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Ricochet Trail
(with Double Down and Insurgent)

The Ricochet Trail is a one-way (downhill-only) trail in The Canyons Resort area. It begins on Holly's Trail 0.3 miles from the top and extends 2.6 miles down to the gondola at the resort base. Hikers and dogs are prohibited. The drop is 1300 vertical feet. Double Down and Insurgent are more-technical alternatives to the upper mile of Ricochet. They rejoin Holly's and Ricochet to offer continued descent versus a climb on Holly's back to the top.

Heading into a high-speed steep turn on upper Ricochet. Photos and ride description July 1, 2016 by Bruce.

To get there, most riders plunk down some cash to ride The Canyons' lifts. So you'll encounter plenty of overdressed youngsters with full-face helmets flying hell-bent downhill.

You can pedal to the top via Holly's Trail, starting directly from the bottom of Ricochet. Or you can take Rosebud's Heaven to Ambush and circle around via Mid Mountain to the top of Holly's. Or Rosebud's to Robs to Mid Mountain. Lots of good climbing for us workout junkies.

Earning my vertical. Little Rocky rests against the trail sign where Holly's Trail leaves the lower ski slopes.

Ricochet starts on Holly's Trail, 0.3 miles down from the ridge doubletrack. This ridgeline gravel road is where the gravity riders will be dropping in. (You'll cross that doubletrack when riding the Mid Mountain trail. From Mid Mountain, it's east about 100 yards on the gravel road on the ridgeline.)

Looking downhill, as you'd see the trail fork when descending Holly's from the ridgeline. Left to right are Double Down, Insurgent, Ricochet, then Holly's.

From Holly's Trail, you'll see FOUR options, all branching away at once. These routes get easier as you go left to right. Leftmost is Double Down, a double black diamond. Next, Insurgent, black diamond. Then Ricochet, intermediate (blue). Rightmost is Holly's, a blue-green (early intermediate or advanced beginner).

First bit of Ricochet.

Ricochet begins with a narrow boardwalk then a little drop and hairpin. That's to scare the newbies away, who would simply be getting in everyone's way.

There are some nice views to the east, if you ever slow down enough to look.

Turns are bermed for fast riding. If you're on a XC bike, there's no need to drop your seat post. Everything is smooth, fast and flowy. You can rail on downhill without rock drops or root entanglements. And it's one-way, so no worries about a climber around that blind turn.

Typical high-berm hairpin turn.

If you're riding with a group that wants to stop and chat, pick your spot carefully. And get everybody, and all the bikes, well off the trail. Same goes for photos. Stay out of the trail, because riders are going to be coming fast.

Dropping down a series of S-turns toward a ski slope.

The top section of Ricochet is 0.9 miles, with 500 vertical feet of elevation loss. As you descend, you'll see bits of Holly's over to the right, and of Double Down to your left. Do NOT shortcut between trails! Ricochet drops onto Holly's shortly after crossing the creek. Insurgent and Double Down will have already joined a bit uphill.

A stretch of flatter trail, with meandering turns and a bit of up-and-down.

Ricochet will briefly rejoin Holly's before re-crossing the creek. At this spot, you have the option of taking Holly's uphill for another track. From the Holly's-Ricochet junction, it's 1.2 miles and 550 vertical back to the 5-way at the top of Ricochet.

When you hit the bridges and cross the creek, you're ready to rejoin Holly's -- for just a few feet if you're heading further downhill. Note full-face helmet, knee and elbow protection. That's what most of your fellow Ricochet riders will look like.

Ricochet continues downhill from here as a one-way trail. The ride is 90% deep forest, so the downhill is pleasantly cool even at mid day. Only occasionally will you need to give a little pedal-assist as the slope reverses.

Just past the creek crossing, Ricochet reminds you that this is NOT a route for hikers or for riding with pets.

The downhill route runs parallel to, and uphill from, Holly's Trail. (When you hit a doubletrack, you can -- if desired -- go downhill a tad to find Holly's Trail.) While most of the trail is smooth undulating dirt ribbon, there is the occasional root-squeeze and rock outcrop.

A gravity rider hits the high line on a fast turn.

There will also be stutter bumps as high-speed riders brake into a turn. These are usually found on dry hillsides where the trail turns to the right around blind corners. Most of these were marked with caution signs at the time of my ride (July 2016).

Flatter trail, where I remember that my bike has pedals.

When Ricochet breaks out of forest onto the lower ski slope, you'll have a few speed turns in the grass for the final descent. The trail will deliver you to the paved walkway, where a right turn takes you to the gondola.

Heading into the hairpins on the ski slope at the bottom.

Alternate lines on the upper trail
I'll mention three alternates: Double Down, Insurgent, and Redcoat.

Double Down is the most technical. Although left-most at the top, it crosses over Insurgent to take a path just to the north of Ricochet.

Double down is twistier than Ricochet, and is often significantly steep for short sections. This trail drops the same 500 vertical in only 0.6 miles (compared to 0.9 for Ricochet). There were a couple of root-infested plunges that made me glad I had my dropper seat-post.

Double Down has a bit of man-made structure. Couldn't cross the ski slope without a challenge.

Double Down has a lot of man-made structure. They're not ride-well-or-die deathtraps -- at least, I didn't think so. But they require expert-level skills and a bit of courage.

And every single one had a ride-around.

Approaching a drop. Note that it's "merely steep" and does not require "going vertical and taking air."

The twisty-rolling nature of Ricochet is exaggerated dramatically on Double Down. These humps can send you airborne into a tree if you get out of control. But if you ride sensibly, even modestly-skilled riders can get survive to rejoin Holly's.

Roller coaster through fir forest on Double Down.

Insurgent is mid-way between Ricochet and Double Down -- both at the top where you enter the trail, and in terms of riding technicality. It's 0.8 miles long. It traverses a bit north at first, allowing Double Down to cross over. Then when Redcoat joins in 0.2 miles, it begins a winding downhill.

It joins Holly's just west of the lodge. To reach Ricochet downhill (or Holly's uphill to climb back), continue southeast downhill to the creek.

Swooping banked turn.

Redcoat offers an alternate that begins on Mid Mountain, one mile north of the ridgeline doubletrack where Holly's begins/ends. There will be a bit of climbing (just over 150 vertical feet) to get there from Holly's top.

Redcoat drops 300 vertical feet over 0.8 miles, then joins Insurgent. Now you continue downhill another 0.5 miles before hitting Holly's.

Rolling downhill through aspen and fir.

From the bottom of any of these alternate routes, keep to the right as you join Holly's. Continue downhill until you hit the creek. Just after crossing, veer left to enter the downhill section of Ricochet. Or go straight and uphill to climb Holly's for another go.

Absolutely tame wooden ramp over a little ravine -- with a wood-o-phobic alternate line. There are bypasses to everything.

Riding notes, quick loop via Holly's:
0.0   North from gondola, down and left
        N40 41.182 W111 33.413
0.2   L uphill on Holly's         N40 41.222 W111 33.579
0.9   Cross DT to ST N40 41.183 W111 33.902
1.6   Cross DT to ST N40 41.280 W111 34.541
1.7   Keep L (R = to Rosebud's Heaven)
        N40 41.327 W111 34.498
2.0   Hard L uphill (R = Ambush)
        N40 41.481 W111 34.574
2.5   Join DT uphill N40 41.259 W111 34.822
        Rapid L toward lodge
        Climb uphill of lodge N40 41.226 W111 34.762
        Straight and downhill
        (Insurgent, DDown, Ricochet join on R)
2.6   Cross creek, keep L (R = Ricochet DH)
        N40 41.203 W111 34.693
3.8   DH-trails entry: take Ricochet
        N40 41.022 W111 34.989
4.9   Veer R onto Holly's
        Cross creek, then L to Ricochet
        N40 41.201 W111 34.688
5.8   Canyons DH joins on R
        N40 41.182 W111 33.702
6.4   Navigate around lifts and DTs
6.5   Back at pavement

Getting there:
Exit I-80 on 224 southbound toward Park City. Pass Bear Hollow drive, then turn R into The Canyons at mile 2.8 from the freeway. Follow the main resort drive uphill. Go straight at the roundabout. As the road splits in front of the big hotel, veer left (south). Now turn R uphill just past the big buildings. Look for a gravel parking area on your right, just before the road turns north again. Park here. Exit the far end of the parking lot to a paved path that goes north between commercial buildings. Keep going until you pass the gondola. Ignore the smaller trails crossing the lawn (those are downhill routes). Drop slightly to the left onto a broad path in the canyon bottom and begin going uphill to reach Holly's and Rosebud's Heaven.
Riding resources:
Printable on-trail guide for loop above 
GPS Track File  (Right-click and "Save as...")
     Ricochet Track only 
     Track Holly's-Ricochet Loop
     Park City area multi-track file (>180 trails)
Topo map of area for printing:      View map  
Lodging, camping, shops:     Links to Park City area resources

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