||Spanish Oaks Trail System
The Spanish Oaks trails lie in the upper Spanish Oaks recreation area,
just south of the mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon. On this page I am
including the paved Dripping Rock Trail (an extension of the Spanish Fork
River trail that connects uphill to the reservoir area and the Hidden Oaks
trails of the Spanish Oaks system).
View through maple trees as we enter the Spanish Oaks
Loop from Hidden Oaks. Trail review and photos April 30 and May 14, 2020 by Bruce.
|The Spanish Oaks system, as of May 2020, consists of a
uphill-then-DH loop on the eastern and the western sides, with a small cross-country
loop in between. There are older hiking and horse trails through the area,
and these older trails are transected by the newer bike-specific trails.
These older trails won't be of interest to you as a rider, but you'll need
to watch for pedestrian traffic as you cross them.
Looking down toward the reservoir from Spanish Oaks.
||There are two ways to get to the trails. For a longer ride,
I recommend the
Dripping Rock trailhead on Powerhouse Road. The climb to the trail system
will be 1.2 miles on paved trail, then 0.3 miles on the gravel
continuation. When you reach the Hidden Oaks trail, you can connect to the
rest of the system.
The second access is at the Spanish Oaks reservoir. There's parking
where Spanish Oaks Drive ends at the reservoir, and on the southeast
corner of the reservoir off the campground road. These parking spots
provide a more direct access.
Dripping Rock trailhead. Underpass (to Spanish Fork
River trail) downhill center. The Dripping Rock trail is straight behind
Dripping Rock Trail (access from the north)
||The Dripping Rock trail is 1.5 miles long, with the first
1.2 miles paved. From the Dripping Rock trailhead on the east side of
Powerhouse Drive, it extends up the canyon along the Spanish Fork river
for 0.6 easy miles, then turns to climb south to gain elevation.
Pedaling uphill at the mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon.
|Find the trail on the east side of the parking area. There
are golf cart paths on the south side, so look for the obvious bike path
heading into the canyon. You'll have a gentle slope following the Spanish
Fork River for 0.6 miles.
Once the trail turns south to begin climbing, it will gain 350 vertical
feet over another 0.9 miles.
Entry to the trail. If it doesn't look like this, it
might be a golf path.
||The two bridges on the Dripping Rock trail are narrow,
particularly the suspension bridge. You will not be able to pass an
oncoming rider without stopping. There simply isn't enough handlebar
Note that in the morning, there's a brisk wind blowing down from the
canyon. It's likely that you'll find it chilly.
Suspension bridge. Not roomy.
|When the trail seems to end at a road by the first little
reservoir, turn left uphill on sidewalk for 100 feet and then left on
paved trail again. (The path across the road is not open for riding.)
At mile 1.2, the pavement ends. Continue on uphill, following the main
path. You'll go through a climbing turn shortly after the trail turns to
gravel. Then at mile 1.5 the main path turns right to climb to the
reservoir. Look to your left and spot the singletrack Hidden Oaks trail.
Hidden Oaks (climbing to the Spanish Oaks Loop,
Hidden Oaks DH and Campground Connector)
||The Hidden Oaks trail is bi-directional. This bench-cut runs
straight up the left-hand side of the small canyon, with a fairly taxing
rate of climb. It will gain 300 vertical feet in just over 0.5 miles.
The trail starts on upper Dripping Rock, just as Dripping Rock turns to
the right for a final climb to the reservoir.
Early in the climb on Hidden Oaks.
|After 100 yards, you'll reach a T intersection. To your
right is the exit from the Hidden Oaks DH trail -- a one-way downhill flow trail. Do NOT go there.
Fork left and begin the stiff climb. 1/2 mile later at the top, there will be four trail
options (listed in the order you'll encounter them):
- Right downhill on Hidden Oaks DH
- Right downhill on Campground connector aka Spanish Oaks Flow
- Lower Spanish Oaks Loop keep right
- Upper Spanish Oaks Loop keep left
Almost there as the pitch eases a little. The DH
trail is just around this corner.
Hidden Oaks DH downhill flow trail (aka
||Hidden Oaks DH is a 0.5-mile downhill flow trail with
substantial machined features. It drops 250 vertical feet. The riding is a
constant series of table-tops and highly banked turns. The features are
big and designed for aggressive riding.
Long tabletop coming up, followed by a steeply-banked
|While there are many "air" opportunities, the
downhill can be done by a good intermediate rider with wheels on the
ground. Beginning riders should absolutely not do this trail, as it
requires speed and a bit of experience to hold the riding line in many of
the highly-banked turns. And if you're riding slow, you might get smashed
Whipping around a turn on Hidden Oaks DH.
Campground Connector aka Spanish Oaks Flow
(Hidden Oaks to the Spanish Oaks campground)
||The "Spanish Oaks Flow" campground connector trail is a bi-directional trail
linking the top of the Spanish Oaks Campground to the top of Hidden Oaks and the eastern corner of the Spanish Oaks Loop. If you just came uphill on
Hidden Oaks, you'll find the trail on your right about 20 feet past the entry to
the Hidden Oaks DH.
If you're arriving from the Spanish Oaks loop (riding northeast) the two sides of the loop
rejoin about 40 feet before this trail forks left downhill.
Lots of connected tight turns on upper Spanish Oaks
|The Spanish Oaks Flow Trail is 0.2 miles long with 100 feet
of elevation loss as it heads from the Loop down to the campground.
More maple forest. Not much oak up here.
||The Spanish Oaks loop is a short (0.8 mile) cross-country
type loop. It's shaped like a long triangle, with the narrow apex at the
top of Hidden Oaks. At the western side, the top corner has a connecting
trail over to Lookout Point (and the newer trails being built there) and
the lower corner has a connector over to Rusty Knoll (and a connector to
the under-construction climbing trail there).
Westbound on the upper side of the loop.
|The loop is bi-directional. From the trail fork where Hidden
Oaks ends at the loop, pick the uphill (left) option or the downhill
option. If you don't plan to ride all the way around the loop, you might
make your choice depending on whether you're heading for the climbing
trail from Rusty Knoll to Lookout Point (go right), or the downhill flow
trail that starts on Lookout Point (go left).
In the middle of the loop the trail traverses fairly
steep hillside on both the uphill and downhill sides of the loop.
||The Spanish Oaks Loop is a pleasant but short ride. 90% of
the ride is shaded by low maple forest, but there are occasional breakouts
for views over Utah Valley to the west. On the eastbound side, you'll look
at Dominguez Hill (the big cross) and into Spanish Fork Canyon.
Breaking out of the trees for a view north to Utah
|A trip around the loop will have a bit less than 100 total
feet of climbing.
Eastbound on the lower side of the loop.
Lookout Point Connector (from upper Spanish
||The connector at the upper west corner of the Spanish Oaks
loop goes 0.2 miles to Lookout Point. It has 100 vertical feet of
climbing, but it all comes in one ugly grunt in the middle, so for some of
us there's a short bit of push-a-bike.
Lookout Point connector trail, westbound toward the
|At Lookout Point, you can take in the views, or descend
either the Red Knoll Run bi-directional trail or the Red Knoll Run DH downhill flow trail to the reservoir area.
Looking north from the Point.
Red Knoll Connector (lower Spanish Oaks loop to
||At the lower west corner of the Spanish Oaks Loop, a trail
traverses 0.2 miles west to the base of Red Knoll. It crosses the Red
Knoll Run DH flow trail just before the Knoll.
There's also a signed route from the lower Spanish Oaks Flow trail
(just above the campground) to Red Knoll. There are quite a few older
(and steeper) routes in the area which can be confusing. I expect signage
and navigation to get substantially better in summer 2020 as the system
Looking west from the Knoll, just below the radio
Red Knoll Run (bi-directional)
||Red Knoll Run is a bi-directional trail that starts low on
the campground road, just uphill from the reservoir parking lot. It
extends up to Lookout Point. From the parking lot, it's one mile long with
350 vertical feet of climbing.
Pedaling away from the
reservoir early in the climb.
The trail is found by pedaling 200 feet up
the campground road from the reservoir parking lot. Turn to the right onto
a wide gravel access road (it goes to the radio towers on Red Knoll), then
quickly split off to the right on the two-way trail.
0.2 miles later, the DH trail joins. Keep to the
View of the climbing route
uphill on the Red Knoll Run bi-directional trail. The radio shack and
towers are the top of Red Knoll.
||The trail climbs through a series of switchbacks up to the
saddle behind Red Knoll, then continues further up to Lookout Point.
In the saddle at Red Knoll, you can turn left onto the Red Knoll
Connector trail to the lower side of the Spanish Oaks Loop.
At Lookout Point, you have the option of hooking a 180 to drop Red
Knoll Run DH, or you can keep straight and take the Lookout Point
Connector trail over to the upper side of the Spanish Oaks Loop.
As of May 2020, the riding lines on the climb aren't
well-established yet. I'm not fond of this trail as a downhill route, but
it might get better with tweaking and more riders.
Red Knoll Run DH downhill flow trail (aka Blue Thunder)
||At the top of Lookout Point, the Red Knoll Run DH trail
begins. This is an expert-level downhill-only flow trail. It drops 300
vertical feet over a 0.7 mile run.
If you arrived via the Lookout Point trail from the Spanish Oaks Loop,
it's a straight shot keeping to the right. If you came up via Red Knoll
Run bi-directional, you'll need to ride past the entry, then hook a sharp
180 to your left.
Drop-in to the DH at the top of Lookout Point, with
the trail curving to the right. The
Red Knoll Run climbing route is on the left of the photo.
|The turns are banked for high speed. There are constant
table-top, "double," and step-up jumps. If you want to do a
scouting run before taking any air, these features can all be rolled if
you descend with moderate speed.
There's red dirt and brown dirt.
||The downhill flows well. I didn't consider any of the
features to be tricky for a skilled rider. It was pretty much "aim
the bike and let it go."
Bruce rolls the berm on
a wide turn.
Very fun system. Not a lot of miles, but good riding. Plan on multiple
You can barely make out the Dominguez cross on the
ridgeline (middle left of the photo).
||Getting there, Dripping Rock trailhead:
In Spanish Fork, 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. 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, on the east side of the parking area. This will
be your route uphill to the Spanish Oaks system.
Spanish Oaks Reservoir trailhead: Turn onto Powerhouse Road
as above. Drive 0.8 miles and turn left onto Spanish Oaks Drive. Go 0.6
miles uphill and enter the Spanish Oaks Reservoir parking. Park there.
Pedal uphill on the campground road around 200 feet, then turn off the
campground road to the right onto a gravel access road. After 50 feet,
drop to the right at the trail entry sign.
Bathrooms: Spanish Oaks Reservoir, campground
Camping: Spanish Oaks campground