Climbing uphill on the Zag trail. Original review by Bruce in September 1998, with latest trail update October 1, 2022.
Lambert Park, southern trails
The southern end of
lies on a
dry hillside consisting mostly of sage brush. There are occasional stands
of oak brush -- some of it skeletons from three fires and two run-off
floods in the past 20 years.
This area tends to dry quickly after storms. In the spring, these trails are
ready to ride before the
(such as Middle and High Bench), and often several weeks before the shaded
Lambert Park's southeast corner was rebuilt in 2022 to offer some fun flow trails, as a contrast
to the rest of the park where the theme is natural narrow XC riding.
On the lower slopes of Lambert's south end, the north-south bike trails (High Bench, River,
Middle) are crossed by the broad Lambert hiking-only loop trail. The intersections are open
with good sight lines, but remember to yield to hikers.
Looking north toward Lone Peak on the newly-rebuilt Zag trail.
Best trailhead for south Lambert Park
High Bench trailhead, looking northeast.
South Trailhead, also called High Bench or the "Church" trailhead
Very popular place to start your ride, and the best for direct access to the newer DH flow
system at the park's southeast corner. On Alpine Blvd, turn left as you pass the church, then
immediately left onto a narrow paved road at the back side of the church. This road will end
at the gravel trailhead. Nice bathroom with running water, lots of parking, and a shaded picnic
Looking north as the Zag trail winds through brush and grass.
Length: 1.1 mi.
Elevation change: 200 ft
The Zag Trail is a two-way multi-purpose trail that winds
back and forth across the slopes of Lambert's southeast corner. It links
the High Bench trailhead area to the top of the DH flow trails. The Zag
trail is 1.1 miles long, with 200 vertical feet of elevation change.
The trail is easy to ride uphill and down. It's suitable for beginning riders and makes a nice
climbing route to reach the DH flow trails.
History: Zag was rebuilt in 2022 to make the route a bit more direct. It now has replaced the
White Dog and Brown Dog trails on the upper mountain slope.
Zag is a fun climb or descent, meandering at a gentle pace.
Looking east as Zag goes through the old apple orchard area. There are a couple of these rock strips to roll over -- if you want to.
Most riders will use Zag as a climbing trail to reach the DH flow trails on Lambert's southern
side. At the bottom, Zag forks off the Middle Trail just past the little bridge along the water-tank
road -- just north of the High Bench trailhead. For the first 100 feet, Zag and Ziggy are combined.
Zag forks to the right away from Ziggy to begin the climb uphill. From here to the top of the
hill there will be no trail forks, so navigation is simple.
Looks pretty, but most of it is cheat grass, which will dry out in a few weeks.
Almost to the top.
Zag spends most of its time on a sagebrush slope. This area used to be an orchard, and a couple
of almost-dead wild apple trees remain. The top of Zag was burned down to dirt by a fire (then
washed over by a massive floow) a few years ago, and the vegetation is still recovering. So
most of the terrain is meadow with small stands of sprouting oak brush.
I think the new Zag is a great ride both uphill and down. Most riders will climb it, because
the new Green Flow trail at the top of Zag is an easy ride downhill. But young children and
slow inexperienced beginners should descend Zag instead of the flow trail.
Bruce takes the rock challenge on upper Zag.
Heading uphill on Ziggy shortly after it forks away from Zag.
Length: 0.4 mi.
Elevation change: 200 ft
The Ziggy Trail was resurfaced and straightened in 2022.
My understanding is that it's planned to be a hiking-preferred trail, although
riders are currently climbing the trail to reach the top of Zag. Ziggy
extends from its common origin with Zag on the Middle Trail up to the
Ziggy covers the 200 vertical feet in only 0.4 miles, so it's a stiffer climb than Zag by far.
At the top of Ziggy -- where it reaches the wilderness border -- a traversing trail heads south
0.2 miles to the top of Zag and the Green Flow DH trail.
At the wilderness border. The hiking trail continues straight and left as it enters the Lone Peak Wilderness. The trail turning to the right lies on Alpine City property and is part of the Lambert Park system.
The trail continues to climb as it heads south toward the top of Zag.
I'll post more information on Ziggy once its status is clear. At this time, the trail is used
heavily by bikes climbing to the top of Zag and the DH trails.
Heading into a turn with Lone Peak as a backdrop. Note the generous height of the berm and the wide riding surface.
Length: 0.6 mi.
Elevation change: 200 ft downhill-only
Tech: easyThe Pepper trail is a highly-engineered one-way downhill
trail that descends from the top of Zag to the Middle Trail at the
water-tank road. It was finished in 2022 as part of the major re-build of
Lambert Park's southern trails.
The Pepper trail forks off of Zag just a few feet below the traversing trail on the upper mountain.
There's a small "stop and wait" shelf as a staging area just above the trail entry.
An optional rock roll-over or a whoop-de-do.
The trail is easy to ride and should be a fun time for any rider. Here's the drop-in to the trail at the top of Zag.
The Pepper trail is considered a "green flow trail" and is suitable for beginners. I don't
recommend it for first-time riders or very young children, but that's simply because other
riders will be flying down this trail. If you're going to ride slow, it's best to hit Pepper
on a weekday.
The Pepper trail is 0.6 miles long, descending 200 vertical feet. The trail-cut is wide with
a smooth dirt surface. Turns are highly banked.
Rolling a banked turn.
The trail is easy to ride and should be a fun time for any rider.
There are a few bumps and rock ramps that offer a jumping opportunity and one nice table jump.
You can easily ride around any of the stunts. Most of the trail simply herds you down the hill.
I recommend this trail highly. It's well built, fun to ride, and a great confidence builder!
The climb up Zag to the top of Pepper may be a bit much for true beginners and younger kids,
who might want to try the Beginner Loop (see below) first.
Taking a banked turn with speed. Note that the world is crooked.
Shell Shocked (blue flow)
The alignments of three trails as seen from the top of Zag (where it meets southbound Ziggy): left and uppermost is the black alternate Invincible, ahead is Shell Shocked, downhill to the right is Pepper, which is also heading southbound at this point.
Length: 0.6 mi.
Elevation change: 200 ft downhill-only
At the top of Zag, just past the entry to the Pepper (green flow) Trail, you'll hit the intermediate Shell Shocked trail by keeping straight. Shell Shocked runs from the top of Zag down to the east fence of the south trailhead (also called the Church or High Bench trailhead).
The trail winds through banked turns, with plenty of humps that offer a chance to jump. There
are also quite a few rocks and ramps just off the main riding line on straight sections of
trail that you can use to jump.
Sample alternate line. Smooth trail on the left, a rock lip on the right.
Looking south shortly after leaving Zag, as the trail turns to the west on a highly banked turn.
In 0.2 miles, the Hooked on a Feeling alternate line comes in on your left.
Continue downhill through multiple turns. Watch for rollers that are designed as launching
bumps. On a sunny early morning, the light is coming straight down the trail from behind you,
flattening out the features.
A big table jump and a few roller doubles are built into the trail. Some of these features
will launch an intermediate rider unexpectedly. So if you aren't experienced with "air time,"
keep your speed in check. The trail will evolve, of course, but at this time it seems this
trail must be taken either super fast with big air, or at moderate pace so the mandatory humps
don't throw you over the handlebars.
Rolling into a big table jump.
The rollers come fast and frequent.
As Shell Shocked approaches the log fence of the southern parking area, it turns to the north and ties into the northbound connector trail right at the east edge of the parking lot. From there it's a straight shot across the water tank road, over the bridge, and onto Zag for another climb to the top.
Invincible (black alternate)
Looking south on the uphill alternate (black) Invincible flow trail. It will head south through a couple of rock challenges.
Length: 0.2 mi (plus 0.4 of combined trail)
Elevation change: 100 ft downhill-only
At the top of Zag, turn uphill to hit the higher trail southbound. This trail becomes the expert-level alternate DH route, Invincible which will join the main Shell Shocked intermediate DH route later. You'll first encounter a nasty rock drop that's designed to scare away non-experts. DO NOT slowly roll this feature. You'll almost certainly hang your chain-ring on the rock lip. You need some air under your front tire as you come over the rock's edge.
As the trail heads south, there's a second plunge just after a kiosk. (This is the spot where the Lone Peak Wilderness BST trail joins Lambert Park's trails.)
Southbound on Invincible after the second drop-over by the kiosk.
A fast S turn on Invincible before it merges with Shell Shocked.
After heading south to the park's border, the trail rolls through a couple of quick turns,
then joins the main route. It's over too quickly.
The Mustard Kids Loop is a very short loop just outside the fence on the eastern (uphill) side of the south trailhead, intended for very young children to ride some dirt. It's exactly 1/10th mile around, with only a few feet of elevation change. It's part of the three nested loops that I call the Beginner Loop. Most of the Mustard loop is shared with the bottom of the nested Tilted and Zero Point. If you're doing laps on the Beginner Loop, watch for little ones when you join this loop.
As you pass through the log fence of Lambert Park's south
trailhead, there's a weird double-T intersection. The first trail on the
right is both the return from Blue Swede and the outgoing route to the
Flank trail. (Flank connects on the south to the
trail.) The first trail on the left goes Middle (and Zag and Ziggy for
a climb to the top of the main DH trails).
Curving around the turn on the north end of the Kids Loop.
Northbound on the Kids Loop. The trail on the right is the climbing route of the Beginner Loop. The downhill side of the Beginner Loop joins just before the Kids Loop turns back south.
As you veer left -- toward the north -- you'll see a trail that runs
parallel to the one you're on. These trails touch, forming another
"T", or maybe it's an "X". This second "T"
connects you to a one-way trail, where
traffic flows from left to right. This trail is both the Mustard Kids Loop
and the Beginner Loop of Tilted and Zero Point. Turn to the right, 180 degrees, so you're now
riding south. The loop flows counter-clockwise.
After the loop curves
back around to go north again, keep to the left to stay on the Mustard Kids
Loop. The first trail on the right is the climbing route for the Beginner
Loop, and the next trail on your right is the one-way return from the Beginner Loop.
Beginner Loops (Tilted and Zero Point)
A fun spot on the loop, as the trail gently rolls across this huge rock.
Length: 0.5 miles
Elevation change: 75 ft
The Beginner Loop starts with the Kids Loop just outside the fence. Both trails run counterclockwise. The Beginner Loop both begins and ends on the Kids Loop. It's a very quick ride of 0.5 miles, with less than 100 feet of overall climbing. It's easily done by kids and beginning riders. A cutoff trail in the middle of the Beginner Loop divides it into a shorter Tilted loop and the longer Zero Point loop.
To get on the Beginner Loop, veer to the left as you go
through the log fence. The first trail on the right is the return from
Shell Shocked. At the next intersection a few feet later, make a 180-degree
turn to the right to get on the combined Mustard Kids Loop and the Beginner Loop.
After 100 feet, you've now turned northbound on the Kids Loop. Take the
right-hand fork uphill for the Tilted portion of the Beginner Loop.
Heading uphill on the climbing side of the loop. We're looking south.
This is the cut-off trail. It's only 150 feet long, cutting the loop almost exactly in half.
At mile 0.15 from the bottom of the loop -- half-way to the top of the loop -- there's a trail fork. For the full loop, keep right to continue climbing. The trail on the left is a cut-off or "short circuit" to the downhill side of the loop that gives you a very easy half-a-loop of only 1/4 mile. This shorter loop is Tilted.
For the full Beginner Loop, keep to the right and continue climbing east through gentle turns. You're now on the Zero Point loop. At mile 0.3, the trail turns downhill. Turns are highly banked and easy to roll. There's a huge rock to roll over, but it's super easy. There's an optional rock-drop of around 10 inches, off the main riding line. You'll spend 0.2 miles on the downhill, rejoining Tilted. Keep to the right here.
Looking back uphill at an optional rock-drop.
Sample of the nicely banked swooping turns.
Near the bottom, the Tilted trail portion of the Beginner Loop rejoins the Mustard Kids Loop just a few feet from the trail fork where you turned away. Keep right as you join. When the trail turns back south, you can keep straight at the cross-over area to do another lap. To return to parking, you can turn 90 degrees right. Or, you can hook 180 degrees to get on the outgoing trail for a climb up Zag.
Take I-15 to the
Alpine/Highland exit, just south of Point-of-the-Mountain. Drive straight east 5 miles
towards the mountains, turning left at the stoplight in Highland (where you see the
grocery store and gas station). Drive 2 miles north into Alpine to the 4-way stop at 200
North. Turn right. At the next stop sign, turn left. You'll be on 200 East, which becomes
Grove Drive. Continue northeast on Grove for two miles. The road will turn
90 degrees to the right. Pass two streets on your left, then arrive at a T
in the road. Turn right, across the river. At the fork in the road, go right
for the Bowery parking area, left for the Rodeo grounds.
Rodeo grounds trailhead: Keep
left at the fork and drive 0.25 mile on pavement, then turn right onto a dirt road and
drive 0.25 mile. The trailhead is on the right side of the road, where
you'll see a parking strip and a bathroom just before the
rodeo arena. (Toilet.)
Bowery trailhead: Keep right at the fork as you cross the river on the
paved road. Pass the High Bench dirt road on your right. About 300 feet further up the paved
road, keep straight as the main road turns right, entering a smaller road. 500 feet up the dirt
road,, the Bowery pavilion is on the left, with a parking lot on the right. (Toilet,
South (aka High Bench or "church") trailhead: About 1.5 miles up Grove Drive (as above), turn right on
Alpine Boulevard. Go 1/2 mile until the road turns from east to south in
front of a big church. After you pass the church, fork left toward the mountains.
Immediately after the church's back fence turn left onto a narrow paved road
and proceed to the trailhead. (Toilet, shaded picnic, water.)
Moyle Drive: On Alpine Blvd, turn left onto Moyle and
drive to the end. The High Bench trail crosses the road just east of
parking. The trail that crosses the parking area is a hiking trail
Bald Mountain Drive: Turn onto 100 South in Alpine. Drive
east until you're forced to turn at Country Manor Lane. Go left. At 300
North, turn right, then take the next left on Bald Mountain Drive. Go to
the end of the road and park.
Trail information updated October 2022