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Spanish Fork River Trail

The paved Spanish Fork River trail runs 7 miles from the mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon, ending in a loop in southern Spanish Fork. It's relatively flat, with only 200 feet of elevation change along its length. The trail is popular with families and is easily managed with bike trailer or training wheels. The trail is divided into a 5-mile eastern section and 2-mile western side where it passes under Spanish Fork's Main Street.

Typical view along the trail. Review and photos by Bruce on April 30, 2020.

The mile markers along the trail refer to distance from Main Street. All road crossings offer an underpass as well as a crosswalk (the underpass beneath Main Street is twisty and a bit steep, so very young kids will want to walk this).

On the eastern end, the trail begins at "mile 5" at the River Bottoms Road. There's a bit of primitive space for parallel parking here, but the official trailhead is 1/10th mile away. 

Mile Marker 5 between the canyon mouth parking lot and River Bottoms Road.

As you turn off Highway 6 onto Powerhouse Road, turn right on River Bottoms Road, then immediately left into the parking area. Start the ride heading south.

As you leave the trailhead, the trail crosses the river on a narrow sidewalk and enters the parking lot for the Spanish Oaks golf course. The tunnel to your left goes to the Dripping Rock trailhead.  Keep straight until you see a chance to veer left and exit the golf course parking lot onto paved trail right alongside Powerhouse Road. 

The narrow squeeze between the official parking lot and the golf course chaos parking lot. Looking north.

After 1/10th mile riding the edge of Powerhouse Road, the trail veers to the right along the road into Canyon View Park and descends slightly. (You'll note some parking spots along the lake and wonder why you bothered going to the official trailhead.).

Looking south toward the pond at Canyon View Park.

I recommend that families use the main parking area at the end of the Canyon View Park road. The park is easy to find. You'll avoid the confusion of a hard-to-find official trailhead and the mess of the Spanish Oaks golf course parking lot. You'll lose about 2/3 mile of trail in exchange for a more pleasant ride.

Main parking area in Canyon View Park, with the trail veering to the right to cross the river.

As you would expect, the trail follows the Spanish Fork River. There's plenty of shade from mature willow and box elder trees. For most of the eastern trail, there's farmland outside the corridor of trees, so it's a pretty peaceful ride.

The trail will cross the river a couple of times on wide easy bridges.

The river runs high and muddy in mid-Spring.

Paved connector trails join at (east to west) 1100 East, the Sports Complex (located just west of Main Street with 3 connectors northbound and one crossing the river southbound), and at the loop on the western end of the trail. While I show these connectors on my map (see below), you probably won't find them of interest unless you live in Spanish Fork.

Skirting farmland westbound.

Just after you duck under Main Street (westbound, at mile 5 from the canyon), you'll pass Spanish Fork's huge sports complex. Many riders use the parking lots here as their access to the trail. The Recreation Complex is reached via Volunteer Drive off Main Street.

Typical shady riding.

As you leave the recreation area, the Spanish Fork River Trail enters an area where homes are close to the river and trail. But the tall trees keep you from feeling that you're in the middle of a city.

The trail ends in a large loop at the western end at 2 miles past Main Street. This loop encloses frisbee golf and some volunteer trails. Just as you enter the loop, there's a connection to a tiny cul-de-sac trailhead and a longer connector trail heading north between homes. Hook around the loop and head back to complete your 14-mile cruise.

Bridges are generous in width.

Bottom Line:
Nice ride for families and kids. Lots of miles without much effort.

Note: The Sliding Rock trail (see Spanish Oaks page) can be an add-on to the River Trail. But I don't recommend it for little kids. It's nice for about 0.6 miles, then it gets steep as it climbs uphill. You'll also have to deal with vicious early-morning canyon winds. Bridges are too narrow to safely pass another rider.

View from a bridge near Main Street.

Getting there:
Spanish Fork River Canyon Mouth trailhead:  Take the I-15 exit for eastbound Highway 6. Continue 4.3 miles until you're about to enter the canyon. (If you reach the Highway 89 intersection, you went a bit too far.) Turn right onto Powerhouse Road. In 0.1 mile, turn right on River Bottoms Road, then left in 150 feet and descend to the parking area.
Dripping Rock trailhead:  On Powerhouse Road as above, drive 0.3 miles from US 6. Note the Spanish Oaks golf parking on your right. Turn LEFT into the trailhead parking area. Heading up-canyon is the Dripping Rock paved trail. To reach the river trail, descend to the tunnel. As you exit the tunnel, turn 90 degrees left and find your way out of the parking lot and onto the Spanish Fork River Trail heading southbound right along Powerhouse Road.
1100 East: Take River Bottoms Road from Powerhouse Road and drive 2  miles west. Turn left on 1100 East. As you approach the trail crossing at mile 0.6, find a spot to parallel park on the right side of the road.
Spanish Fork Recreation Complex:  From I-15, take the option for Main Street southbound. At 1.9 miles from I-15, turn right onto Volunteer Drive. After 1/10th mile, you'll see the first of several entries into parking at the sports complex to your left. From any parking area, find a paved trail heading south, and you'll quickly connect to the river trail.
Bathrooms:  Spanish Fork Recreation Complex
    Port-a-potty at 1100 East
Water:  Recreation Complex
GPS track:  Download

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