Lost Prospector Loop
Freemason, Lost Prospector, and Skid Row trails
The Lost Prospector Loop is an easy route on Park City's
east side. The loop starts on paved Park City trail, transfers to buff
easy singletrack on the side of a small mountain, then descends to the Rail
Trail. This 7.2-mile loop has
a beginning altitude of 6800 feet, with a peak of only 7100. Its low altitude means
this trail clears of snow a few weeks earlier than the trails west and
south of Park City.
Looking across the valley at Park City
Mountain Resort. First review and photos July 8, 2002 by Bruce.
Last update October 2017.
The classic 7.8-mile ride, as described below, was created before the
completion of the Freemason Trail in 2017. If you want to ride the classic
route, start at the Prospector Square Rail Trail trailhead and go west on
the Rail Trail toward the center of town. Turn south as you connect to the
Town Trail on the west side of Bonanza Drive, then continue south along
Deer Valley Drive. When the trail pops onto the street at the roundabout,
do a 180 and descend Deer Valley Drive a little bit. Turn right to climb
Aerie Drive up to Prospector to start the singletrack.
In this drone shot, Bruce heads southwest on
Freemason above the spot where Bonanza Drive hits Deer Valley drive.
Most riders are now doing a loop that includes Freemason,
Lost Prospector, and Skid Row (see by-the-mile description below). This is
my recommendation! This loop can be done in either direction. Between the bottom of Skid Row and
Freemason is a mile and a half of the paved Rail Trail. With Freemason,
your climbing is on singletrack instead of paved bike path (as in the
The riding is easier-intermediate, with no technical
challenges. Much of the terrain is scrub oak, with groves of aspen and
maple in the cooler spots.
This ride is a good introduction to dirt for those who are
just starting, or aren't in the best of shape. But it's also a good quick
"off-day" hammer-down ride for advanced bikers. A conditioned
rider can complete this loop in around an hour. This loop is easy-intermediate technical,
easy aerobic. Total climbing is just over 600 vertical feet.
View northeast on the western side of Lost Prospector, heading through
sagebrush and gambel oak. This is a rare bumpy section with embedded rock.
The Freemason Trail is 1.7 miles long with 300 feet of altitude gain.
It starts on the Rail Trail near the Prospector parking lot and climbs
around the west side of Masonic Hill. Freemason ends on Lost Prospector
near Aerie Drive.
Heading east on the paved Rail Trail. The carsonite
post to my right is the entry to the Freemason Trail.
To reach Freemason from the Prospector Avenue parking lot
(see below), turn left to head east on the paved Rail Trail. After 0.2
miles, turn to the right at the trail marker. Begin climbing through aspen
Handlebar view as we begin climbing.
Freemason will climb through four turns on the north side of
Masonic Hill. The terrain will transition between aspen, maple, and scrub
oak groves. There will be occasional fir, chokecherry, and hawthorn. About
half of the trail lies on this cooler northern slope.
Most turns have a high berm. Plenty of room to crank
around the radius on your way uphill, or to rail around on the downhill.
The trail here is smooth dirt ribbon with a fairly gentle
rate of climb. Most of the climbing will be complete by the time you reach
the western side of Masonic Hill. The trail has frequent gentle turns and
swoops that add to the fun.
Mixed forest of aspen, maple and fir.
On the western slope, the trail tends to be hot and dry and
there's a bit more rock. You'll ride through sage and scrub oak, hearing
the sounds of traffic on Deer Valley Drive to your right below you. The
slopes of Deer Valley are straight ahead, and those of Park City Mountain
are to your right.
Views are frequent, and pretty.
When the trail reaches Lost Prospector, fork hard left to
reverse directions. Continue the loop on Lost Prospector northbound.
Other ride options at the end of Freemason are:
(1) Right. Take Lost Prospector to Aerie Drive, then connect to Gambel
(2) Straight. Cross Lost Prospector to Masonic. Masonic is a more techy,
narrower less-traveled trail. It will cross over Lost Prospector a couple
of times before climbing south to connect to the top of Gambel
Arriving at the Lost Prospector trail. (Photo taken
from the Masonic Trail.)
Lost Prospector Trail
Lost Prospector traverses Masonic Hill from the southwest
corner to the northwest tip. There will be a bit of gentle climbing and
descending. It's 3.2 miles from Freemason to Skid Row.
Drone shot as Bruce cranks past a tall fir among the
The west side of the singletrack begins in gambel oak and
sagebrush. The hillside here is exposed and tends to be warm in the
summer. You'll have views over Park City to your left.
Sun-exposed areas, such as the west slope, are
dominated by scrub oak with a smattering of sagebrush.
As Lost Prospector reaches the north side of the hill, the
nature of the ride changes. The trail is
wide and smooth, fairly flat with gentle turns. As it curves around to
the mountain's north side, you ride through quaking aspen and maples, with
tall wildflowers. Lupine, delphinium, penstemmon, thimbleberry, and
columbine form a thick, tall carpet.
The trail winds around to the northern hillside in
this 2002 photo. Trees include maples and aspen as well as stands of scrub
oak. The trail gets smoother
and the air a bit cooler.
The Masonic Trail will join on your right, then leave
downhill on your left. Unless some major digging has taken place on
Masonic, Lost Prospector will be the broad, more-traveled trail and the
navigation should be obvious.
Masonic joins again from left downhill, then exits to the right uphill.
(From here, it climbs around the east side of Masonic Hill to April
Mountain where it connects to Gambel Oak and the Solamere
Rolling a turn above a ravine, at around the trail's
There will be a connecting descender trail in the bottom of
every canyon. You'll pass three of these descending trails before you
reach Skid Row, so don't be suckered into dropping downhill yet. The first
trail drops to (and crosses) Freemason, the next to Euston Drive, and the
marked SOS trail descends to the Rail Trail. Keep level.
About two miles into Lost Prospector, the trail descends about 100
vertical feet to find a new traverse at 6900 feet elevation.
The aspens of October tower over the rider.
Lost Prospector ends at Skid Row. Keep left and downhill to
If you keep right and uphill, Skid Row climbs to the Foxtail Trail.
Both ends of this trail connect to city streets on the hill.
Approaching the trail fork with Skid Row.
Skid Row is a continuous descent. It's 0.8 miles down to the Rail
Trail, dropping just under 200 vertical feet. There will be about a dozen
turns, but they're bermed for speed.
Bruce pops out into a rare clearing between groves of
trees on Skid Row.
The trail is smooth dirt, broad and well-traveled. There
aren't any rocks or technical spots. Not even a root.
Almost all of the descent is in tall forest of aspen and maple, so
there are no views to take your attention.
The descending is fun and fast.
Remember this is a two-way trail. It's also used by hikers,
runners, and dogs. Keep your speed in control and slow for the blind
Railing a turn in the fall leaves.
As you approach the Rail Trail, keep to the left to head
westbound toward Park City. The paved path angles uphill and is straight
as an arrow, so 1.5 miles of bike-path return can seem tedious.
Looking west on the Rail Trail.
Other options from this spot? The Rail Trail sends a connection over to Round
Valley. To go there, fork to the right (east).
was the view in 2002 going clockwise. The Skid Row singletrack that
climbs the mountain is on the right, just before this bridge. Note that
the trail is now paved here. Round Valley is about 1/3 mile to the east.
Video includes Freemason, Lost Prospector, and
Skid Row trails
If the above video does not appear on your
browser/device, you can watch it on YouTube by clicking
Notes, counterclockwise loop with
0.0 Parking on Prospector Avenue
From parking, L on Rail Trail
N40 39.669 W111 29.887
0.2 R on Freemason
N40 39.753 W111 29.657
1.8 Hard L on Lost Prospector
N40 39.042 W111 29.885
(Straight = Masonic, R = to
2.7 Straight (L = drop down to Freemason)
N40 39.453 W111 29.626
3.6 Straight (L = down to Euston Drive)
N40 39.458 W111 28.998
4.5 Keep R (L = SOS to Rail Trail)
N40 39.873 W111 28.806
4.9 Fork L (R = uphill on Skid Row to Fox Tail)
N40 40.072 W111 28.485
5.7 L on Rail Trail
N40 40.237 W111 28.422
7.2 Back at parking
Ride notes, CLASSIC counterclockwise loop:
0.0 Right (west) out of the parking lot
0.25 L on sidewalk
0.3 At crosswalk, cross street to paved trail
0.5 Keep straight at fork
1.4 Fork L, up to traffic roundabout
U-turn to head north
downhill on Deer Valley Dr.
1.8 Turn R uphill on Aerie Drive
1.95 Small parking lot on R, N 40° 39.034' W 111° 29.811'
Singletrack across the
street (on L)
2.1 Trail merges from L (advanced tech trail)
2.75 Crossing, keep straight (R) (L=advanced)
3.2 Fork L (R=to Gambel Oak)
N 40° 39.431' W 111° 30.004'
3.9 Cross doubletrack
4.1 Trail in from R, then fork. Go R uphill
4.85 Fork R, straight (L downhill = SOS)
5.35 Fork R downhill onto Skid Row
6.25 At Rail Trail, turn left
7.8 Back at Prospector trailhead
Lariat with Gambel Oak and Masonic: When Freemason hits Lost
Prospector, turn right. At the road, jog uphill and find the singletrack
to Gambel Oak. Go to the top of April Mountain,
keeping straight onto Masonic. Descend Masonic and return on Freemason.
Loop-around upper mountain add-on: When Freemason hits Lost
Prospector, go straight onto Masonic. Climb on Masonic until you hit
Gambel Oak at the top of the hill. Descend and connect back to Lost
Prospector at Aerie Drive, then do Lost Prospector and Skid Row as in the
Fox Tail: At the fork where you'd turn you descend to the
Rail Trail on Skid Row, you can also go right, climbing uphill through a
couple of switchbacks to a paved road on top of the mountain. From here,
you can blunder your way downhill through several street intersections to
the Solamere Connector, then over the mountain
to Gambel Oak.
Getting there: On Park City's Main Street, turn
left onto Kearns Blvd., as though you were heading to US 40. About 1/4
mile later, turn right on Bonanza Drive. At the "Rail Trail"
sign about 200 feet later, turn left onto Prospector Avenue, then right
into the parking lot for the Rail Trail. The trail is at the far (south)
end of the parking lot. N 40° 39.684' W 111° 29.894'