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Bonneville Shoreline Trail
South Provo Canyon Section

The Bonneville Shoreline Trail is a series of trails along the slope of the Wasatch Mountains where the old shoreline of Lake Bonneville met the hills. Sections of trail are found from Ogden to Payson. The Provo Canyon section of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail is an experienced-intermediate singletrack hill climb, followed by a fairly flat and easy cruise out to a view over Utah Valley.

View up Provo Canyon from the BST. Original ride review September 6, 2000. Newer photos and update by Bruce in July 2016.

The trail starts on the Provo River Parkway, between the Bridal Veil Park parking lot and Bridal Veil Falls. About 0.1 mile up the paved path, look for the Bonneville Shoreline sign and a singletrack on your right. It's a fairly steady climb, gaining about 500 feet over the first mile.

View down the trail on the lower slope near the Provo River Parkway in this September 2000 photo, looking over the handlebars of the old Specialized Rockhopper hardtail.

Altitude gain is 500 feet, but feels like more. Out-and-back to the viewpoint is 6 miles. Despite the low beginning altitude of 4850 feet, this is not an all-season trail. Because it hugs a steep northern slope, snow closes the trail by late October and remains until late April. During the summer, mid-day riding is blistering hot, so plan an early morning ride.

View through the trees along the trail, north to Mount Timpanogos.

The trail continues the BST route from the North Provo Canyon BST (Orem Bench and Dragon's Back), with a bit of the Provo River Parkway required for the connection from Canyon Glen Park to just above Nunn's Park.

At this time (latest update 2016), there's no formal connection between the west end of this trail and the Provo Bench section of the BST that starts southbound at Rock Canyon.

Looking west in September 2000. The cliffs at the mouth of Provo Canyon are conglomerate laid down in ancient Lake Bonneville.

The ride follows a slight bench left by ancient shoreline, where rivers from the Uinta Mountains brought sand and rock down to form an alluvial fan under the waters of Lake Bonneville. The initial climb takes you from the trough carved by the Provo River up onto the top of this fan. Lake Bonneville covered the Wasatch Front valleys and western desert for 1 million years, until around the end of the Ice Age 12,000 years ago.

View on the way back into Provo Canyon, heading east.

After the initial climb, the trail intersects the southern pipeline. Here, the trail flattens and winds around the hillside, generally staying over or near the pipeline. Some short sections will be doubletrack. The trail is intersected by multiple ATV and doubletracks. When in doubt, look around for the most flat trail -- if you're making a stiff climb or descent at this point, you're off the pipeline trail.

The sideslope is quite steep, and there are occasional rough sections that might make beginners nervous. During the climb, you'll be riding through gamble oak, maple, currant, oregon grape, and an occasional pine.

Once you reach the flat singletrack, it's nice cruising and simple navigation. If you watch carefully, you'll see some branching singletracks to Pole Canyon, the Squaw Peak Road lower parking, and the Squaw Peak Circles. See the Squaw Peak circles page.

Oregon Grape ripens in the shade of maples. The juice from these berries makes a delicious lemonade.

As you come around the mountain onto the old Lake Bonneville gravel deposits, the scenery turns to dry grass, brush, and short scrub oak. Now you can look down towards Utah Valley, and up Provo Canyon.

At 3.6 miles (GPS N 40 18.771  W 111 38.355), the newer Upper BST singletrack climbs up over the ridge to your left. Note the spot, but continue on the pipeline trail out to the viewpoint 1/2 mile later. Say "Oooh, Awww." Then if you want more riding, come back to the singletrack and climb.

Easy cruising near the connections to the Squaw Peak circles and Luna's Trail.

After crossing the ridge, the singletrack dumps onto an ATV trail with multiple branches. If you continue to select the most flat trail, you'll arrive on top of a buried water tank overlooking northern Provo's homes, stables, and corrals.

From the Upper BST you can also connect uphill via the Cactus Hill connector to upper Squaw Peak area trails (see Squaw Peak Downhill page).

Or just call it good, turn around, and head back to Provo Canyon.

Photo looking east from the ride's highest point on the Upper BST in September 2000.

Riding notes from Nunn's parking:
0.0   East (up canyon) on paved trail
0.1   Hard R uphill on ST (BST)
        N40 20.278 W111 36.479
2.0   Straight (L = Pole Canyon)
        N40 19.069 W111 37.424
2.5   Straight (R = Squaw Pk Parking)
        N40 19.117 W111 37.816
2.6   Straight (L = Circles)
        N40 19.126 W111 37.859
2.8   Straight on DT (L = exit from Luna's Trail)
        N40 19.236 W111 38.034
        Option: R for ST trip around hill
              3.2 Rejoins N40 19.232 W111 38.136

2.9   Fork rejoins on R
        N40 19.232 W111 38.145
        Cross paved road
3.6   R = to viewpoint or Indian Hills
        N40 18.772 W111 38.354
        or L = Upper BST
             3.9  R (L = Cactus Hill to road)
                    N40 18.589 W111 38.281
             4.6  Join Squaw Peak DH route
                    N40 18.197 W111 38.272

4.2   View and turnaround
        N40 18.781 W111 38.989
        or descend to Indian Hills
            4.8  Arrive at pavement
                   N40 18.574 W111 39.180
            5.1  At Canyon Road

8.4   Back at parking
Trail Map

Getting there, Bridal Veil TH: The trail is accessed from the Provo Canyon Parkway, a paved recreation trail. The closest trailhead is at the lower Bridal Veil Park parking lot. Pull off US-189 two miles up Provo Canyon at the Bridal Veil Park - Nunns Park exit, then turn right into the parking lot. The trail on the right side, just where the road turns into the parking lot at GPS N 40 20.249  W 111 36.578.
Provo River Parkway Orem TH:  Many riders park at the mouth of Provo Canyon on Orem's 800 North Street (parking is left just past the gas station as you reach the canyon, before you enter the overpass). GPS N 40 18.840  W 111 39.472. Crank up the canyon to connect.

Lower Squaw Peak Road TH:  On US-189 eastbound about a mile up the canyon, turn right on the Squaw Peak Road. Drive one mile uphill and turn left into the large parking area at N40 19.393 W111 37.956. Return to the road for a pavement climb up to where the BST crosses the road, or find the singletrack at the uphill east end of parking and ride uphill. Stay straight to cross another trail at mile 0.2. At mile 0.5 from parking you'll arrive at the BST at N40 19.116 W111 37.815.
  One-page printable guide to this trail
GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
        Track TH to Indian Hills  
        Area multi-track file
  High-res topo for printing:  View map
  Lodging, camping, shops:    Links to Provo area resources

Copyright 2000
Updated 2016