|Stansbury Island Bike Trail|
Stansbury Island, on the west end of the Great Salt Lake, can be biked almost all year. This is an advanced technical trail. Early spring and late fall are best. Most of the trail is on southern slopes, so snow melts quickly. After crossing the valley (seen here from the trailhead), the trail begins a brutal one-mile, 800-vertical foot climb to the top of the mountain. The loop (returning by dirt road on the salt flats) is 10 miles.
|The singletrack trail starts south across a
flat, then climbs the west face of the Stansbury
Island mountain to the top of the ridge. The trail is hard-packed but liberally coated
with round quartzite boulders and chunks of limestone. The combination of steep grade
(15%) and rocky trail will challenge your thighs. From here at mile 1.2, we're looking west over the
shallow west end of the Great Salt Lake.|
The trail descends about 200 feet from the ridge, then hugs the shoulder of a horizontal band of conglomerate as it follows the canyons carved into the south face of the mountain. (The trail is just above the gray band in this picture.) The canyon walls are rocky and steep, with exposed cliff areas. Only advanced riders should tackle this ride -- novices may wind up as magpie bait.
Follow the contour of the mountain through this area. Cross any downhill bailout routes, such as mile 3.1. At mile 5.5, at the apex of another canyon, fork right downhill and roll off the mountain. (The trail continues on around to the east, but becomes hard to follow.)
Continue onto doubletrack on the flats. Fork right (west) at the first major road. At the 4-way intersection, turn R and ride back to your car.
Take I-80 westbound out of Salt Lake.
About 30 minutes later, you'll reach the second Grantsville exit (#84, UT-138, near the
Morton salt plant). After exiting, proceed straight (onto the crummy road) rather than
turning towards Grantsville. Follow the road north as it turns into gravel and crosses the
mud flats, about three miles. At the fork, stay left. There should be a "Stansbury
Island Mountain Bike Trail" sign at this fork. (Look around -- this is where the
trail returns after you come off the mountain.) Two miles later, you'll come to a four-way
intersection. There may, or may not, be a stop sign there. Go straight through. 1.1 miles
later, you should see a "Bike Trail" sign and a road branching off on the right.
Turn right and drive a few hundred yards to the parking area. There are no fees (and no
facilities of any kind).|
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