Bonneville Shoreline Trail (Orem Bench to Cedar Hills)
section of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST) connects the Provo
Canyon North section (the Orem Bench Road) to the southern end of Cedar Hills. There
are trailheads at northeast Orem, Lindon's Dry Creek, and Pleasant Grove's
Battle Creek and Grove
Creek. The singletrack sections have substantial climbing. The technical
rating is upper-intermediate because of embedded rock on narrow trail with
looking south, as we approach the Orem Bench trailhead during an April
ride in 2006. New photos and updated maps, GPS tracks and riding
information by Bruce on July 20, 2016.
The trail is singletrack from the Orem BST trailhead to 1/4 mile
south of the Battle Creek road. Then things get messier. From Battle Creek to Grove
Creek, it's doubletrack among a tangle of branching jeep roads.
Northbound from Grove Creek, there's singletrack again. Then the route follows the
Cedar Hills Bench Road for a few miles until it ends on the Canyon Road
just north of the Cedar Hills city offices.
Back in April 2006 Jackie and I hit the brand-new
trail descending to Battle Creek. Nothing like fresh-cut trail dirt! Looks like I was riding a Scalpel at
The trail can be done as an out-and-back of whatever
distance you choose. From Orem to the singletrack's end north of Grove
Creek, it's 14 miles round trip with 2200 vertical feet of
climbing. Much of that climbing comes on the Battle Creek to Dry Canyon leg,
with over 650 feet of vertical in southbound direction.
Looking northwest from the Orem to Lindon section in
An option for those who wish to ride the whole trail -- but
can't handle the return climb -- is to make it a loop ride by hooking up to
the paved Murdock Canal Trail for the return.
Direction for the loop? I like the Orem to
Pleasant Grove direction for the dirt portion. Then catch Murdock
southbound as it crosses the Canyon Road south of Cedar Hills.
For each trailhead, the trail descends back to around
5100 feet, then climbs the mountain again. This is the path uphill heading
south from Battle Creek.
Many riders use the BST to reach Crop
Circles. If that's
your target, the closest trailhead is Lindon (Dry Canyon). But here's the problem. The
trail forks for these "social trails" are unmarked. But so many
bikers ride there that the size of these trails equals that of the BST.
And in 2016 at the north end of the lower crop circle, the
"side route" trail is wider and more-traveled so could be
confused with the northbound BST. So a GPS or a map is handy if you're new to this BST
The terrain is groves of gambel oak on dry hillside.
The point of this ride is that it's close to civilization.
You can easily hit this trail before or after work, and on the off-season.
Most sections of this trail will clear of snow by April. Some muddy
sections will persist until May. The singletrack from the ridgeline down
to the doubletrack near Battle Creek is the most sensitive to wet riding -- other
sections have embedded rock that resists rutting.
More typical trail, as the BST winds around the edge
of the hill southbound.
The trail is surrounded by typical Wasatch foothill scrub. You'll
ride through grass with occasional sagebrush and isolated stands of scrub
oak. On a clear day, the views over the valley are very nice.
Looking south as the trail approaches the Dry Canyon
Orem to Lindon (Dry Canyon) Section
This section is 1.5 miles. It's popular with trail runners
and walkers. So you'll deal with more traffic here than on the other
sections. Navigation for this section is the simplest of any.
Northbound from the Orem Bench trailhead, the trail is just
uphill from the trailhead toilet. The BST will gain around 300 vertical
feet on the way to Dry Canyon. Most of it comes in one ugly 1/3-mile
grunt-fest shortly after leaving the trailhead.
My Rocky Mountain rests on the rack after completing
the ride. The trail is immediately right of the bathroom (not the steep
thing going up the hill!).
The steep area has little humps of the limestone rock
outcrop popping up into the trail tread. And it's littered with white
powder and limestone chunks. The slope is ride-able if you keep traction,
but it's a mean climb.
When you arrive at the paved turn-around in front of the water tank at
mile 0.7, go straight across the circle to the north side for the
continuing singletrack. The climbing is done for a bit, and you're ready
Climbing up northbound through rough outcrops of
There's a trail fork at mile 0.95. Left would take you
downhill to the Lindon trailhead road just above the homes. Keep right
At mile 1.5, as you approach the Lindon trailhead, turn left as you hit
a T intersection with the Dry Canyon trail. Go
around the fence, then cross the trailhead to the far north end for your
The climbing has leveled out, and we get to swoop
around a bit.
Southbound from Dry Canyon, the trail is at the far
south end of the paved area just west (downhill) of the kiosk and fence.
About 30 feet after starting, fork right to head south on a long traverse.
Looking south from the north end of the Lindon (Dry
Canyon) trailhead parking.
Keep straight, uphill, and southbound at the fork in 1/2
In this direction, there will be a tiny bit of mellow
climbing as you approach the high point at the water tank. The trail tread
on this portion is smooth dirt, and is probably the easiest of the
Cruising south toward the water tank saddle, through
low stands of gambel oak.
After descending the loose and steep section, the trail
flattens out. When you see the tops of Orem's water tanks, you're almost
there. Just before the parking area, the trail will split in two, as one
climbs to paved parking and the other runs straight to the unpaved
Approaching the scenic water-treatment facilities
with the homes of Utah Valley extending south to Loafer Mountain.
If the above video does not appear on your
browser/device, you can watch it on YouTube by clicking
Lindon (Dry Canyon) to Battle Creek Section
The ride between Lindon's Dry Canyon and Battle Creek is the longest
section at 3.1 miles. It's easiest south-to-north, because the Lindon
Trailhead is 300 feet higher in altitude than Battle Creek.
Northbound from the Dry Canyon trailhead, you'll go from 5400
feet elevation to 5650 in around 0.6 miles, then enjoy a long downhill.
Here's the northbound BST. Go up the singletrack and
turn 90 degrees left. Now try to stay on the right trail.
The trail goes north from the paved road just as the road
turns to enter the parking lot. Go left of the big steel gate, taking the
singletrack, not the jeep road. After turning left above the kiosk, you'll
run a gauntlet of branching trails.
These are cheater routes on the uphill (right) side, and connections to
the Lindon Circle trails on the downhill
left side. Take the fork that seems most likely to take you on a gentle
curve to the right and northbound. In this spot, if you find yourself
going any direction but north, you took the wrong fork.
Climbing through tall crested wheatgrass as we head
At mile 0.3 the trail splits in a grass meadow on a
saddle. Take the middle route, slightly to the right and uphill. The flat
trail straight ahead will descend on a loop ride. The rightmost trail is a
At 0.5 miles, the trail turns left as the
lower Crop Circle trail goes downhill right.
You'll reach the other end of the lower crop circle at mile 1.0 -- keep
left on what looks like a smaller trail through a grove of oak. The right
fork looks more-traveled, but it's the wrong way.
down at Lindon from a high spot on the trail. That's Utah Lake in the
After a fairly steep descent at mile 1.5, the
trail veers a little left as it crosses an ATV path. Unfortunately,
there's a prominent path turning right onto the doubletrack. Either riders
didn't notice the continuing trail across the DT, or they were in such a
hurry to get off the mountain that they rode sucky trail. (This DT is the
old alternate route. It connects to the top of Battle Creek.)
The trail winds along the edge of the bench then begins descending. At
2.4, keep right at the Splinter Cell fork, then right again as you
approach the wooden fence. Join doubletrack northbound at 2.8. When you
hit paved road, go 100 feet uphill then turn left on continuing dirt road
(ignore don't-go-here signs -- they apply only to property OFF the main
We're descending the west slope of the mountain,
To ride this segment southbound, find the doubletrack just uphill
from the last home. It's about 1/4 mile down the paved road from the
parking lot at Kiwanis Park. If you're finishing the Grove-to-Battle
segment, exit the dirt road, turn downhill 100 feet on the paved road,
then left on the DT. Go around the metal gate and go about 1/4 mile
further before veering left uphill on the BST singletrack.
Ride-around at the doubletrack gate for the southbound trip.
Keep left uphill at mile 0.5, shortly after going through
the wooden fence. The trail dropping to the right goes to a city street.
Keep left again as Splinter Cell forks away at mile 0.7. (Splinter Cell
drops to the south and joins southbound doubletrack along the lower
Cross the doubletrack at mile 1.6 to begin the nastiest climb of the
ride. You'll gain 200 feet in 0.4 miles, then climb some more.
We're starting the climb up to the pre-historic Lake
Bonneville shoreline southbound.
Keep straight at mile 2.2, resisting the temptation to go
uphill on the big wide lower Crop Circle
trail. As the trail makes a right turn at mile 2.6, again stay right as
the other end of the Crop Circle trail goes straight.
you approach the trailhead at mile 2.9, generally keep to the left so you
don't drop west off the mountain.
There's a bit
of this steep side-slope stuff. Looking south.
Battle Creek to Grove Creek Section
This piece is a short 1.1 miles. Unless you're determined to
ride the whole length of northern Utah County's BST, there's little reason
to do this section. It's just dirt roads. And the hillside is infested
with ATVs and 4x4s. There's a trail branching or crossing every hundred
Pedal north on the DT below Kiwanis Park, skirting below the
flood-control basin. Keep straight north, then veer to
Ugly. Boring. Hot.
At mile 0.4, veer right uphill to join the higher DT under
the power lines, skirting a flood-control hole where 4x4's play in the mud
during springtime. Now stay on that course until you're approaching the
trees of Grove Creek. As the DT turns left, veer slightly right and
descend through the creek.
(There's a lower road that hits Grove Creek by going through the
flood-control area. To use this path, just stay straight and downhill at
the fork at 0.4 miles, then work north as 4x4 routes go everywhere.)
Looking northwest downhill at the lower route(s),
from the power line DT.
After climbing out of the creek, you'll arrive at the Grove
Creek trail. The continuing BST is straight across.
To take the trail southbound from Grove Creek parking, go up the
broad Grove Creek trail for about 200 feet. Just before the trail reaches
the mountain, turn 90 degrees right and plunge down through Grove Creek.
Grove Creek trailhead. A trail runner with dogs. A
guy loading horses next to me. And ATVs use the area between Grove and
Battle Creek. The BST crosses the Grove Creek trail 200 feet uphill.
As you exit the trees, keep straight and follow the power
line corridor on doubletrack. At mile 0.6, just after skirting the big
hole, veer to the right and coast down to the lower road.
The route down and through the creek, as seen from
the Grove Creek trail.
As you approach Battle Creek, keep southbound and generally
downhill on the main dirt road. You'll pass west (downhill) of the flood
control wall, then hit the paved road at mile 1.1 from Grove.
Jog 100 feet downhill on pavement, then turn left to continue the BST
On the power line doubletrack heading south.
Grove Creek to Cedar Hills Section
This section of the BST is a work in progress as of early 2022. There are
zero trail markers, while many trails -- large and small -- fork away from
the official BST route. Navigation will be tricky, so at this time I
recommend a GPS trail app to see where you are in the trail system.
April 2022: The Forest Service has made several branching trails in
this area official, and has applied for funding to begin marking them.
Looking north on the singletrack BST just north of
Because of the absence of trail markers -- and the multiple trail forks --
I will provide greater detail for this section of the BST.
If you arrived at Grove Creek via the upper BST route from Battle
Creek, the continuing trail is just across the Grove Creek trail.
Looking north on the BST from the mouth of Grove
If you arrived via the lower route, either (1) turn to the right and go to
the northeast corner of the parking lot, where an (unmarked in April 2022)
dirt trail takes you uphill and northbound to join the BST, or (2) pedal
straight up the big Grove Creek trail for about 150 yards then make a hard
left turn onto the official BST as the Grove Creek trail hits the mountain.
Looking up Grove Creek. The BST crosses right where the
trail its the shoulder of the hill.
Alternate: Bench Road
riders simply take the Canal Road (aka Bench Road) north. It's found at
the steel gate just below the paved Grove Creek parking. You'll have a
three-mile pedal-fest on gravel before you intercept the Canyon Road in Cedar
Hills. Because this section of the singletrack BST requires climbing
fairly on the hill, take the Bench Road if you're tired or running out of
Note that there are competing dirt roads and subdivision construction
at the north end. Stay as straight northbound as possible at any trail
forks. If you find two parallel dirt roads, the downhill (west) DT is the
At the ride-around for the northbound Canal Road,
just below the Grove Creek parking.
In general, where branching trails are not marked, you should take the most
flat option. Contrary to what you might expect, the larger more-traveled
trail may NOT be the BST.
At a trail fork 0.2 miles uphill, the left fork is
the lower BST; the larger trail on the right is an unofficial route that's
often used as a downhill. This trail is sometimes referred to as the upper BST
or Dropout. If you climb it, the last bit will be hike-a-bike until it joins
the Mahogany Bench Climb trail. See the Mahogany
Mountain trail page for details on this area.
BST is the smaller trail to the left. The trail on the right is used as a
descending route, but it hasn't been included as a formal part of this trail
There will occasionally be bits of grunt climb as the trail rolls over the
skirts of the mountain. Through this area, you can reliably stay on what
appears to be the main trail.
The terrain in this area is almost entirely grass mixed with small
stunted sage. There will be occasional tiny groves of gambel oak.
Depending on your fitness and gearing, some climbs
may turn into hikes.
At mile 0.6 from Grove Creek, there's a trail on the right at the top of a
rise. It curves to turn 150 degrees from your direction of travel. This is
the Mahogany Bench Climb trail.
The BST will now veer right and descend into a valley.
View back to the south as we climb away from Grove
As the BST turns left and begins to climb up from the bottom of the
valley, it will turn hard to the right and begin climbing up the valley on
the south-facing slope. When the BST makes its right-hand turn, the
smaller trail that continues straight is unofficial.
Looking down at Utah Lake where the BST is climbing
up to the bench area.
After 0.1 miles of climbing to the east, there's a smaller trail on the
left. This smaller trail is the official route for the BST. (If you went
past it and arrived at a complex major intersection about 100 feet later,
just turn hard left downhill and it will rejoin the official BST.)
Assuming you forked left on the official BST, the trail will reach a
crossover 100 feet later. Turn left here and you're on the downhill section
of the BST. (The trail straight ahead is the Mahogany Bench Connector and it
will take you uphill to the Rojo Rolling trail.)
Critical trail fork. The BST is on the left, and will
Now navigation becomes easier. Stay on the main trail until you reach the
upper Bench Road in a small valley. You're now at mile 1.4 from Grove
Creek. Keep to the right and go north. Fork right on the upper doubletrack
at a fork 0.2 miles later.
Once you're hit the high point on the northbound BST,
the downhill is constant until you hit the old upper Bench Road. Looking
northwest over Utah Valley.
The trail will narrow as it heads north on the lower shoreline bench. Pass
Sneaky Shiz on your right at mile 2.0.
Around mile 2.2, there's a trail fork. The larger left fork descends a
ravine to the Bench Road. The smaller right fork is (I believe) the BST. It
will climb a tiny bit and go under a log fence, then descend down to the
Bench Road. We're at mile 2.4 now.
Descending on the BST
at around mile 2 from Grove Creek.
At the Bench Road, you can either turn right to head to the Canyon Road
near the fire station in Cedar Hills, or you can turn left to head back
towards Grove Creek on the Bench Road. If you continue north, it's 1.9
miles to the Canyon Road.
Looking north at the Bench Road in Cedar Hills.
Riding notes, from the Orem
0.0 N just uphill from toilet building
N40 19.508 W111 40.219
0.6 Cross road circle at water tank
N40 19.932 W111 40.398
1.1 Keep R uphill (L = to Dry Creek road)
N40 20.191 W111 40.456
1.5 L for Dry Creek trailhead
N40 20.487 W111 40.594
Cross to N end of parking
N40 20.527 W111 40.640
1.6 Keep on main trail
1.8 Middle trail climbing N
N40 20.598 W111 40.843
(L = descends mountain)
2.1 Keep L (R = to Crop Circle)
N40 20.721 W111 40.807
2.5 Keep L (R = to Crop Circle)
N40 20.900 W111 41.099
3.0 Veer L to cross DT!
N40 21.192 W111 41.625
4.0 Keep R (L = Splinter Cell)
N40 21.329 W111 41.778
4.2 Keep R (L = descends to street)
N40 21.337 W111 41.931
4.4 Join DT northbound
4.6 R uphill on paved road
100 feet, then L on dirt road
N40 21.674 W111 42.165
4.9 Keep L and level N40 21.855 W111 42.166
5.1 R and climb to DT along basin
N40 22.027 W111 42.266
Now keep level and north at
5.7 Veer slightly R towards trees
N40 22.459 W111 42.642
Drop through creek
5.8 Cross Grove Creek trail
N40 22.500 W111 42.646
5.9 Trail from parking joins on L
N40 22.551 W111 42.734
5.95 Keep L (R = upper BST)
N40 22.603 W111 42.760
6.4 Fork L to go N
N40 22.863 W111 43.139
6.9 Join Canal Road northbound
N40 23.002 W111 43.530
9.9 Canyon Road
Getting there, trailheads south to north:
Orem trailhead: Drive towards the mountains on 800 North. At 800 East, turn left and drive north about 1
mile. Immediately past the fence at the uphill edge of the cemetery, turn right (east) on Cascade Drive.
Drive 1/2 mile, then turn uphill to the left as you approach the water
treatment buildings. Go up 2 short switchbacks to the paved parking area
with the bathroom. The
trail begins on the north end of parking right next to the bathroom.
Dry Canyon trailhead: Turn east off State Street at 200 South in
Lindon, which also
happens to be 2000 North for Orem. Keep straight as you approach the
mountains. When the road forks, veer left, then keep straight uphill
heading northeast. After a turn to the right you'll enter the parking
area. The northbound BST is at the far north end, right were the road
entered parking. The southbound trail is at the southeast end near the
mountain. After exiting the pavement and going about 30 feet east uphill
on Dry Canyon, fork right (south) for the BST.
Battle Creek trailhead: For the Pleasant Grove Battle Creek trailhead, turn east on 200 South
in Pleasant Grove and keep going straight until the road ends at Kiwanis Park in Battle Creek Canyon.
back down the paved road 1/4 mile, turning left on a small gravel road
just before the first home. Watch for the singletrack 1/4 mile later on
your left. Keep uphill at two trail forks.
To go northbound from Battle Creek, again drop down the paved road 1/4
mile, but turn north (right) on dirt road about 100 feet uphill from the
Grove Creek trailhead: From 100 East in Pleasant Grove,
turn east on 500 North (across from the cemetery). Continue east until the
road ends at the Grove Creek TH. Go straight up the canyon on the Grove
Creek trail for around 200 feet. The broad trail going north (left) just
before you reach the mountain -- with a corresponding trail dropping into
the ravine southbound -- is the BST.
Cedar Hills: No formal trailhead. Look for dirt road on
the uphill side of the Canyon Road near the fire station. Use a GPS
navigation app on your mobile to confirm the connection.
Bathroom at Grove Creek. Most formal BST trailheads
also have bike-repair stands..