Heading into a high-speed steep turn on upper Ricochet. Photos and ride description July 1, 2016 by Bruce.
The Ricochet Trail is a one-way (downhill-only) trail in The Canyons
Resort area. It begins on
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.
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
to the top of Holly's.
Or Rosebud's to
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.
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.
Ricochet starts on
, 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
trail. From Mid Mountain, it's east about 100 yards on the gravel road on the ridgeline.)
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.
There are some nice views to the east, if you ever slow down enough to look.
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.
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.
Dropping down a series of S-turns toward a ski slope.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
A gravity rider hits the high line on a fast turn.
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.
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.
Heading into the hairpins on the ski slope at the bottom.
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.
Alternate lines on the upper trail
Double Down has a bit of man-made structure. Couldn't cross the ski slope without a challenge.
I'll mention three alternates:.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 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."
Roller coaster through fir forest on Double Down.
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.
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.
Rolling downhill through aspen and fir.
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.
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
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.