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Parley's Pointe
Bonneville Shoreline Trail

Parley's Pointe is a section of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST), new in 2021. It runs north from the mouth of Parley's Canyon to end on a subdivision street just outside the East Bench Preserve in Carrigon Canyon. The trail is easy technically, but has stiff climbing and some tight turns, earning it an intermediate overall rating.

Heading steadily uphill from the southern side. The higher switchback in mid-photo is part of our route uphill. Photos and ride description by Bruce on November 22, 2021.

The trail itself is 3.7 miles in length, but it must be combined with a piece of the paved BST and the Old Parley's Road trail. The distance between the Wasatch Blvd BST trailhead and the northern end is 5 miles. On the southern end in Parley's Canyon, it starts at 4900 feet elevation and climbs at granny-gear pace. The top elevation comes at 5600 just before the descent back to city streets. The northern end on Lakeline Drive is 250 feet higher than the south end at 5150 feet elevation.

A connector trail at the end of Benchmark Drive lets you cut off some of the southern side of the trail and eliminates around 200 feet of climbing (see below). This creates a shorter loop ride option.

View north to downtown SLC from Parley's Pointe trail.

The southern end of Parley's Pointe must be reached by other trails, including the paved lower Bonneville Shoreline route and the Old Parley's Road trail. How you reach the trail, and whether you plan to do out-and-back or a loop using city streets, determines the length of your ride and the amount of total climbing.

There's still a bit of pavement clinging to the hillside here and there on the Old Parley's Road trail. You'll use 0.3 miles of this trail between the paved lower BST and the southern end of Parley's Pointe.

 
Getting to Parley's Pointe
Trailhead options and connecting trails
Wasatch Boulevard Trailhead and Paved BST

The Wasatch Boulevard trailhead lets you take the paved lower BST (Bonneville Shoreline Trail) from the southern side of Parley's Canyon mouth. You'll cross the I-80 on-ramp road and I-80 itself on bridges, then connect to the Old Parley's Road trail which takes you to the southern end of Parley's Pointe. The trailhead has room for around 15 cars including roadside parking.

Looking north toward the Wasatch Blvd trailhead from the street. There are also a few parallel parking spots to our left outside the gates.

Exit from the trailhead back to Wasatch Blvd for about 100 feet then turn right onto the paved trail. Cross over the I-80 connecting road. At the trail fork 0.2 miles from the trailhead, go left. (The bridge on the right is the Parley's Sugarhouse trail.) The paved trail then follows the east side of I-215 northwest, then hooks back southeast to cross over I-80 and resume its northwest orientation. After 100 yards (mile 0.9 from the trailhead), turn hard right onto the Old Parley's Road trail. After 0.3 miles, turn left onto Parley's Pointe.

Critical fork on the paved BST. Go to the left here. The overpass crosses I-215 and continues west as Parley's Sugarhouse trail.

Parley's Sugarhouse Paved Trail

Parley's Sugarhouse trail starts at 1700 East, just south of I-80. As it heads eastbound, you can join the trail at 2000 East and 2300 East. When it reaches the covered bridge across I-215 (mile 3 from 17th East), turn hard right and descend to follow I-215 northwest. After 0.7 miles, turn hard right onto Old Parley's Road trail, then left after 0.3 miles onto Parley's Pointe.

A protected elevated crossing over the connector road joining I-215 to I-80. Things are mighty noisy here, but it will get better once you've climbed up the hillside a bit.

From Foothill Blvd via paved BST

On the east side of Foothill Boulevard near Parley's Canyon, the "paved Bonneville Shoreline Trail" is actually a wide sidewalk. It turns to asphalt after about 1/3 mile and becomes a more obvious trail. As you approach the overpass across I-80, around 1/2 mile from where the trail turned to asphalt, spot the dirt route on your left. This is Old Parley's Road. Follow it 0.3 miles to Parley's Pointe on your left.

This is the entry to the Old Parley's Canyon trail, seen riding southbound on the paved BST.

Benchmark Trailhead

The Benchmark trailhead is at the end of the extension of Benchmark Drive. It has room only for 5 vehicles, but there's gravel roadside parking on the downhill side of the road near the trailhead. From the trailhead, go southeast 0.3 miles to join Parley's Pointe. Keep left to climb, or right to descend into Parley's Canyon.

NOTE: A trailhead and connector are being developed at the southern end of Scenic Drive lower on the hill. The connecting trail is flagged but in November 2021 construction has not yet begun. It will tie into the Benchmark connecting trail.

Looking down at the Benchmark trailhead from Parley's Pointe.

Lakeline Drive Trail Entry / East Bench Preserve trailhead

To reach the trail's northern end, climb subdivision streets to Lakeline Drive. There's a small trailhead for the East Bench Preserve at the end of the road. The entry to Parley's Pointe is on the uphill side of the road, 1/10th mile downhill from the trailhead. Most hikers and riders are parking along the road at this time.

East Bench Preserve entry. The Parley's Pointe trail is behind my back, 1/10th mile down the road.

H Trail (East Bench Preserve)

Some riders climb singletrack from the north end of Scenic Drive. About 100 yards uphill, keep right onto the smaller trail. You'll climb through switchbacks 1/2 mile up to the main preserve trail. Turn right and keep level for 0.3 miles, then join the wide water-line trail and pedal out through the reserve gate. Go downhill on Lakeline Drive for 0.1 miles and turn left to the trail. I DO NOT recommend this route for most riders, as the climbing singletrack is expert-level riding. See the H Trail page.

You can also park at the Devonshire Drive preserve trailhead and take the main preserve trail 1/2 mile across the hillside to Lakeline Drive.

Riding the H Trail's narrow singletrack up through the East Bench Preserve.

 
Riding Parley's Pointe
South to North

From the paved lower Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST) find the Old Parley's Road trail on the uphill side, as described above. Pedal 0.3 miles into Parley's Canyon. The trail is flat and easy. Some parts are old broken pavement, while in other areas erosion has completely removed the old asphalt. (The Old Parley's Road trail dead-ends where the old road hits the new I-80, about 1/2 mile up-canyon from the entry to Parley's Pointe BST.)

We're on the Old Parley's Road trail heading into the canyon.

When you come to a flat area on your left at mile 0.3 from the paved BST, turn left onto the Parley's Pointe BST trail. (In November 2021, trail signs have not yet been completed.) When the trail hits the hill, it turns onto the slope and begins some serious climbing.

Looking left from Old Parley's Road. This is the Parley's Pointe BST.

On its southern end, Parley's Pointe is a steady climb through a series of turns. For me, the pitch meant granny gear. You'll gain 250 feet of elevation in just the first half mile. This steady 8 to 10% climbing pitch will continue for the next mile as well. The trail surface on this southern end contains a lot of rock, with both rounded river rocks and chips of limestone. This means this southern side of the trail should hold up well in wet weather.

Looking ahead to the next hairpin turn as we climb. View is southeast.

Enjoy an occasional view into Parley's Canyon as you climb. At mile 0.6, you'll reach the Benchmark Drive access trail. The trail straight ahead traverses the slope 0.3 miles north to a small trailhead. Turn hard right uphill to continue on Parley's Pointe.

Looking east from the trail into Parley's Canyon.

The trail will continue to wind back and forth across the hillside as it gains elevation. Just when you think you're through climbing, you'll turn a corner and see more zigzag trail high on the hill ahead of you. The terrain here is mostly open grassland with an occasional tiny stand of scrub oak.

The trail winds up the hillside. The streak near the top is also our trail.

Beginning at mile 1.7 with a ridgeline viewpoint, the trail traverses the slope as it works its way north. 

Climbing past a limestone outcrop on a steep side-slope. Heading north.

View west. We're right at the top of the inversion layer.

Looking south down the length of Salt Lake Valley.

There will be two more ridgeline viewpoints over the valley. The final viewpoint is also the ride's highest elevation at 5600 feet, at mile 2.6 from Old Parley's Road. At this spot, you've climbed a total of 900 feet.

Another limestone rock outcrop, and still climbing.

The trail now descends quickly through a series of turns. Some of them are rather tight. This northern side of the trail is also easier for hikers to reach, so it will be more populated with people and dogs. On my weekday ride, it seemed I was constantly pulling over to let dog-walkers bring their pack of canines past.

Looking at the descending trail from the last ridgeline viewpoint.

Here the trail has more dirt and less rock. There's also a bit more shade with larger groves of oak. I rode while the ground was frozen solid, but during the off-season this stretch of the trail may be muddy in the afternoon.

A sun-exposed turn. Those in the shade were black frozen mud.

The trail ends on the uphill side of Lakeline Drive, about 1/10th mile downhill from the East Bench Preserve trailhead. At this time (November 2021) there are no marking signs. But you'll probably see the cars parked in the middle of nowhere, which will be your tip-off that the trail is nearby.

The clear strip between the cars is the trail on Lakeline Drive.

Getting there:
(see descriptions near top of page for further information)

Wasatch Blvd TH (via paved BST):  From I-215, take the 39th South exit. Turn left onto Wasatch Boulevard and go north to 33rd South. Turn right, then follow the road left to go north again. The trailhead is at the end of the Wasatch Blvd. Begin on the paved bike trail 100 feet south of the parking lot. Navigate as described above to the Old Parley's Road trail.
Benchmark TH:  From southern Foothill Drive, turn east onto 21st South. At Scenic Drive, turn right. Turn hard left at Lakeline Drive, then right on Benchmark Drive. The Benchmark connecting trail begins at the south end of the small parking area.
East Bench Preserve 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. Coast back down the road 1/10th mile and find the singletrack trail on the uphill side of the road.
Paved BST from the north:  While pedaling, go to the intersection of Foothhill Drive with Stringham Ave on the west and Thunderbird Drive on the east. Get onto the wide sidewalk on the east (mountain) side of Foothill Drive and pedal southeast. The path will turn to paved bike trail. Find the Old Parley's Road trail as described above.

Bathrooms:  none at any trailhead
Water:  none
Repair kiosks:  none

Riding resources for this trail:
GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
      Area GPX multi track file 
Lodging, camping, shops:
       Links to northern SLC resources

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