East Bench Preserve (H Trail)
The tiny East Bench Preserve lies in the eastern foothills at around
21st South. The trails here will likely be of interest only to those who
live nearby. There's a traversing trail that crosses the hillside from
north to south, joining two trailheads. On the lower slope is a loop of
narrow technically-challenging singletrack that is probably not officially
Northbound on the H Loop, with downtown Salt Lake in
the background. Photos and ride review by Bruce
on November 22, 2021.
|There are three access points:
Devonshire Drive has a few parking spots in the circle at the end
of the road. Here a paved path takes southbound you into the preserve.
Lakeline Drive has several parking spots at the end of the street.
Here the wide cindered path enters the preserve northbound. This trailhead
is just 1/10th mile uphill from the northern end of Parley's
Scenic Drive's northern end has a trail angling north into the
preserve. After 100 yards, this intersects bottom of the singletrack loop.
Parking at the end of Lakeline Drive.
||Waterline Trail and Devonshire Trail.
From the south, a wide cindered trail sits on top of the water line.
This trail heads north, contouring the hillside before ending just below
the "H" on the mountain. As this trail reaches the northern end
of fenced private property at mile 0.1, a narrow singletrack trail forks
away downhill. This trail stays a bit below the Waterline trail. It will
connect directly to the paved trail from Devonshire Drive. The combination
of the Waterline and Devonshire trails is yields only 0.5 miles between
the two trailheads.
Straight ahead is the Waterline trail, and angling
off to the left is the narrow Devonshire singletrack.
|H Trail DH
At mile 0.2, a DH trail originates on the Waterline trail and crosses
the Devonshire trail. It will drop 100 vertical feet then loop around,
with a zigzag climbing route to bring you back up to the northern side of
the Devonshire trail. A loop down and back up (including the 0.2 miles of
Devonshire to tie the two ends together) is exactly one mile.
A few wiggles through sagebrush slope.
||The DH portion is only 0.2 miles, dropping 100 vertical feet
through sage brush with occasional rock gardens.
|The DH portion of the trail then turns to the northwest and
contours the hillside. Most of this is gently downhill, with only an
occasional rock or encroaching bit of brush.
Crossing the bottom of the preserve between the steep
downhill and the climbing trail.
||H Trail Climb
At mile 0.4, the H Trail reaches a broad trail that climbs from the end
of Scenic Drive, visits a rock outcrop, then descends to Mohawk Way. Join
the broad trail, then immediately fork to the right uphill on the narrower
trail. This is the climbing route to the top.
At the bottom of the climbing trail. Fork uphill to
the right on the little trail.
|The narrow singletrack climbs through four turns back to the
Devonshire trail. It's a bit under 200 vertical feet in 0.4 miles, but the
twisty narrow track (and an embedded rock or two) make it feel like more.
Turns are almost unrideably tight and there are a couple of pedal-banger
rock squeezes. So I'm giving the loop and expert rating overall.
Northbound through a few wiggles on the climbing
East Bench Preserve Lakeline Drive TH: As above, turn off Foothill Drive onto 21st
South. Turn right on Scenic Drive. Turn hard left to Lakeline Drive and
continue uphill to the end of the road to park.
Devonshire Drive TH: From Foothill Blvd, take Skyline Drive
uphill. Turn right at Eagle Way, then left onto Commanche Drive. Turn
right when you hit Devonshire and proceed to the end of the road.
(The map of Parley's Pointe BST is used here in case you were including
the climbing portion of the H Trail as a dirt route uphill to the BST.)
Bathrooms: none at either trailhead
Repair kiosks: none