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Bonneville Shoreline Trail
Slate Canyon to Spring Canyon
Includes alternate singletracks and Slate Canyon DH

This page covers the Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST) from Slate Canyon to Spring Canyon in Utah County. See the Rabbitbrush page for the Hobble Creek BST to the south, and the Provo BST page for the segment between Rock Canyon and Slate Canyon. I will also describe four alternate trails off the BST, plus the Slate Canyon DH loop.

View south along a singletrack portion of the BST along the Provo-Springville border. Original description by Bruce in 2001; this updated review April 11, 2022.

This segment of the BST has constant views over Utah Valley. The area is fully sun-exposed and will be hot during afternoons. The terrain is grass with occasional brush and rare stands of scrub oak. The expected riding season is mid-March through November.

The trail switches between doubletrack and singletrack multiple times. Overall, it's an intermediate ride, but there are some steep and loose pitches. The slopes become more difficult in the half-mile just north of Spring Canyon. I don't recommend this ride for beginners.

Riding north on a doubletrack portion of the trail, showing the typical terrain in the area.

The segment from Slate Canyon to Spring Canyon is 5.8 miles with 1000 feet of climbing. From Spring Canyon it's another 1.9 miles to the trail's end in Hobble Creek, but there's some posted private property and a subdivision in the way at this time. In fact, going beyond mile 5.5 is something I don't really recommend unless you're up for some adventure and hike-a-bike.

There are a lot of competing old roads and trails in the area. Occasionally, markings are missing. For example, the BST forks to the right here off this gravel road, but the first sign is across the ravine where you might not see it.


Slate Canyon Park in southern Provo is the main source of access to the BST. Drive east on 300 South (US 89), then continue straight east until you find yourself on Slate Canyon Drive. The road will then turn south along the foothills. Turn left uphill from Slate Canyon Drive into the park. There are two paved parking lots. The lower parking lot connects to the southbound BST and to the DH trail. The upper parking area has a bathroom, and connects uphill to the northbound BST.

Looking south from the lower Slate Canyon parking lot. The DH trail forks away from the BST on the right just after the picnic pavilion.

There are several unmarked trails that join the BST from neighborhoods in Springville. There are two official parking areas that access the middle of this segment of the BST: (1) the gravel Little Rock Road trailhead, reached by dirt road off US 89 just south of the Springville Industrial Park, and (2) the northern end of 970 East, reached by taking 400 North to its end in the foothills and working northeast. (You may accidentally find yourself at the 970 East trailhead when you fail to make an uphill 90-degree left turn as you pedal south on the BST. If so, backtrack about 100 yards.)

View from the Little Rock Road parking lot. The BST crosses the doubletrack just above the sign at left.

You can also access the BST at Spring Canyon. There's no formal trailhead here at this time, but you can find roadside parking at the mining scar on the left side of the road where the BST crosses the canyon road. Not many riders catch the trail at this spot though, because the 1/3 mile north of Spring Canyon is the most miserable riding of the entire BST. FYI, there's talk of developing a formal bike park at Spring Canyon in the future.

View uphill into Spring Canyon from the BST just before it descends to the canyon bottom.

The Bonneville Shoreline Trail from Slate Canyon to Spring Canyon
As mentioned above, this section of the BST is formed from a series of old doubletrack roads tied together with sections of singletrack. Some of the roads (and the singletrack near Spring Canyon) are steep and loose, especially on those spots where ATVs find their illegal way onto the BST from old mining roads.

The starting elevation at Slate Canyon is 4900 feet. This BST segment is 5.8 miles long, with 1000 vertical feet of climbing when done north to south. Spring Canyon is 150 feet higher in elevation, so it's only 850 vertical coming back.

Heading into a small canyon while northbound on doubletrack. The limestone crags are typical of the few spots where rock breaks through.

This section of the Wasatch foothills was heavily mined starting in pioneer times. What was extracted was mostly construction materials: clay, silica, gravel, and limestone rock. Many of the traversing trails you'll follow were ways to reach these open-pit quarry operations. Enjoy this as a lesson in history rather than as an eyesore.

A pile of clay tailings from an old quarry.

I will describe the BST ride from north to south, starting from Slate Canyon. The alternate trails will be listed as though you were hitting them on the return trip.

From the lower parking lot at Slate Canyon, head south. Within a few feet, keep straight as the Slate Canyon DH trail forks to the right. Then keep right on the official BST as the alternate Gravel Pit trail branches uphill to the left (see below).

View south on a doubletrack portion of the BST in southern Provo.

For the first half mile, you'll pass in and out of old gravel-mine scars. In 2022 (but not in 2001) there were plenty of trail marker posts to show the right path, as doubletracks and cheater trails came and went. 

Singletrack on an old bench-cut. Virgin singletrack is rare on the BST. Most areas of singletrack are simply old bulldozed roads that are overgrown.

As you pedal south above southern Provo, enjoy the constant views to the west. There's a major wetland area along the west side of I-15, with Provo Bay and Utah Lake just beyond. The Provo Bay area was known as "Mud Lake" to locals 50 years ago, and is famous for prodigious carp production.

Looking west at the Springville Industrial Park and Utah Lake. US-89 is in the foreground.

The trail undulates up and down, with most of the elevation change occurring when you're on old rocky doubletracks. The riding overall isn't too tough here, but new beginning riders and kids will struggle on some granny-gear stretches which are loaded with embedded rock and loose river boulders.

Southbound past a rock outcrop. While most of the rock is limestone from Pennsylvanian period (around 300 million years ago), there are occasional quartzite outcrops as seen here.

Heading south. The mountain at upper center lies just south
of Hobble Creek Canyon.
Hitting a singletrack portion on an old bench-cut for some ancient
dirt road.  The trail often falls along the power lines.
Watch for the alternate trails as you head south, so you'll be aware and ready to hit them on the way back. At mile 0.6, the Gravel Pit Alternate rejoins from uphill left (along with a shorter alternate).

At mile 1.2, the Powerline Alternate forks right, rejoining at mile 1.5.

The Hi Line Alternate forks steeply uphill on your left at mile 2.0 of the ride. At mile 2.8, pass the Little Rock Road trailhead on your right. The Hi Line Alternate will rejoin at the top of a small rise at mile 3.5 after you blunder your way through an area scarred by an old gravel quarry.

Here again the trail is following an overgrown road.

About 50 feet from where Hi Line rejoins, the Silica Pit Alternate forks uphill left. At mile 4.0, the Silica Pit trail will rejoin the BST.

The connector to the 970 East trail access is at mile 3.7 as you head south. At this spot (not marked in spring 2022), the BST forks left uphill, while the wide bench-cut goes 100 yards to the trailhead.

A rare stretch of true singletrack around the middle of Springville, southbound.

You'll now pass through a couple of small canyons. Around mile 5.0, it's time to begin thinking about where you'll turn around -- unless you're doing a shuttled ride. At mile 5.5, the trail will get unpleasant. When you find yourself at a steep hike-a-bike along the steel fence of a home, I say it's time to go back. There's very little fun to be found beyond this spot.

Quartzite outcrop, northbound.

As you approach Spring Canyon the singletrack changes so it goes over-and-down rather than into-and-around the skirts of the hillside. It's unpleasantly steep both ways, and if it's been torn up enough it will be unrideable. If you're determined to get through, be ready to push your bike.

View of the trail near Spring Canyon. Steep up, steep down. Whether you can ride it depends not only on your legs, but on whether the trail surface has any grip. When it's loose, it's hike-a-bike.

At Spring Canyon, the BST crosses the small canyon road and descends to the bottom of the canyon. Just above the canal, it contours the hill southbound, but at this time there's a locked gate posted as private property. The alternative Canal Trail is also gated and posted. And there's a subdivision you have to go through. If you're determined to get into Hobble Creek, you may want to simply drop to city streets and catch the trail further south.

Gate on the BST south of Spring Canyon.

Alternate Trails from South to North
Silica Pit Alternate
The Silica Pit Alternate is probably the best of alternate lines. When heading north it's found 1.8 miles from Spring Canyon on your right uphill. Although the other alternate lines are not marked, this trail does have a post (see photo) and appears more heavily traveled.

Trail fork to the Silica Pit as we head northbound.

The Silica Pit trail is 0.5 miles long. It adds no significant distance to your ride, but you'll do 100 feet of additional climbing and descending on this alternate line.

A rare bit of forested riding on the Silica Pit trail.

At its high point, the trail passes over tailings from an old silica mine. Nice views from up here. The Silica Trail is the easiest of the alternate trails to ride. It also offers some of the most forested riding on the hill.

The Silica Pit trail rejoins the BST at an un-marked trail fork at mile 2.3 from Spring Canyon.

Arriving at the silica quarry.

Hi Line Alternate
After rejoining the BST from the Silica Pit trail, you'll drop through a small ravine. At the top, perhaps 100 feet later, the Hi Line Alternate plunges steeply into a small canyon to your right. It then climbs (also steeply) up the hillside to reach a higher line.

Looking south on the Hi Line trail. Steeper than it looks, but can be ridden.

The Hi Line trail is the longest and toughest of alternate lines. It's 1.4 miles long and will add a bit over 300 vertical feet of overall climbing to your ride.

After the initial grunt climb northbound on narrow singletrack, the trail settles into an up-and-down traverse before dropping (also steeply) back down to the BST.

A bit of rolling terrain on the Hi Line.

Power Line Alternate
The Powerline trail is the only alternate that lies on the downhill side of the trail. It's an undulating singletrack that's 0.3 miles long. When done south to north, there's an initial descent, then a traverse back to rejoin the BST.

The trail fork may slip past you, because it occurs right next to a power pole.

View of the Power Line trail from the BST, looking south.

The Powerline Alternate adds no climbing to your ride, as the BST also loses 75 feet of elevation before Powerline rejoins.

Heading back toward the BST on the northbound Power Line trail.

Gravel Pit Alternate
When heading north, the Gravel Pit Alternate forks away uphill just 0.5 miles from Slate Canyon (5.3 miles from Spring Canyon). In 2022, the trail fork showed three trails. The middle one rejoins the BST shortly, so I suggest the uppermost trail.

Trail fork on the northbound BST. The lower trail is the BST and the uppermost trail is the Gravel Pit trail.

As per its name, the Gravel Pit Alternate does pass through old mining scars. In this area, the trail is gravel doubletrack. There are a couple of non-marked connections downhill to the BST as you go, so when in doubt stay level and take the singletrack.

Area of old quarry road. The trail will continue as singletrack at the spot where the road turns steeply uphill.

In some spots in 2022, the singletrack is very narrow and out-sloped on steep hillside. You'll need to be capable of riding a straight line confidently. Dropping a tire off the trail would be a problem, so beginners and early-intermediates have no business on this alternate trail!

Stretch of narrow singletrack clinging to the sideslope.

The Gravel Pit Alternate rejoins the BST as you approach the parking lot. If you find yourself riding any distance on the BST, you were suckered into taking a connecting trail too soon.

And we're almost back to the trailhead.

Slate Canyon DH Trail
The Slate Canyon DH Loop begins just 50 feet from the sidewalk at Slate Canyon Park. From the lower parking lot, pedal past the pavilion to the dirt BST southbound, then turn 90 degrees right. Go over the hump to enter the DH course.

Looking south from the pavilion at the lower parking lot. That's the DH trail at the right.

The DH loop is only 0.3 miles long. It consists of gently down-sloping traverses connected by banked high-speed turns.

Coming into the first turn after dropping into the DH course (facing north).

The traversing sections have humps with optional jumping ramps. There are a couple of table-tops.

Looking south as the trail rolls over a couple of worn table jumps.

Alas, it's over too quickly, and to your right you'll find the gravel climbing trail along the trailhead road to climb back up to the parking lot.

This is the trail back to the top. Not bad with a trail bike, but would be miserable with a heavy DH bike.

Bottom Line:
Great views of the valley and some cruiser miles, but lots of relatively miserable steep pitches with loose rock. Despite what it might look like on a topo map, this isn't a ride for beginners or out-of-shape riders. Navigation isn't too bad, but that depends on the condition of marker posts. 

This section of the BST will be more work than you'd think. My out-and-back from Slate Canyon to Spring Canyon, hitting the four alternate lines on the way back (then going once around the DH loop) was 11.7 miles and 2300 vertical. But with the steep and loose pitches -- and a bit of hike-a-bike at the south end -- it seemed like more work than that.

See also:
     Hobble Creek BST/Rabbitbrush trail
     BST Rock Canyon to Slate Canyon

     Multi-track GPS file (R-click and "Save as...")

Closeup of the Slate Canyon Park trailhead area at left.

Getting there!

Slate Canyon Park:  Find your way to 300 South in Provo, headed eastbound. This will be marked as US-89. Around 800 East, US-89 will turn to the south at a traffic light. Keep straight here -- leaving Highway 89 -- on 300 South. Also keep straight east at the roundabout. You'll now find yourself on Slate Canyon Drive. The road will turn south. Now watch for a small paved road uphill on your left. Drive up that road 1/4 mile. Park in the lower lot for the southbound BST. You'll find the trail just past the pavilion at the southwest corner. (The northbound BST is just above the upper parking lot.)

Little Rock Road trailhead: Find the Little Rock Road dirt road on the uphill side of US 89 just south of the Springville Industrial Park. Follow it uphill and veer left into the parking area with the boulders.
970 East trailhead
: Take 400 North in Springville eastbound to its end in the foothills. Turn left, right, and left to find yourself on 970 East. Continue north to the end of the road. Take a trail up to the BST.
Spring Canyon: Take Springville's 400 South eastbound. Continue straight at the roundabout. At the T intersection, turn left, then find a small road on your right heading up into the canyon. About 1/2 mile later, find a wide flat spot from an old gravel quarry on the left just downhill from the BST trail crossing.

Bathroom:  At the upper Slate Canyon parking lot.
Camping: None nearby.
Picnic table at Slate Canyon.


Original review 2001, updated and expanded in 2022
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