Corvair, Moosebones, and Boulder Trails
(Ruby Lift Loop ride near Empire Pass)
This is a 5.3-mile
loop in Empire Canyon, starting just a little uphill from the Ruby Lift at
Canyon Lodge. The loop starts at 8300 feet elevation on the road to
Guardsman Pass and climbs to 9000 feet at the top of the Ruby Lift. You
can reach the loop from other Park City and Deer Valley trails for a
This loop originated with the opening of the new Corvair
and Boulder trails in
September 2011. Most of the riding is in forest, with occasional breakouts
with views over Park City. At the top, there are views south over the
Heber Valley as well.
View west from
the trail, as Bruce's bike leans against an aspen. Photos and trail
description based on a ride September 19, 2011.
If you're driving directly to the loop, go up highway 224
from Park City (the road to Guardsman Pass). Just after the roundabout at
the Empire Canyon Lodge, there will be a hairpin turn to the right. Just
uphill, on the left, is parking.
Drop back down 100 feet from parking and turn left (west) on the
Midmountain Trail as it crosses the road. You're heading back toward the
Here's your trail. Looking west as the
Midmountain Trail drops toward Empire from the Guardsman Road.
Keep straight immediately after the road, as Drift joins on
the left. Stay straight again at 0.3 as Payroll joins from left uphill.
You'll cross ski slope and a doubletrack heading for
the lodge. After 0.4 miles from parking, fork uphill to the left on the Corvair trail.
Typical trail surface. Already
well-packed and surprisingly smooth, having just opened for riding two
days before. Rain plus bike tires does wonders for a trail.
The Corvair trail will climb through forest of fir and aspen on the north-facing slope
of Empire Canyon. The trail surface is smooth and the climbing is at a reasonable
grade. At around mile 0.9, the trail turns from southwest to southeast and
begins climbing away from the canyon bottom towards a meeting with the TG
Looking uphill to the west at the
hills above Empire Canyon.
At mile 1.1, the trail comes into an intersection with TG
from below. Keep left and downhill for the new trail. You'll rejoin TG
later, so if you want, you can cross over to TG. TG is more technical,
with additional up-and-down riding when compared with the newer Corvair trail cut.
The trail alternates between dark fir
forest, brushy glens, and mixed aspen and fir. Very pretty.
The trailcut on Corvair seems to be a "no-climbing" route
so that bikers from the top of the Ruby Lift can cruise down to the Empire
Canyon Lodge. So keep an eye open for armored speedsters coming the
Keep right and uphill where the (currently unmarked) Payroll
trail forks left downhill at around mile 1.5.
Is this awesome or what?
The trail slowly climbs around the mountain and joins TG at
mile 1.6. Fork hard left as you meet TG. (Right will take you back
to the trail fork where you touched on TG.)
We've now joined TG heading south
uphill. TG undulates and weaves for a fun (but short) section.
After 1/3 mile (at mile 1.9), fork to the right to leave TG. (The end of TG is just 100 feet uphill at the road to
Guardsman.) This uphill trail had no markings when I rode it, but I understand
it's called Upper Corvair.
Here the trail reverses direction almost 180 degrees. Climb through a
forest of small aspens and occasional fir for 1/3 mile.
Heading northwest climbing away from
TG on new trail. This section didn't see quite as many tires during its
At mile 2.2, fork left uphill. (The right fork drops down to TG north
of where you joined it.) The trail gets more narrow and technical for a
short distance after turning back southeast.
Climbing away from the new track
As you leave the aspens, the trail hugs the side of a grassy
slope, heading toward the ridgeline.
As the narrow singletrack hits doubletrack, fork right uphill toward
the big rocks. Stop and check out the views in all directions.
We're aiming for the spot where the
green streak hits the skyline.
Now head left (slightly downhill) on doubletrack. Keep
straight through the parking area, cross the Guardsman road, and keep
heading the same direction into doubletrack. Aim to the right of the hill
where you see the ski lift.
View from the top of the singletrack
toward the parking area along the Guardsman Road. Negotiate the parking to
get on doubletrack heading east-southeast.
At mile 3.2, fork left. Aim for the ski lift to the north.
The doubletrack will skirt the east side of the hill and climb toward the
View to the northeast. New housing and
lodges line the slopes along the new Guardsman Road.
Pass east (right) of the lift. Stay generally straight and
find the downhill Boulder singletrack northeast of the lift.
Plunge downhill. After about 1/4 mile, keep right as a connector to
Moose Bones forks away (mile 3.6).
Looking east from the Ruby Lift. The
singletrack is just past the left edge of the photo.
At mile 3.8, stay straight as you cross Moose Bones to take
the Boulder Trail downhill.
At mile 4.1, cross the doubletrack (the connector between Tour des Suds
and Moose Bones or Team Big Bear) and continue downhill.
Heading downhill on the new trail from
the Ruby Lift. I'd strongly suggest that this route is downhill-only. If
you want to live.
The trail will zigzag down the hill, crossing ski slopes and
turning hard in aspen or fir forest. The turns are tight but are bermed
for high speed. There are a few jump opportunities.
At mile 5.3, keep straight as you hit the Midmountain Trail. The trail
on your left going uphill is the Tour des Suds. Ride about 1/10 mile back
to the road and turn uphill to your car.
Typical bermed turn designed for
A climb up Corvair is
shown on this video of 9K, Black Forest, and Midmountain...
If the above video does not appear on your
browser/device, you can watch it on YouTube by clicking
Riding guide, counterclockwise loop:
0.0 Coast down from parking, L on ST
Midmountain Trail N40 36.982 W111 30.445
Stay straight (Drift on L)
0.3 Stay straight (Payroll on L)
N40 36.822 W111 30.493
0.4 L uphill on ST (Corvair Trail)
N40 36.822 W111 30.599
1.1 Keep L and downhill N40 36.641 W111 30.880
1.5 Keep R (L = Payroll)
N40 36.582 W111 30.635
1.6 L on TG Trail N40 36.584 W111 30.650
1.9 L (uphill R = TG to road) N40 36.436 W111 30.488
2.2 L uphill (R = to TG) N40 36.623 W111 30.738
2.5 L uphill on DT N40 36.419 W111 30.628
Then L on DT N40 36.402 W111 30.654
2.7 Cross Guardsman Road to DT
N40 36.382 W111 30.475
3.2 L on DT toward lift N40 36.549 W111 30.081
3.3 To R of lift, find ST NE of lift
N40 36.627 W111 30.148
3.6 Keep R (L = to Moose Bones)
N40 36.709 W111 30.214
3.8 Cross Moose Bones, keep downhill
N40 36.773 W111 30.093
4.1 Cross DT road N40 36.838 W111 30.234
5.3 Keep straight to Midmountain westbound
N40 37.016 W111 30.403
(L = Tour des Suds, hard R =
5.4 Uphill on pavement to car
As you enter Park City, follow the signs for Deer Valley and Guardsman
Road. Get on Bonanza Drive heading south uphill. At the roundabout, turn
toward Empire Canyon (SR 224). Stay on that road for about 3.5 miles. Go
through the roundabout in front of Empire Canyon Lodge and head uphill on
224. Just after the turn to the right, park on the left side of the road.
The Midmountain Trail is back downhill just above the turn. Head left