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Looney Tunes and Wile E Canyon
Cutthroat trails off the Coyote Loop

The Cutthroat riding area lies south of Jordanelle and Highway 32. The trailhead connects to the Wile E Canyon Loop and to the Coyote Loop. Wile E Canyon is a stand-alone ride. The Looney Tunes trail joins two limbs of the Coyote Loop, and can be used for a shorter version of Coyote, or as a destination trail by looping two sections of the Coyote Loop.

In Wile E Canyon near the southern apex of the loop. Photos and trail review by Bruce on June 7, 2022.

The Cutthroat trailhead is 4 miles east of US 40 on SR 32. On the south (uphill) side of the road, there's a strip of dirt parking along the fence with room for 8 to 10 cars. A climb-over wooden ladder is your access to the connector trail, which takes you uphill to Wile E Canyon or Coyote.

You can also ride into the area from other trailheads off the Coyote Loop. See the trailhead information at the bottom of the page.

Here's the climb-over at the trailhead, with the connector trail on the left.

The riding starts at 6600 feet elevation. The top of Looney Tunes is at 7350, and the Coyote Loop tops out at 7600. Because this area lies on a north-facing slope, the riding season at this elevation will be June through October.

Wile E Canyon is groomed for fat biking during the winter. It may be closed during the early spring from the time the snow begins melting until the riding surface is dry. 

Looking north toward the Jordanelle Reservoir.

The terrain is dirt with an occasional outcrop of igneous rock. On the lower slopes, sage brush is punctuated by groves of gambel oak. As you pedal higher in elevation, this gives way to maple forest, then aspens. In this area, much of your ride will be in the shade.

Climbing up to Looney Tunes on Coyote.

 
Wile E Canyon
Wile E Canyon is a lariat loop ride that starts on the Cutthroat connector trail just uphill from the trailhead. It has a cutoff trail that can be used to bypass much of the climbing when doing the ride clockwise. Wile E Canyon is 3.7 miles with 400 vertical feet of overall climbing. It can be done in either direction, and there seems to be an equal number of riders each way. It's quick enough that you can do the loop twice, once each way, and decide for yourself.

Cruising through the aspen and maple forest on the eastern side of the Wile E Canyon loop.

Wile E Canyon forks to the left away from the connector trail just 100 yards from the highway. After a short stem of 0.1 miles, you enter the loop. You can ride either direction. 

Arriving at the trail fork to Wile E Canyon when coming uphill from the Cutthroat trailhead.

If you're a beginning rider and intend to skip the tougher climbing, go to the left at this trail fork rather than starting uphill. You'll traverse around the hill.

Traversing around the hill, heading for Wile E Canyon on a clockwise ride.

When done clockwise, you'll enter the canyon heading gently downhill. You'll cross some areas of open rock, which provides the only roughness on this ride. The rock appears to be an igneous breccia composed of ash and broken granite. You'll then drop through the bottom of the canyon and begin climbing south uphill.

Cruising into the area of open rock.

There really aren't any technical areas on the trail. The volcanic rock is a bit bumpy if you're determined to keep your butt on the saddle. There are a couple of optional stunts. But overall, the trail is simply smooth XC riding.

Looking downhill at a table jump on the eastern side of the loop. To hit this, you'd be riding the loop counterclockwise.

You'll now cross the bottom of the canyon and begin climbing uphill.

There's a bit of sage and grass meadow on the eastern side of the loop.

At mile 1.1 of the clockwise loop, keep left as you pass the Leghorn (as in, Foghorn Leghorn) bypass trail. After the loop hits its apex and heads back downhill, you'll reach the western side of the bypass at mile 2.2. If your plan is to bypass the harder climbing, you can fork to the right and take the bypass for 0.1 mile and return to the eastern side of the loop for the return back to the trailhead.

Shady forest near the southern tip of the loop.

On the western side of the loop at mile 2.4, you'll stop descending to cross the ravine and climb through a series of turns. You'll gain 100 feet in 0.2 mile. The trail levels out between the turns, so it's an easier uphill than you'd think when you look at the topo map.

Rolling a turn on the slope of the western side of the loop.

(When riding counterclockwise and using these turns as a downhill, it's a fairly controlled descent. The tightness of the turns, with flatter sections between the turns, forces you to keep your speed in check. It's not a "bomber downhill.")

Looking downhill through a turn on this "wiggles" section.

After climbing through the wiggles, you'll reach a traverse near the top of the ridge. The trail will head back to the north, with some nice views over Jordanelle and the valley below you to the right.

Looking north toweard Highway 32 and Jordanelle.

At mile 3.1 you'll drop through a series of swooping turns to arrive back at the loop fork. Now turn around and do the loop in reverse!

Descending through the swoops toward the loop fork on the clockwise ride.

 Some point-of-view footage of Wile E Canyon on a counterclockwise ride...

 If the above video does not appear on your browser/device, you can watch it on YouTube by clicking here.

 
Looney Tunes
Looney Tunes is 1.7 miles long. It's a two-way trail but most riders will prefer to ride it downhill. There is a bit more than 350 feet of elevation change over the course of Looney Tunes. Of course, there's additional climbing required for any ride that includes this trail.

The photos will follow a clockwise loop from the Cutthroat trailhead up eastern Coyote southbound to Looney Tunes, then returning east on northern Coyote.

Arriving at the Coyote Loop and beginning the climb.

In the downhill direction, Looney Tunes is used either as a short-cut on the Coyote Loop, or as part of a loop from the Cutthroat trailhead consisting of eastern Coyote uphill, Looney Tunes, then the Riverview section of Coyote back downhill to the trailhead.

Climbing a zigzag course uphill on Coyote.

When riding the Coyote Loop counterclockwise, the top of Looney Tunes is 14.3 miles from the UVU trailhead, 10.4 miles from the junction of southern Riverview with Coyote. You'll find Looney Tunes shortly after the loop reaches the north slope of the mountain above Jordanelle. It will be on your right. If you're using Looney Tunes to bypass part of the Coyote Loop -- see the map --  you save a couple of miles (3.6 on Coyote vs 1.7 on Looney Tunes). You'll also skip around 250 vertical feet of climbing and descending.

Getting close to the top of Coyote as the slope mellows.

When riding the Coyote Loop clockwise, the bottom of Looney Tunes is at mile 3.5 from the Riverview trailhead. The junction with the Cutthroat connector trail comes 1.1 miles later (keep straight). The top of Looney Tunes is 2.4 miles uphill from here, at mile 6.9 from the Riverview trailhead.

Trail fork to Looney Tunes, seen as though climbing up Coyote.

To reach the top of Looney Tunes from Cutthroat, pedal up the connector trail to mile 0.4 then turn to the left at the T trail fork to begin climbing Coyote southbound. At 2.8 miles from the trailhead, Looney Tunes will be on your right heading downhill.

Swooshing downhill through tall trees.

As a lariat loop from the Cutthroat trailhead, it's 5.3 miles with 650 vertical feet of climbing. The trail is non-technical, but recommended for intermediates (or better) due to the amount of climbing and the nature of the many turns. 

A section of traversing trail with gentle uphill takes us across a ridge into another canyon before resuming the descent.

Looney Tunes is a machine-cut trail, engineered with swooping banked turns that ride well either direction. When riding downhill, there will be short sections of gentle climbing or traversing. The trail is well-built and a blast to ride.

An S turn in the aspens.

View to the west as the trail breaks onto a ridge. View north as we swoop down toward Coyote's north side.
The bottom can be found 1.1 miles from the junction of the trailhead connector with the Coyote Loop if you're going to do the little loop counterclockwise. 

Bottom of Looney Tunes on the right, looking west as if we'd climbed the Riverview section of Coyote from Cutthroat.

This area is a grazing area for sheep during late spring and summer. The herd is moved daily, so you never know where you'll encounter them. Slow down to walking speed as you pass through. Sheep are not known for their intelligence, and they'll bolt from 40 feet off the trail to directly in front of your tires in a second.

And after many miles of sheep tracks on the trail, here they are.

When completing a loop ride from Cutthroat it's 0.4 miles from trailhead to Coyote Loop (turn left), then 2.4 on eastern Coyote (with 650 feet of climbing), then 1.7 miles on Looney Tunes downhill, then 1.1 miles downhill on Coyote back to the Cutthroat connector trail fork.

From the Highway 32 trailhead, the Looney Tunes loop will be 5.3 miles with 650 vertical feet of climbing.

Rolling through an igneous boulder field eastbound as we complete the loop ride.

Getting there...

Cutthroat (Highway 32) Trailhead:
From US 40, drive up Highway 32 four miles. Just as you exit a deep road-cut, look on your right for a dirt parking strip with a fence and gate N40 35.430 W111 23.389. Park and clamber over the fence near the (locked) gate. The singletrack across the fence will take you uphill to the Wile E Canyon fork, and will intercept the Coyote Loop after about 1/2 mile.

Bathrooms:  No public restrooms nearby.
Water:  Gas stations in Heber, campgrounds.
Camping:  Campgrounds at Jordanelle
Bike services:  Slim and Knobby's bike shop, Heber

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 Riverview on your left, note the gravel parking area on your right N40 34.403 W111 25.214. That's your spot.
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.

UVU Wasatch Campus Trailhead:
One mile south of the junction of Highway 40 and 32 (a couple of miles north of Heber), turn east (toward the mountain) at the UVU campus. Go to the uppermost level of parking behind the UVU buildings. Look for the duck-under and kiosk N40 32.798 W111 24.735. A singletrack trail climbs 1.5 miles to the Riverview Trail.

Coyote Trailhead:
 Two miles south of the junction of Highway 40 and 32, turn east (toward the mountain) 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. After merging with the gravel road to cross the bridge, veer left onto singletrack then keep generally right and uphill at the trail forks.

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.

Riding resources:
GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
    Multi-track GPX area master file
Maps for printing:   Coyote loop area map in new window 
Lodging, camping, shops:   Links to area resources
Area trail pages:  Riverview Trail page 
    Coyote Loop page    Chop'd Coyote page 
    Lower Riverview area page  Isengard/Mordor area page

Bathrooms:  No public restrooms nearby.
Water:  Gas stations in Heber, campgrounds.
Camping:  Hailstone campground at Jordanelle on US-40, about 6 miles away.
Bike services:  Slim and Knobby's bike shop, Heber

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