The Twist Trail lies in a badlands area at the base of the mountains
east of Richfield. The area is shared with motorcycles and ATVs. The loop
ride described here is 6 miles with 500 vertical feet of climbing,
starting at the race loop parking. The
usual riding season is April through November.
Looking down the Twist. Photos and ride recon June 1 and 2, 2018 by Bruce.
|Side routes may create some confusion, so unless you're
navigating with GPS, the ride must be considered a navigation adventure. You
may not make exactly the ride you intended. There are several competing
routes that look very much like Twist. Most of them will, however, deliver
you to the same place eventually.
Looking uphill, about 1/2 mile down the Twist. Smooth
First, get to the top. From the Race Loop parking (see
below), go northeast to the powerline doubletrack. Turn left and climb
gently uphill. It will roll through a badland area, then meet the main
dirt road at mile 1.3 from the trailhead. Turn hard left onto the road. Go
about 100 yards south, then turn uphill 90 degrees to the right and stop
on a small rise. Look to see if you're in the right spot.
Northbound on the powerline doubletrack.
|The correct location will look like the photo at right.
Twist heads straight west as a broad smooth rolling doubletrack. About
1/10th mile away, you'll may spot singletrack on a fin of colorful dirt.
That's the Skyline trail, an alternate more-techy option.
View down the throat from the top of Twist. If you
don't see this, you're in the wrong place.
If, as you roll up onto the small rise, you see
singletrack immediately on your left -- and the doubletrack seems more
"road-ish" than ATV-ish, you're at North Canyon. See the photo
at right. That's what you DO NOT want to see. You need to backtrack about
1/4 mile. Unless your intention is to ride down North Canyon.
Looking south from the entry to North Canyon.
Different ride. North Canyon is a lot like Twist, but is not Twist. Also
has a singletrack ridgeline option. (The ridgeline ST splits and drops a
line to each canyon, but I haven't pedaled it. So I can't tell you whether
it's cushy or hairy.)
|OK. You found Twist. 100 yards later, it's decision time.
Fork left on mildly-spooky ridgeline singletrack for the Skyline ride
(which will rejoin Twist after 0.7 miles), or keep straight for a smooth
rolling twisting trip down the gully.
On Skyline heading southwest. Very fun. There were 3
uphills where I had to get off and push 20-30 feet.
Your next decision point comes in 0.7 miles (whichever
route you took). As Skyline drops to Twist, a left turn continues with
Twist. Straight down the throat of the wash takes you to North Canyon. You
can use the North Canyon dirt road to climb back out to the powerline road
if you need to abort.
100 yards later, Twist goes straight west; a techier
ridgeline alternate goes south on your left.
Looking west on Twist at a critical navigation spot.
At my back is the end of Skyline; to my right is the part of Twist I've
already done. Straight ahead is the way downhill for the loop ride.
|As you're approaching the bottom of the valley, the
ridgeline alternate and Twist rejoin. Then North Canyon comes in from the
right just when it looks like you've run out of hill and must ride
straight into the valley.
The combined Twist and North Canyon now turn south to skirt the edge of
Almost to the bottom. Still heading west.
There are some competing doubletracks here as well. But as
long as you're going south, they should rejoin. Some will take you up a
ridge and drop you back down the next little ridge. In general, try to
stay level and straight-ish.
Southbound, just uphill from the valley's edge.
|The dirt road will curve around gradually to the east. When
you're on the edge of a farm, you're almost there. Keep heading east and
skip the first canyon on your left. The doubletrack looks nice, but it
will get (briefly) push-a-bike steep. But if you committed to it, it will
get you there.
Beginning to turn to the east now. When you see this
rock-squeeze, you know you're on the right path.
The next canyon is a more sane climb. The trail is
occasionally doubletrack, sometimes singletrack. Climb north until you
reach flat terrain. Turn right when you hit doubletrack and pedal east to
the main gravel road. (Or, you can hook up with the race
loop for your return.)
The correct canyon (looking back downhill). Lots of
brush; a bit of protruding rock in the slope of the canyon walls; the wash
wiggles back and forth.
|Riding notes, counterclockwise loop:
0.0 Northwest from parking N38 46.824 W111 57.570
0.2 L on powerline road N38 46.956 W111 57.384
1.3 Hard L on main road N38 47.848 W111 57.505
100 yards south, then R N38 47.807 W111 57.532
1.4 R for Twist (ST on L = Skyline) N38 47.823 W111 57.618
2.1 Straight N38 47.584 W111 58.170
(Skyline joins on L, R = to N
2.2 Straight (R=ridgeline alt) N38 47.587 W111 58.228
|2.7 Keep R (ridgeline alt joins on L) N38 47.463 W111 58.587
3.0 North Canyon joins on R, keep straight N38 47.612 W111 58.714
3.1 Fork L (R = alternate) N38 47.535 W111 58.804
3.4 Alternate rejoins, keep L N38 47.256 W111 58.701
4.2 Keep R (L = alternate climb) N38 46.835 W111 58.448
4.5 Veer L and north into canyon N38 46.673 W111 58.239
5.2 R on DT N38 47.104 W111 58.001
5.5 R on main road N38 47.144 W111 57.608
5.9 Back at parking
On Main Street in Richfield, turn east on 300 North. This is Utah Highway
118, old US Highway 89. After 0.9 miles, Highway 118 turns north. Keep
straight to the single lane that becomes Highway 119. Continue straight
east and in about 4 miles the road will veer a bit right and climb up the
hill. At mile 6.4, begin watching for a gravel road on your left. It will
be just before the Glenwood Hills OHV sign. Turn left and drive 0.8 miles.
Turn right toward the fenced area and park outside the gate.
The Twist ride starts by pedaling northeast -- toward big power line
and the mountains -- and turning onto the northbound dirt road at the