North Canyon Trail
In the southeast corner of Bountiful, the North Canyon Trail
climbs from the foothills to cool forests overlooking the Great Salt Lake. North Canyon starts at
5400 feet and climbs 1800 vertical feet to Rudy's Flat in 4 miles. In
the uphill direction, this is a ride for strong intermediates or better. Most
riders use North Canyon as a descending route.
Hardbody Martha pilots her hardbody
bicycle up the North Canyon Trail in 2000. Original review by Bruce on June
21, 2000 with latest update September 12, 2022.
|The trail begins in the scrub oak of the Wasatch foothills
in Bountiful, and climbs steadily through maple forest until it reaches a cool forest of fir
and aspen. The expected riding season is June through October.
Some parts of the trail are butter smooth, while
others have rock and roots to navigate.
Trailheads and Connections
||North Canyon via Canyon Creek Road
At the uphill end of Canyon Creek Road in Bountiful (reached via
Bountiful Blvd), you can find roadside parking and begin pedaling uphill.
You'll have the option of gravel service road or a singletrack trail on
the right (south) side of the road, found 100 feet uphill from the gate.
The first mile will be relatively steep. The pitch mellows once you reach
the National Forest border.
NOTE: There's a plan for a road and formal trailhead for access to
North Canyon, with construction likely starting in 2023. For now, these
instructions are accurate.
End of Canyon Creek Road. The singletrack begins on
your right 100 feet uphill.
||Mueller Park to Rudy's Flat
The Mueller Park trail will deliver you to the top of the North Canyon
trail. The Mueller Park trailhead is reached the
Mueller Park road, which is a continuation of 1800 South Street in
Bountiful. This is popular trailhead and will be crowded on weekends.
Pedal uphill on Mueller Park until you hit Rudy's Flat, where the trail
will turn into the North Canyon trail for the downhill. This is the most
popular direction to ride North Canyon -- downhill.
Cruising through the tall maples of lower Mueller
||from Mueller Park via the Bonneville Shoreline
At mile 1.3 of the Mueller Park trail, turn hard to the right on the
BST. It will be 4 miles (and 750 vertical feet of climbing with 175 feet
of descent) to the North Canyon trail, at a point 2 miles below Rudy's
Flat and 0.5 miles above the official beginning of North Canyon at the
National Forest border -- mile 1.5 from town.
My bike sits on the BST from Mueller Park where the
BST drops onto the North Canyon trail.
||from the Wild Rose area via the BST
For now (September 2022) you'll need to climb uphill from the Wild Rose
trailhead in Woods Cross. (See the Wild Rose trail
page.) Take the Wild
Rose Overlook trail up the ravine, then hard right at the 5-way trail
intersection and up to the ridgeline. At mile 0.8 the BST crosses. Turn
left. (The southbound BST to the right dead-ends at this time.) It will
now be 8 miles to the North Canyon trail, where you'll keep straight and
descend 0.2 miles, then make a hard right turn onto the BST uphill just
after crossing North Canyon Creek.
Bruce rocks a turn on the BST near North Canyon.
|I will divide the North Canyon trail into three segments:
(1) Bountiful Multi-user trail. This two-way multi-user route starts
near the end of the paved street and extends to the forest border, running
just south of the gravel doubletrack that is an alternative for this first mile.
(2) National Forest trail 601. The official North
begins at mile 1.0 and extends to Rudy's Flat for the upper 2.5 miles of the ride.
(3) Bountiful North Canyon DH. This bikes-only downhill trail
begins at the forest border and runs north of the doubletrack for the
lower mile of North Canyon.
follows the pack uphill around mile 12 of the climb up North Canyon.
June 21, 2000.
Bountiful Multi-user Trail (lower mile of the trail)
||The multi-user singletrack can be found 100 feet uphill from
the gate, on the right side of the doubletrack. The singletrack will stay
on the right (south) side of the doubletrack, occupying the narrow
corridor between private property -- or the North Canyon Creek -- and the
The beginning of the multi-purpose trail, 100 feet
uphill from the gate.
|The trail will occasionally be forced to the shoulder of the
gravel road by the nearby creek or a bit of private property. When you
find yourself on the road, just watch for the trail to leave again to your
right, usually just a few feet uphill.
The gravel road is an alternative route uphill, as it will arrive at
the same spot as the singletrack at the forest border.
The singletrack is forced onto the shoulder of the
gravel road in several locations.
||The trail is fairly steep, climbing 600 vertical feet in one
mile. It also has a lot of dips and wiggles. It is suitable for strong
intermediates and experts. Beginners can climb the doubletrack if their
legs are strong enough for the sustained pitch.
Note the riding path here. Beyond the abilities of a
|As mentioned above, there is a plan to extend paved road
from Canyon Creek Road and create an official trailhead. This may affect
the trail access and the mileage that I report on this page.
A section of less steep, less-tricky trail.
||At the top of the multi-user trail, it joins the doubletrack
for 100 feet as the road makes a couple of tight turn-around loops. Keep
straight and head for the end of the road at the National Forest border.
Keep straight through the trail-entry chokepoint. (The trail on your left
at this spot is the bikes-only DH trail. See below.)
The transition from multi-user trail, doubletrack,
and DH to a single uphill route at the forest border.
North Canyon Trail 601 (upper 2.5 miles of the trail)
||At the end of the doubletrack and the Bountiful
multi-purpose trail, the North Canyon trail continues uphill as trail 601.
The pitch of the climbing is now much more pleasant. You'll climb only 850
vertical feet over the next 2.5 miles to Rudy's Flat.
Heading uphill shortly after entering the National
|At mile 0.5 from the forest boundary (1.5 from pavement),
keep to the right at the trail fork and cross the North Canyon Creek on
the bridge. The trail to the left is the Bonneville
Shoreline Trail (BST) to Mueller Park.
Another 0.2 miles uphill, keep to the left as the BST
to Wild Rose forks away.
There are a few of these simple bridges over creeks
upper areas clear of snow in late May or early June, and remain open
through mid-October. This
of the trail has a few rocks and roots, but is mostly smooth. We'd
rate this ride a solid intermediate level for technical skill, but an
out over Bountiful towards the Great Salt Lake during the ascent up North Canyon.
Wild rose bloom alongside the trail.
Other common flowers
include penstemmon and lupine.
|Balsamroot. Looks a lot like
Mules Ear, but the leaves are dull on unbranched stems and each
flower is on an individual stem.
The singletrack in North Canyon is a botanist's delight. This shady trail
is rimmed with currant, wild rose, choke cherry, and elderberry. You'll see plenty of
blooming Mule's Ear, Wasatch penstemmon, and wild onion. The crest near Rudy's Flat is a
good place to spot the Sego Lily, Utah's state flower.
Almost to the top.
|Many riders construct a loop by using North Canyon for the climb,
then descending down the Mueller Park trail. This is a great ride. If done
with a pavement link, it's 13.5
miles in length. It puts more singletrack on your downhill.
from Rudy's Flat through mules ear blossoms. Here is one of the few
stretches with open views.
|The most popular loop ride, however, is to turn left from North Canyon onto the
new northbound Bonneville Shoreline Trail
at mile 1.5, ride 4 miles to Mueller and
climb up and over Rudy's Flat, then descend North Canyon back to the
Bruce rolls over roots as he descends North Canyon.
Bountiful North Canyon DH (lower mile alternate route)
||The Bountiful North Canyon DH begins at the forest border,
running the bottom one mile of North Canyon. It's appropriate for true
intermediate or better riders. Beginners and less-skilled intermediates
should use either the gravel doubletrack for their descent. (The
multi-user trail on the south side of the doubletrack is not a
particularly easy trail to descend for inexperienced riders.)
Here's the top of the trail, straight ahead, at the
forest border. If you opt for the multi-user trail, the entry is on your
left about 100 feet down the gravel road.
|The trail will drop 600 vertical feet over exactly one mile.
Most of the trail is narrow hand-built singletrack. There will
be occasional pedal-catching stumps on the uphill side of the trail, so
watch your foot position.
At the top of a dip where the trail drops about 8
feet before rocketing up the opposite side.
||There are a lot of dips and swoops, but the trail's options
are limited by the narrow corridor between the doubletrack and private
property. You will rarely stray more than 30 feet away from the gravel road,
although the road usually invisible through the trees.
Typical narrow winding singletrack.
|There are a few jump opportunities built into the trail. All
are easily rolled, or ridden around for your first "checkout"
pass down the trail.
Approaching a jump on a rare spot where the trail
leaves forest. (This area was cleared for a pipeline corridor.)
||At the bottom, the DH joins the gravel doubletrack around
100 feet above the gate. Note that there are plans for a future paved road to a
formal trailhead in the lower canyon.
Cruising through stout maples on narrow dirt ribbon
as we near the end of the DH.
Riding notes, out and back:
Go to North Canyon Trailhead
0.0 Head up multi-user singletrack or doubletrack from end of pavement
1.0 Keep straight onto North Canyon trail 601
1.5 Fork R (L=BST northbound)
1.7 Keep L (R=BST southbound)
3.5 Rudy's Flat, turn back
6.0 Options: DT, multi-user, or bikes-only DH
Keep L for downhill bikes-only
at Rudy's Flat, it's time for a BS break. Could there be a happier camper
than Chad, with 1800 vertical of climbing
behind him, and a bodacious downhill yet to go?
Riding notes, big loop using Mueller Park and city streets:
Go to Mueller Park Trailhead (most riders do this in the opposite
0.0 From Mueller Park trailhead, go back down road
0.6 L at intersection
2.3 L onto Canyon Creek
3.0 End pavement, uphill DT vs ST on R
4.0 Keep straight
4.5 Keep R (L=BST)
4.7 Keep L (R=BST)
7.0 Rudy's Flat
9.9 L at Big Rock fork
13.5 Cross bridge to parking
Rolling downhill through
aspen forest as we descend North Canyon
North Canyon: On I-15, take the 2600
south Bountiful/Woods Cross exit. Go east towards the mountains. The road
will turn north and be renamed Orchard Drive. While heading north, turn
right (east) on 1800 south. Just as you reach the bottom of a steep hill,
turn right at the intersection. (This is about 0.6 miles before the
Mueller Park trailhead. If you arrive there, backtrack.) After 1.7 miles,
turn left on Canyon Creek and go uphill 0.7 miles to the end of the
pavement. Start your ride by heading east (uphill) on the dirt road.
Mueller Park: On I-15, take the 2600 south
Bountiful/Woods Cross exit. Go east towards the mountains. The road will turn north and be
renamed Orchard Drive. While heading north, turn right (east) on 1800 south. This street
takes you to the trailhead about 2 miles later, where you'll see parking places on the
right side of the road. Go across the stream on the bridge to begin the ride.
Note: the map resolution cannot show the three routes in the bottom
mile of North Canyon.