Provo River Parkway
The Provo River Parkway is an easy-going paved bike and roller blade
trail. It stretches 15 miles from Utah Lake State Park to Vivian Park in Provo Canyon. The trail
follows the Provo River, seeing heavy use by BYU students and other young
Except for a couple of short spots, the slope of the trail is barely perceptible.
The trail is open year-round. However the upper portions may not be
snow-free during winter months.
Jessica cruises up the canyon on her 5-speed. Looking west towards the mouth of Provo
Canyon, the cliffs on the skyline are conglomerate from the early days of
Lake Bonneville. This giant lake covered the Wasatch front from 1 million
to 12,000 years ago. Photos from a family cruise on June 13, 1999.
In the morning, the trail is delightfully cool. Even during the heat of
the day, much of the trail is shaded and breezy. The ride is easy for small children, but
good bike control is a must -- kids have to stay in the right lane to avoid teenagers
cruising the trail at high speeds. This is a great place for young moms pushing strollers
with their roller blades.
Bruce the Mad Scientist, in full battle gear,
rollerblades the trail, accompanied by faithful dog Jackie. (Photo by
|| The trail can be picked up at many locations, as it extends
15.2 miles from Utah Lake to Vivian Park. It's an easy 30-mile
out-and-back for conditioned riders, but kids will want a shorter piece.
favorite ride is to catch the trail at the parking area at the mouth of Provo Canyon on
Orem's 800 North Street. A ride from the canyon mouth parking up to
Bridal Veil Falls and back is 8 miles.
Bruce's kids Jessica (7), Alex (8), and Kristen (10) check out the
river from Nunn's Park.
|The trail has connections to dirt trails in Provo Canyon.
None of these trails are suitable for younger kids.
For example on the uphill ride 200 feet after passing the bridge that
crosses the Provo River to Canyon Glen, the Great Western Trail (GWT) is
on your left. It's just before the parkway curves around a rock outcrop.
This trail is also the North Provo Canyon section
of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST).
It rises through an area called the Dragon's Back before hitting the Orem
Bench Road, which goes west to connect other dirt trails both uphill and
Jessica wanted white tires on her pink bike.
As the trail passes through Canyon View Park, you can head uphill to
the Provo Canyon Race Loop.
You can also connect to the South
Provo Canyon Bonneville Shoreline
Trail from the parkway. After passing through Nunn's Park and crossing the Provo River, you'll
enter a parking area on the south side of the highway, then continue
uphill on the paved bike path. 1/10th mile later, the singletrack forks uphill on your right. It connects to other trails in the
Peak area at the canyon mouth.
Alex and Jackie check out a pool along the paved
Navigation is simple. Just pedal along the pavement and follow the
signs. At Nunn's Park, you can stop for a shady mountain picnic.
Trees along the parkway include box elder, maple, oak, willow, and
Famous Bridal Veil Falls towers above the Provo River starting at mile
3.8 from the canyon mouth. At the base of the falls, there's a shallow cold swimming hole for hot tired kiddie
The cliffs are limestone from the Oquirrh Formation, formed in an
ocean basin in the Pennsylvanian Period, 320 million years ago, when the
only land animals were insects. The land's edge was in Colorado at that
Provo CanyonTrailhead: On Orem's 800 North, descend slightly off the bench,
keeping left. Turn left to Canyon Hills Drive (by the gas station) and
immediately go right to the parking lot. The trail entry is on the
downhill end of parking.
Canyon View Park: Driving up-canyon, this parking area is on your left
a little over a mile uphill. There are bridges across the river to the parkway on
each end of the park. Find the paved pathway at the far end of the parking
zone and follow it west (down-canyon) then across the river.
Alex is enjoying his trip. (Dad has the picnic in his Camelbak as he
Canyon Glen: On your left 2.6 miles up Provo Canyon. After
finding your parking spot, go back to the end of the parking lot where you
entered, then turn right and go directly north toward the river and find the bridge across to
Nunn's Park, lower Bridal Veil parking: Exit to the right from 189
at mile 3.2 . There are two large parking lots.
The more distant one on the right connects to the trail.. As the road turns left under 189 toward Nunn's Park, turn right
into the parking lot.
Vivian Park: Turn right at mile 5.8. There are two large parking lots.
The more distant one on the right connects to the trail.
A map held over from our pre-GPS era. See the topo map link below for a map
of the entire trail!
Original page 1999. Copyright Mad Scientist Software Inc.