Bruce climbs the twisting Kiln-It trail up through the power line corridor. Video, photos, GPS and ride description September 13, 2019 with latest update June 2021.
Pahvant Trail System
Lower mountain trails including
Kiln-It, Cairn-Age, Telegraph Area
Pahvant system lies on the hillside west of I-70 in Richfield. The
singletrack trails are fun and well-built, ranging from easy to expert.
For Wasatch Front riders, this system is worth the trip. The expected riding season
would be mid-May through October. This page covers the trails on the lower
mountain that can be accessed from the top of Kiln-It. The upper-area trails,
accessed from the top of Faulty, are described on
Pavant web page
The trails are well-marked and easy to follow once you get there. It's
obvious a lot of TLC went into crafting these trails, with good alignment
choices and well-engineered bermed turns. You can do several loop rides of differing
lengths or shuttled downhill rides. A great
eight-mile starter ride is to climb Kiln-It to the ridgeline, then turn onto
Cairn-Age for the downhill.
Other trails discussed on this page include Snakebite, Big Red,
Telegraph, and Tank Run. The
is discussed in detail for parents on another page.
Rolling downhill on Cairn-Age.
Looking southwest from the parking area just off the northern Richfield I-70 exit. On weekends, this will be your parking spot. The trail begins as gravel road just across from the parking lot.
The north trailhead is at 5500 feet elevation, right off the northern Richfield I-70 exit.
Go west as you exit the interstate (away from the city) and the pavement will end in around
100 yards. Turn left on cindered road. Immediatelly to your left is a large gravel parking
lot, which is the official Pahvant trailhead.
Local riders drive down the small gravel road parallel to
the freeway for 1/2 mile and
park where the road splits. There's room for a
couple of cars to park here on the side of the road.
There's a right-hand arrow on a carsonite post where the
larger road splits into two smaller ATV tracks, directing the bike traffic to turn 90 degrees
right. About 50 yards uphill, the Kiln-It singletrack connector trail drops
to cross Cottonwood Creek, then meanders over to the bottom of Kiln-It at
the doubletrack. The
Cottonwood Kids Loop
is a bit further uphill on the DT.
Starting uphill on Kiln-It. Unless you're doing a shuttle, Kiln-It is your best route to the other trails in the Pahvant system.
Climbing away from Richfield on Kiln-It. First the white dirt and next comes the red dirt.
The main trailhead is on 300 North in Richfield, where you'll pass under the freeway to the
gravel Forest Road 096. There you can find your way uphill on either FR096, ATV trail 70, or
the Tank Run trail just uphill from the water tank on FR096.
FR 096: Gravel road
for shuttle or climbing.
Cottonwood Kids: easy loop for true
beginners and kids.
Kiln-It: Two-way trail, usually used as a climbing route. Quickest access
from the north trailhead.
Tank Run: Two-way trail usually used to bring you back from the southern DH
trails (Telegraph and Spinal Tap) to Big Red or Kiln-It to climb up again.
Snake Bite: DH alternate off Cairn-Age
Big Red: Two-way trail, usually used to climb from Tank Run to upper
Telegraph: DH trail
Hi-Line: One-way, used to connect to Telegraph
Dos Equis: Short DH from lower Big Red to Tank Run.
Faulty: Route uphill to higher trails
Map of the lower Pahvant trails
Two-way and Climbing Trails
Kiln-It is 4.1 miles long, with a climb of 1000 vertical feet. It starts on the doubletrack
along the freeway and ends on FR096. It's two-way traffic, so you can do any portion of the
trail as an out-and-back.
Heading up Kiln-It in the lower white dirt.
Rolling a big berm while climbing Kiln-It.
Kiln-It has a connector to the midpoint of Cairn-Age at mile 2.0, with a second fork to the
top of Cairn-Age at 3.3 miles. If you climb to the top of Kiln-It, you can continue uphill
on either FR 096 or the Faulty singletrack -- discussed on the
upper Pahvant trail page
The lower 2 miles of Kiln-It is non-technical. A strong beginner should be able to climb this
first half of the trail, perhaps with a rest break or two.
Red dirt, then white dirt. More red dirt to come.
Bruce passes the short connector trail to mid Cairn-Age.
Lower Kiln-It and Cairn-Age can be combined for an easy four-mile loop by taking a short connecting
trail at mid-mountain. Climb Kiln-It to mile 2.0, then turn right on the signed trail fork
to the Cairn-Age connector. The connector hits Cairn-Age after around 100 yards, where you'll
turn to the right downhill.
Waypoints when climbing Kiln-It:
0.7 Cairn-Age joins on L (do not enter)
1.0 Cross Cairn-Age
1.4 Tank Run on L (2-way)
2.0 Connector to lower Cairn-Age R
3.0 Big Red on L (2-way)
3.2 Cairn-Age on R
3.45 Connector to lower Faulty on R
3.5 Hi Line joins on L (do not enter)
4.1 Bottom of Juniper Drop then FR096
Upper Kiln-It is significantly more difficult than the lower half, both in climbing grade and bumpiness.
Threading through the rocks on upper Kiln-It.
After passing the connector to the middle of Cairn-Age at mile 2, Kiln-It gets a bit steeper
and you'll hit some more-technical stretches of rock. The 1.3 miles of Kiln-It between the
Cairn-Age connector and the top of Cairn-Age would rate upper-intermediate in difficulty.
For a moderate XC ride, just climb Kiln-It to the top then descend via Cairn-Age for 9.1 miles
with around 1050 feet of climbing.
For an expert-level ride, continue uphill from Kiln-It on Faulty then
take One-in-a-Pinion and Spinal Tap to the bottom (see
upper Pahvant trail page
Drone view as Bruce crosses from Kiln-It over to Cairn-Age, with Richfield in the background.
Note the trail between cliff and tank. That's a shortcut to the top of Tank Run.
Tank Run is a traversing trail that gently climbs 150 feet over 1.5 miles. Its primary purpose
is as a return trail from Telegraph, or an access trail to Big Red or Kiln-It when starting
from the main trailhead at FR096. The lower end of Tank Run is on FR096 at mile 0.6 from the
300 North trailhead.
As you climb FR 096, you'll note a trail skirting the water tank on the uphill side. That's
not actually Tank Run, but it will take you there. The official entry to Tank Run is around
the next bend in the road. It's well-marked. It's oriented to receive traffic coming down FR
096 from the bottom of Telegraph, which is just uphill.
Official start of Tank Run, looking east toward the valley.
Climbing up and around the hill. Tank Run is fairly smooth, and climbing grades are usually gentle. If you're looking at something steep, it's not the right trail -- it's a DH trail connecting in.
Tank Run climbs around the hillside, with frequent views over the valley. You'll pass a couple
of descending trails that join (unmarked as of June 2021). Just stay on the main trail. If
you don't see a trail sign, you're not there yet.
Tank Run is a two-way trail. The highly banked turns function well as climbing turns or as
a swooping roller-coaster downhill.
Looking in the downhill direction toward Richfield. It's a beautiful S-turn.
Big Red is on the left here, as seen coming from FR 096. There's a second entry to Big Red just past the tree for downhill riders. Keep right if you're headed for Kiln-It.
Tank Run has some gentle descents as it gains 100 vertical feet over 0.9 miles to Big Red.
The trail fork is plainly marked, and will be on your uphill left.
If you continue beyond the entry to Big Red, you'll get into a white-clay zone with some rough
embedded rock, plus a bit more of the red dirt. The goal, for most riders, is to have an easier
climb up Kiln-It.
You'll reach Kiln-It at mile 1.5 from FR096. Tank Run splits to connect smoothly for both uphill
and downhill riders.
Heading toward Kiln-It.
Entry to Big Red, as seen when descending (going southbound) on Tank Run.
Big Red is a two-way trail that extends from Tank Run on the bottom end to upper Kiln-It. It's
solid intermediate as a climbing route and easier-intermediate as a descender. It's 2.4 miles
in length with 500 feet of elevation change.
As a climbing route, Big Red is reached via Tank Run. Climb from FR 096 (0.9 miles) or traverse
over from Kiln-It (0.6 miles). As a descender, you'll find Big Red around a mile down Kiln-It.
Big Red winds back and forth, with frequent views of both the valley and the mountains.
Typical trail on Big Red, smooth banked turns, and a bit of rock to navigate between turns.
Big Red is a somewhat harder climb than Kiln-It, both in terms of grade and tech. It's more
of the fun stuff you came here for!
As you climb, the short DH trail Dos Equis crosses Big Red at mile 0.6 from the bottom. The
entry to Dos Equis is at 0.7 -- otherwise there are no trail forks until you join Kiln-It.
When combined with the first portion of Tank Run, Big Red is often used as a climbing route
uphill from the Spinal Tap trail (see
upper Pahvant page
Fun spot on Big Red. Three bridges span boulders.
Winding through a boulder field.
If you choose to descend Big Red, you'll find it at mile 1.1 from the top of Kiln-It. If you're
doing a loop ride up Kiln-It and down Big Red, you'll reach the top of Big Red at mile 3.0
The top of Big Red is at 6800 feet elevation, where it joins Kiln-It at a hairpin turn.
Big Red joins Kiln-It.
Heading downhill into the trail fork between Kiln-It and Hi Line shortly after leaving FR096.
Down from the top of Kiln-It...
To shuttle the ride, leave one car at the bottom. Now go back under the freeway and drive into
Richfield on Main Street. Turn right on 300 North. Pass the ATV parking lot and go under I-70.
Now stay on the broad gravel/dirt road for 2.2 miles. Watch for the small trail sign on your
right. Find a spot for your car and begin pedaling north on Kiln-It. You will begin your ride
on Kiln-It, but you can hit Hi Line (with its connection to Telegraph), Cairn-Age (with option
of Snake Bite), Big Red, or Tank Run on your way down.
Hi Line Trail
When heading downhill from FR096, your first trail option is at mile 0.3. Left on singletrack
is Kiln-It. Right continues ATV track for 100 feet, then you'll drop to the right on singletrack
Hi Line. This trail can be short techy alternate when descending Kiln-It, or it's your route
over to the Telegraph DH trail.
Hi Line has two expert-level rock drops in the middle of easier cruising. The first drop is
a bit more dangerous, and intermediates may want to walk this one. Hi Line rejoins Kiln-It
after 0.3 miles.
Looking down a rock drop on Hi Line, with an initial 3-foot vertical down to the bumpy ramp.
View north from the upper Kiln-It about 1/2 mile from FR096 after Hi Line rejoins.
Just over 0.1 mile down Hi Line, the Telegraph trail forks away on the right. This is an expert-level
downhill-only trail. See the description below.
If you elect to take Kiln-It all the way to the bottom, it will be 4.1 miles. This is a popular
shuttle option for early-intermediates and experienced beginners.
At mile 0.9 from the top of Kiln-It, Cairn-Age forks away on your left. Cairn-Age has some
expert sections that can be managed by confident upper-intermediates. It's 1.9 miles down Cairn-Age
before it rejoins Kiln-It.
A paver-stone highway on the ridgeline heading away from Kiln-It.
Heading into a fun and scenic ridgeline section of Cairn-Age.
The first half mile of Cairn-Age is the most technical. Skilled intermediate riders can manage
this upper portion of the trail with a few walk-overs. This downhill is a lot of fun.
After the Snake Bite fork, Cairn-Age is a bit more tame. But watch out. Between the swooping
turns are many rock-drops. Most of them have ride-arounds. Some drops you'll simply have to
hit. Intermediates, keep up enough speed that you don't drop your nose over a rock and endo!
Cairn-Age ends on Kiln-It. The trail fork aims you downhill, but you can whip the bike around
for another trip up the mountain on Kiln-It. Or you can coast 0.6 miles down Kiln-It to the
Hitting the banked turn just before Cairn-Age ends on Kiln-It.
Handlebar view looking down Snake Bite. Lots of ledges and roll-overs.
Snake Bite is a detour off Cairn-Age, 0.7 miles downhill from the top. Like Cairn-Age, Snake
Bite is one-way downhill. It starts as a long straight rock-fest. Keep your butt off the seat
and work the bike intelligently, or you will -- surprise! -- flatten your tire with a snakebite.
After getting through the top rock 'n bang 'n jump section of Snake Bite, the trail settles
into a blazing fast downhill dirt ribbon. Snake Bite rejoins Cairn-Age after 0.8 miles. Keep
straight and continue downhill on Cairn-Age. Your first chance to turn around and head back
uphill will come at the end of Cairn-Age.
Drone shot as Bruce flies down lower Snake Bite.
Entry to Dos Equis as seen when descending Big Red. The trail was just finished when I rode, so it may look a bit different for you.
Dos Equis is a very short DH trail that drops from the lower part of Big Red to Tank Run. It's
0.6 miles long with only 100 vertical feet of elevation drop.
Dos Equis is rated expert because of multiple drops and steep spots. There's a bvit of ridgeline
cruising in between.
Heading along the first ridgeline before dropping down toward the Big Red crossing.
Looking uphill from Big Red at the rock drop. Watch for riders here! Not a lot of room to apply brakes if you weren't paying attention!
When descending Big Red, Dos Equis forks away from Big Red at mile 1.6 after leaving Kiln-It.
Dos Equis crosses Big Red again in just 0.1 miles. Watch out for riders here, because the crossing
comes just 30 feet after you take a rock drop.
Dos Equis ends as it drops onto Tank Run, with a trail split that puts you into the correct
direction as you approach Tank Run.
Note that there's a short downhill trail lower down on Big Red. This trail also crosses Tank
Run but then joins it from below. It's only 1/10th mile long and I mention it only because
you might confuse this (unmarked as of June 2021) trail with Dos Equis.
Fresh tire tracks on brand new trail as we roll eastbound toward the final plunge.
Entry to Telegraph from Hi Line.
Telegraph is a one-way downhill trail, 2.1 miles long with an elevation loss of 850 feet. It
begins in the middle of Hi Line just off the top of Kiln-It and ends on FR096 just 0.2 miles
west of the freeway. This trail is advanced in tech requirement.
To descend Telegraph, get onto upper Kiln-It and turn onto Hi Line. Then 0.1 miles later fork
right. At first, it will be simple cruising through the junipers with a gradual climb.
Crossing the ridge. There's a bit of dusty sand here that can bog you down as you climb across. Aim for the rock slabs.
Just getting started, and here are the first two drops.
After crossing a ridge, Telegraph begins descending. It motors right along. There are ledge
drops that come fast and furiously.
Most, but not all of the drops will have ride-arounds. Some you just have to ride over -- or
look both ways to be sure no one sees you, then sneak down to the bottom.
Timid riders may want to do a scouting run first. But there's only one drop (lower down) where blindly dropping could easily get you hurt. There's an off-camber weird 2nd ledge below the drop that can send you off the trail.
It's not all techy. There are long stretches where you can just let the bike fly and enjoy riding.
There will be frequent views of the Richfield Valley whenever the trail breaks out into the
A couple of fun spots. Here there are two lines. but each one has two two-foot drops. The right line gives you more time.
This rock face is probably the biggest tech feature on Telegraph, but it's not the trickiest. Just aim the bike straight down and go.
As you approach the bottom of Telegraph, the trail splits. If you hook to the left, you'll
descend to FR096 above the water tank, where a short run down the gravel road delivers you
right to Tank Run, if you're on your way to Big Red or Kiln-It for another go.
At the trail fork near the bottom. A hard left turn takes you to the road just above the entry to Tank Run.
This is the final drop to the road if you go straight down. As you can see, most riders have voted to drop off the fin and go around.
If you continue straight down the ridgeline, you'll hit FR096 near the freeway. The main trailhead
is downhill right. If you wanted more riding, you'll need to turn left uphill and crank back
Pahvant (northern access) parking: At the north Richfield exit from I-70, turn north (toward the mountains).
As the pavement ends, turn left onto a gravel road, then left again into the
Pahvant parking area. Start the ride either on the small gravel road heading southwest
parallel to the freeway, or on the singletrack near the trail sign (the
two routes will rejoin after 0.3 miles). After 1/2 mile, follow the trail sign by turning
right on a smaller gravel ATV track. (Note there's room for a couple of
cars here where the doubletrack splits.) Veer left onto singletrack after
0.1 mile to head for Kiln-It, or continue uphill on the doubletrack for
the Cottonwood Kids Loop
300 North (FR 096) parking: From Richfield's Main Street, turn west on 300
North. As you approach the freeway, turn left into the ATV parking lot.
Pedal under I-70 to head uphill on FR096 to reach the top of Kiln-It.
Shuttle: Top of Kiln-It: Drive uphill on FR 096 2.2 miles and
find DT on your right with a carsonite trail marker. Top of Faulty:
continue to mile 4.1 of FR096 and find marked ATV track on the right, with
singletrack across the road on the left.
Bathrooms and water: none at trailheads (businesses nearby)