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Mahogany Bench Area
Bench Climb, Rojo Rolling, Bench Connector

These trails link the Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST) north of Grove Creek to the Mahogany Mountain trail. This page will discuss Bench Climb as an uphill route and Rojo Rolling as a downhill (although it's two-directional). Note that Sneaky Shiz is the most popular climbing route up to the Mahogany Mountain trail.

 Photos and ride description by Bruce on April 17, 2022.

All of the riding options discussed here require that you navigate the BST for the lower portion of the ride. As of April 2022, trail markers are still pending. (The Forest Service has applied for funding to mark the official trails in the area.) See the Grove Creek to Cedar Hills section on the northern Utah Valley BST trail page.

That's the BST across the valley, as seen from low on the Mahogany Bench Climb trail.

The Mahogany Bench Climb route begins on the BST 0.6 miles north of the Grove Creek trailhead. It climbs around 275 vertical feet over 0.7 miles, following a zigzag course. It's early intermediate in technical requirement.

Heading uphill on the Bench Climb, with the limestone cliffs of Grove Creek Canyon above me.

Rojo Rolling and Bench Connector combine for a 0.7 mile route between Mahogany Mountain and the BST. The elevation change is around 250 feet. Most riders use this route as a descender, but my understanding is that these are both two-way trails.

Rolling a turn on Rojo Rolling.

  
Bonneville Shoreline Climb - getting started

I'll assume here that you're coming from the Grove Creek area. If you're on the BST southbound in Cedar Hills, you'd want to use Sneaky Shiz as your climbing route. The BST in Utah County is often signed as Forest Service trail 219.

From the Grove Creek trailhead, find the BST along the hillside and head north. At a trail fork 0.2 miles uphill, the left fork is the lower BST; the larger trail on the right is an unofficial route that's often used as a downhill. This trail is sometimes referred to as the upper BST or Dropout. If you climb it, it will join and leave the Mahogany Bench Climb trail higher up, then the last bit will be hike-a-bike until it ends in a multi-trail jumble just above the highest point of the BST .

A trail fork that might confuse you. The smaller trail here on the left is the BST.

The entry to Mahogany Bench Climb is at mile 0.6, where you turn 150 degrees to the right at the trail fork.

If you're planning to climb up Mahogany Bench Connector to Rojo Rolling, continue on the BST as it drops into a valley and begins climbing east. At mile 0.8, take the trail fork to your left, cross over where the BST turns left downhill and go straight up the Connector.

Getting a little higher on the BST, headed for the Bench Connector.

  
Mahogany Bench Climb
At mile 0.6 from Grove Creek trailhead, the BST crosses a ridge. From that vantage point, you'll see the BST plunge into a shallow valley, then turn and climb the opposite side of that valley. Here on the ridge is where the Mahogany Bench Climb starts, with a 150-degree turn uphill on your right.

My bike is sitting alongside the Bench Climb trail where it forks away from the BST. The trail isn't prominent, so until signs are in place it won't see heavy use. Across the valley, you can see the continuing BST.

The terrain is mostly grass, with occasional low sage. There will be a few tiny stands of Gambel oak as you get higher on the hill.

Climbing the Bench with the Oquirrh Mountains in the background and Utah Valley to the left.

The first turn is at mile 0.2 from the BST, where the trail turns hard left to join an unofficial trail. Keep heading uphill. When signage is in place the climbing route will be more obvious. The Bench Climb will be Trail #304.

View up the trail towards the cliffs above Grove Creek Canyon.

At mile 0.3, the trail turns away from the larger combined trail by forking to the right. (Again, the other trail is unofficial, so it may be closed and rehabbed by the Forest Service in the future. If you don't find a trail fork, that may be why.)

View south as the foothills hit Utah Valley.

The trail now winds around the upper hillside with frequent 180 degree views of the valley. There will be occasional steeper spots where you'll need to drop your body forward onto the bike frame and grunt it out.

Getting closer to the top as the trail wiggles around the hillside. Most of the climbing is mellow but there are occasional steeper spots that my challenge your legs and your ability to keep the front wheel planted on the ground.

At mile 0.7, after 275 vertical feet of climbing, Mahogany Bench Climb joins the Mahogany Mountain (or Mahogany Bench) #301 trail. Keep northbound and continue the ride to your destination (Thunderdome and/or the Rojo Rolling downhill).

Junction of the Bench Climb with Mahogany Mountain.

  
Rojo Rolling and Bench Connector
Rojo Rolling and the Mahogany Bench Connector trail are most commonly used as a downhill route, usually after climbing up to the Mahogany Mountain trail via Sneaky Shiz.

When southbound on the Mahogany Mountain trail, Rojo Rolling starts as a turn to the right, a bit over 1/10th of a mile from the bottom of the Thunderdome trail.

Top of Rojo Rolling, looking south from the Mahogany Mountain trail.

Rojo Rolling is a fun descent as it winds around through the stands of oak brush. It frequently goes out to the shoulder of the bench area for wide views over Utah Valley.

Meandering through scrub oak on Rojo.

While the descent can be speedy, it's narrow singletrack without berms or shoulders. The trail surface has a bit of loose rock that doesn't give much grip if you're cornering hard. This is an XC downhill, not a DH bomber flow trail.

Enjoying the views with Utah Lake in the background.

While I'm discussing Rojo Rolling as a descending trail, it's a two-way with a modest rate of climb. So it's also a reasonable way to climb to Mahogany Mountain. But if you're climbing on a busy weekend, be aware that you'll be facing a lot of downhill traffic. One of the other routes (Bench Climb, Sneaky Shiz) might be a better choice for the trip uphill.

What it looks like to climb Rojo Rolling.

At mile 0.5 of descending Rojo Rolling, there's a trail fork. The trail to the left goes a short distance up to the Mahogany Mountain trail. Straight ahead is the Mahogany Bench Connector. The Bench Connector will carry the designation #305.

View south down the Mahogany Bench Connector trail.

After an initial descent straight south, the Bench Connector joins an older DT route to descend southwest. When you hit a trail crossover at mile 0.7 from Mahogany Mountain, that's the BST. Turn 90 degrees right to descend towards Cedar Hills, or go straight up to the little ridge ahead for the BST southbound.

Getting closer to the intersection with the BST, as the views make it hard to stay on a straight line.

  A ride down the mountain via Rojo Rolling...

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

  
Descending the BST
We'll assume that you've just come down the Mahogany Bench Connector. If you're doing north, make a right turn at the crossover (just before the trail goes uphill). The BST will be heading northwest.

For a northbound descent, keep straight and coast up the little hill after the crossover. Turn to the right (downhill) on the northbound BST on the ridgeline about 50 feet later. You're now heading southwest.

Heading southwest downhill on the BST. Views everywhere!

The southbound BST trail will now make a descent on the ridge before dropping down the south-facing slope of a valley. In the valley, go to the left and climb up to the ridge (where you'll pass the entry to Mahogany Bench Climb). Now follow the trail north to Grove Creek.

See the BST Grove Creek to Cedar Hills trail page for more details on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail in this area.

Cruising down.

Based on the tire tracks, it appears that most riders are descending the northbound BST toward Cedar Hills at this time. It's certainly fast and has very little climbing when compared to the southbound BST.

When the BST joins the old bench road 0.6 miles after turning from Bench Connector, you can turn sharply left and descend to the main Bench Road for the trip back to Grove Creek. Or, you can go north and drop down the connector 1/10th mile later to the Bench Road above the Valley Vista trail system. 

Descending on the BST northbound, headed back to the Cedar Hills or Valley Vista area.

The Bench Road can be your failsafe connector to all the other options on the mountain. It links to several descending options that take you to the bottom of Valley Vista (and the Murdock Canal Trail), or it can get you back to the Grove Creek trailhead. 

Looking south on the Bench Road. Right where the road disappears is the top of Cowley's Curse of Valley Vista.

  
Descending Sneaky Shiz

Sneaky Shiz is used by most riders as a climbing trail. But it's two-way. It's found 0.7 miles from the viewpoint via the Mahogany Mountain trail, or 50 yards north of the bottom of Thunderdome if you took that way down. It's 2.1 miles down to the BST, where you can connect north or south down to the Bench Road. From there, you take your favorite way back to the trailhead.

Descending Sneaky Shiz.

Bottom Line:

Exciting possibilities for this area, which in 2022 has just become official through the US Forest Service. At this time most riders are climbing Sneaky Shiz (plus or minus the up-and-back on Thunderdome to the viewpoint) then descending Rojo Rolling and Bench Connector to the BST for their return.

Northbound on Mahogany Mountain, the trail to the left connects to the intersection of Rojo Rolling and the Mahogany Bench Connector trail.


Note about the map!  There are other singletrack trails that are not are shown here, and some that are shown will
be "retired" by the Forest Service as they develop the trails in this area.

Getting there:

Canyon Road TH Murdock Canal Trail (Cedar Hills): The Canyon Road trailhead is located on the uphill side of Canyon Road where the Murdock Canal Trail passes under Highway 146. The connector to The Pit trail of Valley Vista is about 1/4 mile south of the trailhead, on the left side of the Murdock Canal trail.

Wade Springs TH Murdock Canal Trail (Pleasant Grove): The Wade Spring trailhead is located on 1100 North at approximately 650 East. The Valley Vista trail system is reached by pedaling 0.2 miles north on the Murdock Canal Trail. Veer right and gently uphill on a gravel doubletrack.

Grove Creek TH:  From the south, get off I-15 at the Pleasant Grove exit and head east toward the mountains. As the street curves north, you'll reach State Street. Turn right. As State begins to curve southward past a big shopping complex, turn left at the traffic light to Main Street. Go through the 4-way stop at Center, then turn left at the light on 100 East (Canyon Highway). Proceed north to 500 North and turn right.
From the north, exit I-15 at the Alpine (American Fork Canyon) exit. Take Timpanogos Highway all the way to the mouth of the canyon, then turn right on the Canyon Highway, which will become 100 East. Drive south to 500 North (opposite the cemetery) and turn left.
Drive uphill on 500 North, continuing toward the mountains as it becomes Grove Creek Drive. Follow it up to the paved parking area. (Bathroom at trailhead.) The ride starts on the east (mountain) side of the parking area, heading straight up the canyon. N 40 22.483 W 111 42.721

Bathrooms and water at all trailheads above.

Riding resources for this trail:
GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
   Mahogany Mtn multi-track area file
Topo map for printing:   View map
Lodging, camping, shops:
     Links to AF Canyon resources       Links to Provo area resources

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