill.
Deer Ridge (Maple Hollow) trailhead:  At the stop sign in Suncrest, get on Deer Ridge Drive (right turn from SLC, straight from Utah Co). Go 0.9 miles. Just before the road crosses a bridge, turn right onto Elk Glen Drive and immediately turn left to park at the small picnic area.
Eagle Crest trailhead:  From the hill-top stop sign above, go south on Traverse Ridge Road (straight from SLC, left turn from Utah Co). To to the end of the road and park. Vertigo is about 1/10 mile west of the trailhead on the Eagle Crest trail.
Brookside Drive Trailhead (South Maple Hollow): 
Brookside Drive turns to the west off Suncrest Drive, just uphill from the Maple Hollow subdivision. This is about a mile uphill from Utah Valley. Drive past the homes and uphill to the end of the road. The South Maple Hollow trail is on the west side of the road. It will take you uphill, where you can connect to the Eagle Crest trail then continue east to Vertigo.
Top of Mercer Hollow: 
There is some roadside parking off Suncrest Drive near the top of the trail, on the east side of the road 1/2 mile downhill from the four-way stop in Suncrest. But there are some cautions. In 2016 this is an active construction area, so be sure you're not in an access-point or work zone!
Bottom of Mercer Hollow:  There's room for 3 or 4 cars at the bottom of the doubletrack portion of Mercer Hollow on Suncrest Drive.
Riding Resources:
Single-page riding guide, loop w Maple Hollow
GPS track files for download (Right-click and "Save as..."):
    Vertigo track only   Levitate track only
    Levitate loop from South Maple Hollow
    Vertigo loop w Mercer Hollow from Eagle Crest TH
    Loop with South Maple Hollow from Eagle Crest TH
    Draper Traverse Ridge area multi-track file
    Larger Corner Canyon area multi-track file
Higher-res satellite map for printing:      View map
Lodging, camping, shops:     Links to southern SLC resources

Click for Corner Canyon area trails overview page

 

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