||Isengard and Mordor Area
of Heber's Riverview System
This page reviews the multiple trails at the northwestern side of the
Coyote Canyon/Riverview trail system just north of Heber. The navigation
can be a bit complex, with additional trails still being added in June
2022. There are small trailside signs identifying the trails at forks and
cross-overs, but knowing where you're going requires excellent map skills
or a GPS navigation app.
Climbing Lonely Mountain, with Cascade Mountain and
Timpanogos to the west. Review by Bruce on June 3, 2022.
|The trails include beginner-level routes on the lower
mountain such as northern Lower Riverview and Bag End,
northern Middle Earth, and the downhill-only Lower Potatoes. The Isengard Skills Trail is
beginner-level if you bypass the stunts which require upper-intermediate
skills to clean. These trails lie between Middle Earth and Lower
Intermediate trails located above Middle Earth include Upper Potatoes and Lonely Mountain. Lonely
Mountain (at this time) is two-directional, although it seems to be engineered as a downhill flow trail and may become one-way
when other access
trails are finished.
Upper Potatoes has been used mostly as a downhill
from Riverview to Lower Potatoes. Now that Lonely Mountain and Mordor are
complete, the usage may change.
Mordor is an expert-level descent from the top of Lonely Mountain to
Lower Riverview. At the time of this review, it's reached by climbing up
Lonely Mountain, but that will likely change as new trails are finished.
It crosses (and sometimes briefly joins) Upper
Riverview, Middle Earth, and the
Riverview doubletrack. Mordor includes some double-black optional
Two air opportunities on Mordor. Hit one or both.
There's a big rock drop on the right and a launching lip on the left a bit
|The trails described here are a small portion of a huge
riding area. You may want to refer to other trail pages for detailed
information on connecting trails that may be mentioned on this review
Coyote Loop - 21-mile loop around
page - Upper Riverview and connections
Chop'd Coyote page -
Alternate route that bisects Coyote Loop
Lower Riverview page
- Trails on the lower front-side
Wile E Canyon page - trails off Highway 32 on northeast Coyote
Bruce on the Coyote Loop.
Getting to the riding area
The two closest access points are the UVU and Upper
Riverview trailheads. The UVU trailhead is behind UVU, which is about a mile south
of the trails of the Isengard/Mordor area. From this trailhead, you can
take Lower Riverview, the Lower Riverview doubletrack, Middle Earth, or
Upper Riverview north to catch these trails at various levels.
The Upper Riverview trailhead is on Highway 32 about 1-1/2 miles north of
the trails. After connecting to Upper Riverview, you can pedal to the top
of Upper Potatoes to start downhill, or a go bit further to Lonely
Mountain to head uphill to Mordor. See trailhead information at the bottom
of this page.
Hitting the UVU Connector to climb up above the
canal, where Lower Riverview awaits.
|Lower Riverview to Lower Potatoes and Isengard
For the lower trails, head uphill on the UVU Connector. There's a
meandering singletrack and a straight up the hill route. Take either one.
After you cross the canal at mile 0.2, find the singletrack on your left.
This is the combined UVU Connector and Lower
Riverview. After another 0.1
miles, keep left on Lower Riverview while the Connector heads uphill toward
Middle Earth and Upper Riverview.
Bruce cranks north on Lower Riverview.
||Now pedal 1/2 mile north on Lower Riverview and fork to the
right uphill on Bag End. You'll reach the doubletrack after 0.1 mile.
You're now 0.9 miles from the trailhead. Turn right on the doubletrack.
Continue north 0.2 miles. The connector to the Isengard drops loop will
be on your right uphill, and the skills trail is directly across on your
After a few feet Mordor crosses. Now the doubletrack climbs gently to
cross Lower Potatoes. Turn left to descend the one-way Lower Potatoes
trail. (If you're headed further up the mountain, I believe the bit of
Lower Potatoes uphill from the doubletrack is two-way to
allow you to reach the bottom of Upper Potatoes.)
Looking uphill as Bag End forks away from Lower
|Riverview (UVU) Connector to Doubletrack or Middle Earth
This route lets you access all levels of the trails. When Lower
Riverview and the UVU Connector split at mile 0.3 from the UVU trailhead,
turn to the right uphill. Cross the Lower Riverview Doubletrack at mile 0.4 (or
you can turn left on the Riverview DT to head directly to the Isengard trails).
Heading uphill on the Connector Trail.
||At mile 0.7 from the trailhead, Middle Earth joins the
Connector trail for a few feet, then splits away again. Keep left at the
first fork, then 30 feet later, keep left again for Middle Earth. Middle
Earth will take you 0.9 miles north to the bottom of Upper Potatoes and
the top of Lower Potatoes.
The trail on the left is northbound Middle Earth.
|UVU Connector and Riverview to Middle Mordor, Lonely
Mountain, or Upper Potatoes
Climb 1.6 miles on the UVU/Riverview Connector trail. When you reach
Upper Riverview, fork left to head north. After 1.1 miles, Mordor crosses
to start the Middle Mordor trail section.
Arriving at Upper Riverview on the UVU Connector
trail. Left turn here.
||After another 1/3 mile, you'll reach the bottom of Lonely
Mountain. Fork right to head uphill to Mordor, or keep left and pedal
another quarter mile to reach the top of Upper Potatoes for a descent. The
top of Upper Potatoes is 1.7 miles north from the junction of the UVU
Connector with Riverview.
View northwest as we traverse the hillside.
|Upper Riverview Trailhead to Middle Mordor, Lonely Mountain or
From the Riverview trailhead on Highway 32, pedal uphill on the Riverview trail until you reach
the Coyote Loop at mile 0.3 then turn to the right.
At mile 0.4, Sheep Bones forks to the right downhill. If you're headed
for the easier trails, descend Sheep Bones for one mile, then continue
south on the doubletrack until Lower Potatoes crosses.
Looking back downhill to the Highway 32 trailhead.
||At mile 1.6 on Riverview, Upper Potatoes forks to your right
on a ridge as the Riverview trail makes a left turn.
Lonely Mountain will be on your left at mile 1.9 from the trailhead. If
you're headed for Middle Mordor, it's 1/2 mile further south on the trail
at mile 2.4 from the Highway 32 trailhead.
Westbound on Riverview.
Isengard Drops Loop and Skills Course
||Isengard consists of a drop practice loop and a skills flow
trail. The drops loop is around 1/10th mile with very little elevation
change. It lies uphill from the Riverview doubletrack, just to the south
of Lower Potatoes and Mordor.
Connector to the Drops Loop from the doubletrack,
|The drops are on the far end of a short loop. The staging
area above the drops is short, so you'll be taking the drops at low speed. For
those of you riding clipped-in, there isn't room for
you to get clipped, balanced, and comfortable if you start cold from
the top. You'll want to pedal into the top of the
staging area then turn toward your drop of choice.
Looking west and downhill, with ramps on the right
and rock drops on the left. This picture is shot from the very top of the
staging area. You have very little time to get balanced and up to
||In 2022, there are three wooden drop ramps and three lines
for rock rollovers and drops. The drops are more difficult as you go right
to left. The landing-recovery zone is short without much of a run-out, so
you'll need to recover your balance quickly. (The short approach and
run-out prevents morons from smashing other riders at high speed.)
After you turn right at the bottom, you'll loop back up for another go.
Looking south at the relative heights of the drops.
The rock at the far left side is a big one.
|The Isengard skills trail is 0.3 miles long with 75 feet of
elevation loss from the doubletrack down to Lower Riverview. My
understanding is that it's
designated as a two-way trail (so you can backtrack to try something a
second time), but intended to flow top to bottom.
Two split logs to balance on, and a rock-pile rumble
||Stunts vary in difficulty but are fairly forgiving if you
This log is a bit more anxiety-provoking, as you must
navigate a turn while 18 inches in the air.
|A table jump to practice on. A bit long for
that are possible on this gentle slope, but go for it.
|There's a series of connected banked turns to
your sight lines high and rolling through.
|To make a second run, keep left at the (non-marked) bottom
of the skills trail to join Lower Riverview. Pedal 1/10th mile south, then
turn left uphill onto Bag End to climb back to the doubletrack.
All of the stunts have generous ride-arounds. Here's
a nice steep partial-circle bridge.
||Upper Potatoes is a two-way trail, but until now it's been
heavily used as a descender from Upper Riverview through Lower Potatoes to
Lower Riverview. With the completion of Lonely Mountain and upper Mordor
in 2022, more people will be climbing Upper Potatoes.
The bottom of Upper Potatoes is where northbound
Middle Earth turns to the west to become Lower Potatoes. My bike is on
Upper Potatoes, and the track on the right is the connection to Middle
Earth. Note that most riders are turning from Upper Potatoes to Lower
|The trail is smooth and non-technical, with a gentle grade.
The turns, and some sections of trail, have a bit of pitch that may give
true beginners a problem. I'd rate the trail as early-intermediate in
aerobic requirement and technical skill.
Looking downhill as Upper Potatoes descends through
oak brush that's been bitten by a late frost.
||Upper Potatoes is 0.8 miles long, with 250 vertical feet of
elevation change. When combined with Lower Potatoes as a continuous
downhill, that's 1.2 miles and 350 feet of descent.
Looking west toward Timpanogos as Upper Potatoes
makes a gentle downhill run.
|As mentioned, Upper Potatoes can be a legit climbing route to Upper Riverview. You'll arrive at the bottom of Upper Potatoes from
Middle Earth. Once you get to the top, turn to the right on Riverview if
you're heading for Lonely Mountain.
Looking east uphill as we climb Upper Potatoes.
||If you're descending Upper Potatoes, you'll find the top of
the trail on Upper Riverview at mile 1.6 from the Upper Riverview
trailhead on Highway 32. Upper Potatoes forks to your right on a ridge as
the trail makes a left turn.
If you're arriving via the UVU Connector trail, it's going to be 1.6
miles climbing the Connector then 1.7 miles north on Riverview
to reach the top of Upper Potatoes.
Looking west as Upper Potatoes forks away from
||Lower Potatoes is the continuation of northbound Middle
Earth. The transition occurs where Upper Potatoes forks away to the right uphill. Lower Potatoes
is 0.4 miles long with a bit over 100 feet of elevation loss. It's a
one-way downhill trail.
Lower Potatoes is very easy to ride, suitable for children and true
beginners. If you have enough skill to arrive at the trail, you're skilled
enough to ride it.
View west over the Heber Valley, with Cascade
Mountain and Timpanogos in the distance.
|At the bottom of Lower Potatoes, Mordor will join from your left (junction
currently non-marked June 2022). Then Lower Potatoes joins the Lower
Riverview singletrack heading south. From here, you'll pass the bottom of
Isengard (also non-marked) on your left. If you keep straight, in a bit
over a tenth of a mile, you can turn back uphill on Bag End to reach the
doubletrack, or continue south for a bit under a mile to the UVU Connector
trail to climb higher on the mountain.
Rolling through a few final wiggles before the trail
ends on Lower Riverview.
I'll desribe Lonely Mountain as a climb, because it's the only way to
the top of Mordor as of June 2022. But understand that the trail is
engineered as a downhill flow trail, and its current two-way status may
change as additional trails are built.
Note 2022: It's planned that there will be a traversing segment
of Lonely Mountain continuing south and connecting to other trails.
There's also another trail under construction that ties into upper Lonely
Arriving at the bottom of Lonely Mountain (to the
left) while southbound on the Riverview trail.
|Lonely Mountain begins on the Upper Riverview trail. It's
1.9 miles from the Upper Riverview (Highway 32) trailhead southbound, or
1.4 miles north from the junction of the UVU Connector with Upper
The Lonely Mountain trail is 1.1 miles long with 320 feet of elevation change. The top
is at 6550 feet elevation, which means the trail should be ready to ride
around mid-May in most years.
Climbing north past outcrops of granite.
|The climbing is fairly steady but gentle,
until you hit a turn.
The turns feel very much as though they're intended for DH.
|There will be frequent views, as very
little of the trail is shaded.
Here we're looking west at Timpanogos.
||The trail is suitable for strong intermediates. As
mentioned, the trail seems to be cut as a downhill flow trail. Most
experienced riders will be able to power up and around the turns without
much difficulty, but beginners and less-strong intermediates won't find this ride fun.
Typical turn on Lonely Mountain. Everything about
this trail screams "downhill."
|Just before the top elevation, a new trail forks to the
right. Stay off it, it's not done!
At the ridgeline, Lonely Mountain dead-ends but will continue south in
the future. Just before the end of the trail, Mordor has two entries on
your right. The choices -- a steep series of spooky drops on the right versus one
monster hip-high drop for the left path -- should tell you that intermediates have no
business on Mordor. Turn around and descend Lonely Mountain.
Almost there. Approaching the ridgeline, but there
are a couple of turns yet to go.
||Mordor is an expert-level one-way downhill trail with some
double-black optional lines. It consists of three segments: Upper Mordor
from the ridgeline down to Upper Riverview, Middle Mordor from Upper
Riverview to Middle Earth, and Lower Mordor from Middle Earth to Lower
The "easy" drop-in. Three drops then a turn
on a rock wall. The harder line is the chest-high diving board at
|Mordor is 1.7 miles long, dropping 700 vertical feet. That's
a respectable rate of descent. Add the many engineered and natural
challenges, and it makes Mordor a legit DH.
Roaring downhill into some table jumps.
||Upper Mordor is 0.6 miles from the top of Lonely Mountain to
Upper Riverview. You'll drop 250 vertical. After the attention-getting
drop-in, there are some optional rock stunts and table jumps.
A couple of rocks coming up. Rollover or straight-up
drop? Who knows.
|The final bit of Upper Mordor is an insane plunge through
tight wiggles in a ravine. Veer left at the bottom to find Middle Mordor
on the other side of Riverview.
Gravity drags us relentlessly down the ravine. No
||Middle Mordor has some "cruiser" sections mixed
with challenges. There are several A/B splits. Usually you can see the
easier route as you approach, but not always. A slower
"scouting" run really helps. It's not that hard to climb back up
and hit it again.
Mellower section. A couple of bumps then a jump, then
|We're well into an optional line before we
see the rock drop
ahead. Not too bad, but there's a turn as soon as you land.
And a bit further down the alternate line, we find
jewel. Gotta keep some speed and hope your line holds.
||The ride alternates between open sage with views and
maple-oak forest. Some additional stunts and optional lines are
still under construction.
The left line comes to a hip-high drop.
|When the trail hits Middle Earth, keep left, and after about
30 feet you'll see the entry to Lower Mordor dropping downhill to the
right. During this uppermost segment of Lower Mordor (between Middle Earth and the
doubletrack), the trail
swoops around with few challenges.
Middle Mordor joins Middle Earth southbound for a few
feet before turning off to the right as Lower Mordor.
||Once you cross the Riverview Doubletrack, the trail's
character changes. Now you're on hand-built track in the bottom of a wash.
There are plenty of alternate lines, and some of them are spooky. Rock
challenges are constant, and decisions about where to put your tires come
This little beauty is a rim-bender. Hmm. Launch or
|At the bottom of Mordor, you'll join Lower Potatoes. Watch
for beginners and keep straight as the trail turns south and joins Lower
Riverview. You're done!
Almost there. Not quite so steep now, but still
UVU Wasatch Campus trailhead: One mile south
of the junction of Highway 40 and 32, turn east (toward the mountain) at
the UVU campus. Northbound from Utah County, the UVU campus is a couple of miles
north of Heber's business area. Go to the uppermost level of parking behind the UVU
buildings and look for the step-over and kiosk. The singletrack UVU
Connector trail climbs to Lower Riverview at mile 0.2 and Middle Earth at
mile 0.7, then continues to the Riverview Trail at mile 1.6.
Coyote Lane trailhead: On US-40 just north of Heber, turn east on Coyote Lane.
Just after the road crosses a canal, turn left into the parking lot. The
singletrack starts at the northeast corner at the step-over, where you'll
also find a repair stand and a kiosk with a trail map. The Coyote
singletrack takes you uphill, where you can connect to Riverview after
climbing 2.1 miles. You can also connect northbound via the Riverview
Doubletrack and Lower Riverview trail or the Sheep Pen and Middle Earth
trails. (NOTE: There is subdivision construction in the Coyote Lane
area in 2022, which may affect your access plans. The trails below the
Riverview Doubletrack are closed at this time.)
|Upper Riverview Trailhead:
From Salt Lake, take I-80 eastbound to Silver Creek Junction (just
past Park City). Go south on US-40, past the Jordanelle reservoir and
descend past the dam. At the traffic light at mile 14.2 from I-80, turn
left on 32 and climb 1.1 miles. When you see the second entry into the Riverview
subdivision on your left, note the gravel parking area on your right. That's
From Utah County, drive up Provo Canyon to Heber. At the traffic
light on US-189/US-40, turn left and drive north through Heber. 4.7 miles
from the intersection, turn right on Highway 32 and climb 1.1 miles to the
parking area as above.
Canal DT trailhead:
Just uphill from the light on highway 32, watch
for the canal crossing. Park along the road. Start riding south on the
doubletrack just uphill from the canal.
Cutthroat (Highway 32) Trailhead:
Highway 32 four miles. Look for a gravel road on the right side N40 35.430 W111 23.389. You can
park along the road and clamber over the fence near the (locked) gate.
Ride uphill on doubletrack and find the singletrack on your left about 100
yards uphill. You'll reach the fork that starts the Coyote Loop 1/2 mile from the