Horse Flat Trail and Horse Flat Loop
The Horse Flat Trail begins at the Alpine Loop Summit parking lot. The trail climbs up the saddle between the North Fork of Provo Canyon and the South Fork of American Fork Canyon, to a grassy area called Horse Flat. This ride is an out-and-back. The Horse Flat Loop starts on the Horse Flat trail for 1/2 mile, then descends in a narrow twisting downhill to join the Great Western. There are several possible return routes or extended rides from the GWT. The shortest is a climb up the Summit Trail, for a 3.4-mile loop.
Out-and-back: The Horse Flat trail climbs through fir forest and aspen groves, with occasional flat meadows. Most of the trail is hardpack dirt with the occasional root or rock. The round trip is 2.5 miles, and you'll climb 400 vertical feet over the 1.25 miles from the Summit parking area to Horse Flat. N 40° 25.194 W 111° 37.278.
Start uphill on the Horse Flat trail. At 0.5 miles, notice a smaller trail forking right. The fork will be just before a big meadow, where there's a pond in early summer (June). Descend a mile to cross the Alpine Loop road, and merge with the Great Western Trail. There are several ways to make a loop out of the Horse Flat downhill. Options include (1) climbing Pine Hollow to Ridge 157 then turning right (southbound) versus heading left ( north) on Ridge 157 and dropping down South Fork before climbing back to the summit, (2) climbing the Salamander Flat trail then turning right on Ridge 157, or (3) climbing up the Summit Trail. Climbing the Summit Trail is the quickest. This loop is 3.4 miles, but isn't a particular fast ride.

Riding notes, clockwise loop, return via Willow Hollow Trail:
0.0   At summit parking, go to west side to find trail
N 40° 25.838 W 111° 36.869
Immediately fork L uphill on Horse Flat trail
0.5   Fork R and begin descent on Snow Gage trail
N 40° 25.687 W 111° 37.105
1.6   Cross paved road, go around metal gate
N 40° 26.110 W 111° 37.754
Join GWT 100 yards later

2.0   Keep straight (R = camp @ Salamander Flat)
2.1   4-way, go straight across
R = camping, L = Pine Hollow GWT
N 40° 26.485 W 111° 37.710
2.3   Keep straight on Summit (L = Ridge Connector)
2.6   Cross road, veer R over stream onto ST
N 40° 26.361 W 111° 37.334
3.4   At parking.

Getting there, Loop Trailhead: From I-15, take the Alpine-Highland exit and drive 7 miles to the mouth of American Fork Canyon. Pay your $6 fee (as of 2009) there. Five miles later at the fork in the road, go along the south fork of the river and climb to the summit. There's a parking lot on your right just before the top of the ridge. From parking, find the trail on the west side of the loop (overlooking AF Canyon). Go about 10 feet down this trail, then turn left and begin climbing uphill (south).
Springs/GWT at bottom of loop: Drive up the South Fork of American Fork Canyon as above. When you reach the "T" intersection for the Timpooneke Campground, go left. About 1/2 mile later, watch for a small parking area on the right side of the road, with a "trail crossing" sign. You can start on the GWT, or go 150 feet up the road to find where the downhill trail crosses the road. N 40° 26.110 W 111° 37.754

Copyright 2006 Mad Scientist Software Inc
Trail conditions change, and the layout of a trail may change without notice. Use this trail guide at your own risk.