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Snow Biking in American Fork Canyon
Ride 1:  SR 80 to Summit (Beginner out-and-back)
              Salamander Flat, Timpanooke or Pine Hollow down (Expert)

Summary of ride:  3.6 miles snowpacked road climb with 900 vertical. Experts then do a traversing segment on Ridge 157 followed by descent via three trail options:  Salamander Flat, Pine Hollow, Timpanooke.

Deep-snow Season:  December through March. Altitude 6500 to 8000 feet.

Usual packed Route(s): Road is gated at Pine Hollow parking lot, with snowmobile hardpack to the summit. The singletrack is snowshoe and fatbike packed, relatively soft and technical.

Photo:  Mike approaches the summit parking area on snowpacked SR 80.

Characteristics:  Packed road makes an easy out-and-back for beginners. Expert (or adventurous) riders can loop via the singletrack. The softpack trail is generally narrow with deep fluff at trailside, so it's relatively unforgiving. There will be some uphill sections. Recommended for very experienced and skilled snow riders.  (See the video on our fat-bike introduction page.)

Timing:  Best in early morning, a couple of days after a storm -- when the valley "inversion haze" has developed while the mountains are clear and sunny. The extra days also give snowmobiles and snowshoes time for trail-packing. An 8 am start with 2-hour ride time works well.

Photo:  Riders heading towards Timpanooke after dropping off Ridge 157.

Navigation:  Once you reach the summit, go north on singletrack Ridge 157. The first fork has Salamander Flat to the left. If you stay on Ridge 157, take the next left fork (Pine Hollow). To go straight down to the trailhead, go right at the next fork. To head for Timpanooke, keep left.

Access:  Drive up SR 80 in American Fork Canyon (fee area) and park in the Pine Hollow lot. Begin your ride by climbing the road. Option: a mile uphill fork to the Timpanooke parking lot and transfer to singletrack to continue the climb.


Ride 2:  Silver Lake Flat

Summary of ride:  3.7 mile ride on snowpacked gravel road to Silver Lake Flat Reservoir. 1200 vertical feet of climbing, technically easy. (Out and back 7.4 miles.)

Deep-snow Season:  December through March. Altitude 6350 to 7600 feet.

Usual packed Route(s):  Granite Campground road then fork R uphill on Silver Lake Flat Road.

Photo:  Bruce nears Silver Lake Flat Reservoir.

Characteristics:  Packed road makes a technically easy out-and-back for stronger beginning snow riders, but the sustained pitch can be taxing with fresh snow.

Timing:  Best in early morning. An 8 am start with 2-hour ride time works well. Again, the riding is best if you wait a few days after a snowstorm.

Photo:  Mike rides across the frozen surface of the reservoir.

Access:  Drive up American Fork Canyon (fee area) and turn to the left at the Tibble Fork junction (SR 144). Park at the reservoir lot. At the North Fork gate, turn left uphill toward Granite Flat.
Ride 3:  Summit Trail Suncrust

Quick Summary:  Strictly a late winter ride -- done in early morning on a day when the snow surface partially melted the previous day then refroze solidly overnight -- and when it's been at least a few days since the last snowstorm. From Pine Hollow parking, go uphill past Salamander Flat. As you see open snow uphill to your right as you round the corner, transfer to the Summit Trail and continue uphill, wandering around on hard-crusted snow among the aspens. Or ride the road to the top and descend through the suncrust.

Ride 4:  Under construction...


Go to Snow Biking Section Index...