Looking southeast toward Bald Mountain from the Prospector View trail. Review by Bruce on June 5, 2023.
Prospector View Park
The Prospector View Park trails are located in lower Santaquin Canyon. At the time of this review the DH route is still under construction and is NOT open for riding. The trail system includes the older Santaquin Creek Trail at the bottom of the canyon, new trails on the south side of the canyon, and the Santaquin Bench trails across the ridge to the north.
There are around 5.5 miles of trail within the park, with the connecting trails offering options for bigger rides. The system will include a loop ride and a downhill trail. In August 2023, the trail system includes a new trail on the opposite side of the canyon.
The trail system starts at 5600 feet elevation, a bit over a mile from town up Santaquin Canyon. The ridgeline at the top is around 5950 feet elevation. The expected riding season will be late May to mid-November.
At the spot where the DH route crosses over the East Loop. Still rough -- and missing critical pieces of trail -- so neither the DH or East Loop are open for riding yet. The switchbacks of the Prospector View trail can be seen across the small canyon.
Looking east into Santaquin Canyon from the Prospector View trailhead.
Prospector View Trailhead
The trailhead is located just off the Santaquin Canyon Road. It has a toilet and ample parking.
From I-15, get off at the US-6 - Santaquin Main Street exit and turn east toward the mountains.
Turn right on Highland Drive and go one mile south. Turn left on Canyon Road and drive 1.9
miles, turning left into a cindered road that climbs 100 feet to the trailhead.
Looking north toward Utah Lake and Timpanogos from the Upper East Bench trail.
Via Santaquin Bench Trails
You can catch the Santaquin Bench trails at the southern end of either 400 East or 1000 East.
Begin climbing, working uphill and south. The two trails will join just before a small loop.
Go either way. When in doubt, go south. You should arrive at a broad ridgeline where two singletrack
trails merge as they cross a faint doubletrack. Around 100 yards later, fork to the right on
a less-obvious trail. (The main trail will descend steeply down a ravine to the road.) This
newer trail, the East Bench Connector, will curve around to the right (westbound) and join
the trail system at a fence crossing. Now the first trail on the left is the unfinished DH
trail and the second is the two-way Prospector View. Straight ahead is a short rough out-and-back
to the old pipeline.
Climbing Prospector View. Above the oak brush, you can see three passes of the trail higher on the hill.
The Prospector View trail is a two-way general-use trail that's currently open for riding.
The trail is 1.1 miles long with 350 feet of elevation gain. It begins on the western side
of the parking area and ends on the Pipeline trail, where you can connect to the unfinished
DH route or to the Santaquin Bench Connector.
Prospector View is a wide machine-cut trail. Turns are mildly banked. The berms are not sufficient
to hold you on the trail at high downhill speeds. So ride in control.
The terrain is typical Wasatch-foothill clusters of gamble oak, with more lush vegetation as
you gain elevation. You'll have views to the east of Santaquin Canyon, and of southern Utah
Valley to the west as you switchback across the south-facing slope.
Traversing the slope eastbound, looking up Santaquin Canyon.
Heading west, with a bit of Utah Lake appearing. The climb is not continuous, with frequent flat or mildly down-sloping areas.
At mile 1.1 from the trailhead, you'll come to a T intersection. To the left is the Pipeline
trail (see below). To the right -- and continuing across the fence -- is the Santaquin Bench
Connector. If you fork downhill to the right just before the fence, you're on the unfinished
Looking east at the Santaquin Canyon road from East Loop.
The East Loop trail provides a shorter loop option on easier trails. The trail is 0.5 miles long, for a loop of almost exactly one mile when combined with the lower half of Prospector View.
At mile 0.6 of the climb up Prospector View, keep straight as the main trail turns uphill to the left. Keep straight and slightly downhill again as the DH route crosses. East Loop will now begin a slow descent. The trail ends as it reaches the trail kiosk at the parking area.
Looking down at the turns on the completed portion.
A bit of pipeline breaks the surface.
The Pipeline Trail follows the old water pipeline for around 100 yards before it becomes too
rough and overgrown to ride. Only the iron support rings remain. Water pipelines were often
build of wood with iron rings for support, holding the wood together like the rings on a wooden
Santaquin Bench Connector
Climbing up the draw toward the ridgeline.
The Santaquin Bench Connector trail starts at the top of Prospector View. Turn right from Prospector
View, then keep straight and cross the fence. The fence is the border between Santaquin's trail
system and the National Forest. (The trail heading downhill just before the fence is the unfinished
DH route.) After heading east a bit, the trail climbs a shallow draw. Just before the top of
a flat ridge at mile 0.3 from Prospector View, the trail joins the East Bench trail. A hard
right turn would take you steeply downhill to the road. Keep left. (Remember this spot if you're
When you reach a faint doubletrack on the ridgeline (just before mile 0.4), the singletrack
splits. Northbound to the right is the Upper East Bench trail. Angling northeast on the left
is the Upper Loop trail. Either trail can take you down to the streets of Santaquin, if you
just keep heading downhill.
A popular loop ride for locals is up the Santaquin Bench trails, down Prospector View, across
the creek and down Santaquin Canyon, then back to the street you started on via the paved bike
path along Highland Drive.
Heading more west-bound on the Upper Loop. It's around 2 miles to reach subdivision streets.
(not fully open)
Heading south away from Prospector View.
The top of the DH route is to your right as you reach the top of Prospector View. The route
is NOT complete, as two major gaps exist in the trail. Neither the upper (east) section nor
the lower (west) section are ready to ride.
There are three entrances to the DH: the top; the spot where the DH crosses East Fork (about
half-way up the hill); and off Prospector View below the fork for the East Loop trail. (You
can't get to the bottom from any of these at this time. Don't go there.)
When complete, the upper DH will be around 0.4 miles long, and the lower segment will be 0.3
miles. The total vertical drop is 350 feet over 0.7 miles. The DH will be expert level riding,
with some steep drops, ramp-ups, and jumping lips.
A future steep and tight turn.
A lip, a plunge, and a steep zoom up the other side.
Dead-end of the upper segment.
Connecting to Santaquin Creek and Prospector View South Trails
Nice new bridge leading to the south-side trails.
The Santaquin Creek Connector forks to the left from Prospector View at mile 0.1 from the trailhead. It descends and crosses the canyon road, then drops further to the creek. At mile 0.2 from the trail fork from Prospector View there's a bridge across Santaquin Creek. Continue straight from the bridge until you hit a T intersection with the Santaquin Creek trail.
South Prospector View Trail
The South Prospector View trail has a very different feel from the trails on the north side of the road.
To reach the South Prospector View trail, take the Connector across the road and across the creek. Turn left on the Santaquin Creek trail. After 0.2 miles, turn left into the trees at the trail fork. (The trail straight ahead is Santaquin Creek. It will get you there, but isn't as interesting.)
After another 0.2 miles, the South Prospector View trail will cross over the Santaquin Creek trail, changing direction 180 degrees as it begins to climb the hill. You're now 0.7 miles from the trailhead.
Most of the ride on the lower half of the trail is shaded, with tall forest of mature maples.
Looking up Santaquin Canyon from the trail as I climb.
The completed portion of South Prospector View is 0.7 miles long. It's an undulating bench cut that climbs through tall maple forest. There will be occasional breakout views.
At mile 0.7, turn to the left on a sketchy singletrack. In August 2023, the trail above this point has been flagged and cleared of brush, but it's raw riding. Work your way uphill. After 0.4 miles (1.1 from Santaquin Creek trail), turn left on doubletrack, then in 100 yards turn right to resume singletrack.
Looking down a future trail route toward West Mountain.
Sample of trail above the bench cut. This is pretty plush when compared to other stretches of unfinished trail. The National Forest border has a fence and this ride-over cattleguard. OK spot to turn around and go back.
The National Forest border has a fence and this ride-over cattleguard. OK spot to turn around and go back.
Heading back downhill, northbound.
At mile 1.2 of South Prospector View, you'll cross a cattle extruder at the forest border. Now the trail will angle downhill and turn around northbound.
At mile 1.4 I reached a turn-around spot for a dirt road and the trail couldn't be followed. I crossed a log gate and veered to the right on dirt road. This took me back to South Prospector View (where it joined the doubletrack at mile 1.1.
Looking down the lush upper doubletrack portion of Santaquin Creek.
The Santaquin Creek trail is an older ride that follows ancient pipeline corridors along the creek. It has now been adopted by the Prospector View recreation area. The trail is 1.5 miles long and consists of alternating sections of singletrack and doubletrack.
From the spot where the Santaquin Creek Connector trail reaches the Santaquin Creek trail, it gently climbs 0.4 miles uphill to a blind end. On the way, it connects to the South Prospector View trail.
There are a couple of connectors from the Santaquin Canyon road. The lowest is just uphill from the power station and retention basin, with a gravel road closed by a metal gate (the bike ride-around is left of the gate). There will be three other road links between this lower entry and the Santaquin Creek Connector trail.
Because there's no parking in these locations, I recommend that you park at the trailhead and enter the Santaquin Creek Trail from uphill.
South end of the Santaquin Creek trail. If you enter here (pedaling from down or coasting down the road from the trailhead) you'll veer to the left to find the uphill trail.
A view into the creek.
Santaquin Creek runs alongside the trail but you'll see it only occasionally. At mile 0.8 downhill from the Santaquin Creek Connector trail, there's a diversion dam. From there until the end of the trail, there will only be water in the creek during non-irrigation months or high-flow situations.
The first 0.2 miles downhill from the Connector is doubletrack in deep forest. Then the doubletrack veers across the creek. Keep left and find a narrow singletrack in the trees. This section is a bit sketchy for less-skilled riders. Because the trail is now part of the park, I expect will be widened and smoothed so that beginning riders and kids can pedal this part.
Leaving the easy doubletrack for the sketchy singletrack.
The singletrack is narrow, with encroaching shrubs and trees.
The singletrack will run for 0.2 miles. You'll come to a water-diversion structure. Keep straight to find the continuing trail.
At mile 0.8 from the Connector, the doubletrack will take you across the creek (usually dry at this point, with the water having been diverted). As you approach the paved road, find a continuing trail on the left-hand side.
Here's where we cross the creek. The continuing trail will be to the left after passing the little grove of trees. If you reach the road, go back 50 feet.
Final section of doubletrack as we near the lower end of the trail.
The trail will become doubletrack again. At a road fork, go to the right and keep veering right until you reach the gate on the gravel below the paved road. You're now 1.1 miles from the Connector trail where you crossed the creek from the trailhead.
The trails on the south side are still being developed. This is the status as of August 23, 2023.
Wider view of the area trail system, showing the South Prospector View trail and the full Santaquin Creek trail.
Trail status as of June 5, 2023. Wider view below. Trails "gaps" -- where a trail's construction ends in June 2023 -- are shown as dotted lines. These trails with gaps are NOT open for riding.
From I-15, exit at the US-6 Santaquin Main Street and turn east toward
the mountains. Turn right on Highland Drive and go one mile south. Turn
left on Canyon Road and drive 1.9 miles, turning left into a cindered road
that climbs 100 feet to the trailhead.
Toilet at trailhead. No water.
Santaquin multi-track GPS file: Download
To arrive at the Prospector View trails from town...
From Highland Drive (or the paved bike trail), turn onto 400 East. Go
south 0.8 miles to the end of the pavement. Find singletrack heading east
on your left. This is the West Access trail. Pass the East Bench trail on
your left at mile 0.5, then in 200 feet, keep left as the East Bench Trail
goes to the right. At mile 1.1, keep left as East Bench rejoins on the
right. Cross a smaller trail at mile 1.2, then keep left at mile 1.3. At
mile 1.6 veer left uphill on singletrack. Join East Bench at a faint
doubletrack at mile 2.3, then after about 100 feet turn to the right off
East Bench on the Santaquin Bench Connector. Follow it south, then west,
to the forest border fence and cross to the Prospector View trails.
You can also ride the Canyon Road, turning onto the gravel entry to the
Santaquin Creek trail just above the power substation. Pedal 1.1 miles to
the Connector trail, cross the creek and the road and ride to the
Wide Santaquin Canyon and Bench area map