View from Middle Earth as we enter the lower portion of Frodo's Playground.
View from Middle Earth as we enter the lower portion of Frodo's Playground.

Frodo's Playground DH

Frodo's Playground is a fun downhill-only trail in the Coyote (Riverview) trail system north of Heber. It lies directly uphill from the UVU Wasatch Campus trailhead, so it's a quick and non-strenuous climb to arrive at the top. The lower 0.5 miles of the trail from Middle Earth to Lower Riverview was completed in late 2023, with another 0.7 miles known as Upper Frodo's in spring 2024.

The trail includes rock roll-overs and wooden ramps. These stunts in the trail are intermediate in difficulty. But easy ride-arounds for the stunts make Frodo's Playground suitable for beginners and families.

The top of the Frodo's Playground trail is at 6000 feet elevation on a sunny slope, reached via Middle Earth. The top of Upper Frodo's has an elevation of 6250. The expected riding season would be late April through October.

Heading west as we approach a ramp with a one-foot drop.
Heading west as we approach a ramp with a one-foot drop.
Trailheads and access
Bruce heads uphill from the UVU trailhead.
Bruce heads uphill from the UVU trailhead.

UVU Trailhead
Most riders get to the Riverview area west-side trails from the UVU Wasatch Campus trailhead. This is found on the far north end of Heber on Highway 40, one mile south of the Highway 32 junction. At the UVU campus entry, turn east (toward the mountain). Go to the uppermost level of parking behind the UVU buildings. Look for the duck-under and kiosk.

The UVU Connector trail climbs uphill from the trailhead to the Upper Riverview (Rivendell) trail. On the way, it crosses the easy rides on Lower Riverview, the Riverview Doubletrack, and Middle Earth. Lower Frodo's Playground is reached via a right turn onto Middle Earth at mile 0.7 from the TH. The new upper Frodo is at mile 1.2 on the UVU Connector. ( This trailhead is also closest to the beginner skills area trails at Lower Potatoes and Isengard.)

Climbing on the UVU Connector trail toward Middle Earth.
Climbing on the UVU Connector trail toward Middle Earth.
The Coyote trailhead. Take the       singletrack east for connections to Coyote, Lower Riverview, Sheep Pen,       and Upper Riverview.
The Coyote trailhead. Take the singletrack east for connections to Coyote, Lower Riverview, Sheep Pen, and Upper Riverview.

South Coyote Trailhead (CLOSED AT TIME OF REVIEW)
You can get to Frodo's Playground from the south. Connect to Middle Earth for the northbound trip. Note that this trailhead has been affected by construction, and may not be available. If you can find your way uphill, you can take Sheep Pen to Middle Earth.

Looking       down the Riverview Connector toward the trailhead.
Looking down the Riverview Connector toward the trailhead.

Riverview Trailhead
On US-40 north of Heber, turn east on Highway 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. That's your spot. Take the 0.3-mile connector to Upper Riverview and head 3 miles south to the UVU Connector trail.

Upper Frodo (under construction)
Looking down upper Frodo from the UVU Connector.
Looking down upper Frodo from the UVU Connector.
The upper portion of Frodo's Playground begins on the Upper Riverview trail, 1/4 mile north of the top of the UVU Connector (mile 1.6 from the trailhead). This portion of the trail descends 250 vertical feet over 0.7 miles, crossing the UVU connector about half-way down.

Upper Frodo rides like a flow trail, with fewer stunts and rock roll-overs than on Frodo's Playground. Upper Frodo's continues as Frodo's Playground when it hits the Middle Earth trail. The combined ride is 1.2 miles with 350 feet of elevation change.

Looking down the newly-constructed upper Frodo from the UVU Connector.
Looking down the newly-constructed upper Frodo from the UVU Connector.
Frodo's Playground
Approaching a set of three rock drops. From easy to very easy.
Approaching a set of three rock drops. From easy to very easy.
To ride lower Frodo's Playground, climb the UVU Connector 0.5 miles uphill. At Middle Earth, turn to the right and ride 0.1 miles. As Frodo's Playground crosses Middle Earth, fork 90 degrees to the right downhill to begin the descent.

Turns are banked and flow smoothly. The trail is 0.5 miles in length, descending only 150 vertical feet at a gentle and constant rate.

It's easy to flow down this trail on butter-smooth dirt with hardly a bump if you take the easy way around every stunt. So Frodo's Playground is suitable for mixed-ability groups and kids.

Approaching a gentle turn with just a bit of banking.
Approaching a gentle turn with just a bit of banking.
Rolling onto a wooden hump-ramp.
Rolling onto a wooden hump-ramp.

Frodo's Playground has several rock challenges and wooden ramps that would be rated intermediate. There's a final narrow hump-ramp that I would rate expert. All of these stunts have easy ride-arounds.

Once you're on the mountain, a loop around lower Frodo's and back to the top is just under one mile with 150 feet of climbing.

Rolling down Frodo's Playground

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Heading toward a rock roll-over. Note the alternate dirt route on the right.
Heading toward a rock roll-over. Note the alternate dirt route on the right.

Bottom Line

Very nice trail that's easy to reach and easy to ride. Suitable for groups of mixed ability and families with younger kids.

Getting there, 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.

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.

Closeup of the Frodo's Playground area.
Closeup of the Frodo's Playground area.

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.

Cutthroat (Highway 32) Trailhead:
Drive up 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. Find the singletrack on your left and ride uphill, keeping to the right at the Wile E Canyon fork about 100 yards uphill. You'll reach the fork that starts the Coyote loop 0.4 miles from the highway.