Looking to the northeast as the Master Loop crosses a ridgeline. Photos and review by Bruce on May 18, 2023.
aka White Hill, Pigeon Hollow
Wildlife Management Area bike trails
The White Hill Wildlife Management Area (WMA) lies just south of Spring City in Sanpete County,
between US 89 and Pigeon Hollow Road. An official trail system that includes a directional
bikes-only loop called Quarry Hills has been formalized in 2023. The trails have been optimized to separate cyclists
from equestrians as much as possible.
The trails start at 5900 feet elevation on the eastern side of Pigeon Hollow, extending to
6200, with a low of 5700 on the western side of the hill.
(During winter and early spring it's closed to provide undisturbed habitat for deer and elk.)
Trails are split into bikes-only, horse trails, and multi-user trails. If a trail isn't specifically
signed for bikes, assume you're not welcome there.
Typical terrain of white dirt, pinion (on the left) and juniper (on the right).
View to the north as the Master Loop crosses another ridgeline, with Mount Nebo in the upper center.
The Quarry Hills loop circles through the area. This ride an 8-mile intermediate-level loop with
1200 feet of climbing overall, which is enough to make White Hill a "destination ride." The
loop runs clockwise, but it starts as two-way trail (Giddy Up) on the eastern side of the hill.
The portion labeled as Quarry Hills is one-way, bikes-only. There's an option for a shorter
less-technical loop using Shorty's Cutoff (and returning to the trailhead via doubletrack),
and an alternative expert line.
Main WMA parking and entry. My recon indicates that local riders are using the other entry points to minimize their interaction with horses. Looking west.
WMA Main Trailhead
The WMA trailhead is located on Pigeon Hollow Road, 2.5 miles from the junction of US-89 and
Utah-132, or 2.5 miles south of Spring City. The trailhead is large, but is heavily used by
horse trailers, so be sure that your selected parking spot won't block a vehicle that can't
maneuver. (On the day I explored these trails, the mountain bikers were parked at the two alternate
access points below. Even though it was a weekday, there were plenty of horsemen heading up
from the main trailhead.)
From this trailhead, you can pedal uphill on the main dirt road 0.2 miles to where Rambler
crosses, or 0.3 to Giddy Up. Turn left on either of these trails (which join together a bit
to the south) to begin the clockwise loop.
Here's Rambler, looking south, at the point where it crosses the main doubletrack entry to the WMA. At the time of my ride, it's still a few days before the signs will be complete.
Singletrack gate on Pigeon Hollow Road, looking southwest.
North Singletrack Entry
On Pigeon Hollow Road at mile 2.8 from US-89 (0.3 miles north of the main
WMA trailhead), there's a gate at the corner of the WMA, on the left-hand
side of the road. The shoulder here will accept a few vehicles during the
legal riding season (May through November). Ramber and Giddy Up start here
as a combined trail, then split a few feet from the entry.
Southern DT Entry.
At mile 1.5 from US-89, there's a dirt road on your left with a metal
gate. SUV's can climb this dirt road for 0.3 miles and find primitive
parking near the spot where the Quarry Hills Loop crosses. Start your ride by
going left (south). It's at this point that the trail changes from two-way
(Giddy Up) to one-way (Quarry Hills Loop).
Rambler is a very easy trail. We're looking south.
Rambler is a two-way, easy singletrack that links the northern singletrack entry point to the
southbound Giddy Up trail just south of the main entry doubletrack. Rambler is 0.6 miles in
length and runs nearly flat along the skirts of the hill. It is suitable for kids and beginners.
Rambler crosses the main entry doubletrack at mile 0.5, merging into Giddy Up at mile 0.6.
Looking north on the return from the loop ride, heading toward the singletrack entry gate. Note that Giddy Up is two-way.
Giddy Up is a two-way intermediate trail on the front-side (eastern slope) of the hill. It
begins at the singletrack entry gate at the northeastern corner of the WMA. The first trail
fork is Rambler, to your left. Keep right and climb uphill to stay on Giddy Up. The climbing
on Giddy Up is fairly mild, less than 100 vertical feet overall. Most riders conceptually will
consider Giddy Up to be part of the Quarry Hills Loop -- but it has different "rules."
At mile 0.5 Giddy Up crosses the main WMA entry doubletrack. Note this spot, as you may want
to catch the return trail here when you complete Quarry Hills. As you continue south on
Giddy Up, Rambler will join on your left from downhill at mile 0.7.
At mile 1.4, Giddy Up reaches another dirt road. This is the southern alternate entry doubletrack.
At this point, Giddy Up continues as the Quarry Hills trail and is one-way clockwise.
Heading south, and we're approaching the spot where Giddy Up will become Master Loop.
On Master Loop, the ride has turned back to the north, and is getting serious about climbing up the hill.
The Quarry Hills Loop trail itself is 6.1 miles in length. But with Giddy Up and connections back
to the trailhead, your ride will be a bit over 8 miles. Although the top of the hill is only
300 feet above you in elevation, your vertical climbing will total over 1000.
From the southern end of Giddy Up, Quarry Hills continues south for a bit, then turns back north
to begin climbing over the hill. You'll cross the ridgeline and descend into a shallow ravine
and then climb back to the top of the ridge again.
Looking southeast from the trail as we approach our first "summit."
As you might guess from this plunge into a ravine (followed by a gentle climb back to the top of the hill) Master Loop is designed for one-way clockwise riding.
Around the top of the hill, you'll reach a trail fork with Shorty's Cutoff (mile 1.7 of Quarry Hills, mile 3.1 from the northeast ST entry). Beyond this point, the riding gets tougher. So
if you want to end the ride early, turn to the right and take Shorty's to a doubletrack eastbound
(see below for specifics).
From there, the Quarry Hills trail descends westbound on narrow singletrack clinging to a steep
side-slope. Here's where the ride becomes upper-intermediate in tech requirement.
You'll reach the ride's lowest elevation at 5700 feet as the trail turns north on the gentle
slopes above Highway 89. You're temporarily out of the pinion-juniper forest on a slope of
grass and sage.
Heading west after descending to the slope above Highway 89 on the western side of the loop.
The ride isn't particularly technical. There's an occasional rock outcrop, or a sharp dip. But most of what earns the ride the "intermediate" designation is the narrow tread on sideslopes.
The trail now meanders up and down -- and back and forth -- as it works north then back to
the east. Around mile 4.3 of Quarry Hills (5.7 from the singletrack gate) the trail begins a
winding sustained climb that will take you up and over the mountain.
At mile 5.6 (7.0 from the singletrack gate) there's a trail fork with The Sneak (see below).
This is a more-difficult and longer alternate line that rejoins Quarry Hills further uphill.
For mileage on this review, I'm assuming you stayed on Quarry Hills.
As you descend the eastern slope of the hill, ignore any branching trails. The other routes
are for horses. The Quarry Hills Loop will dump you onto a doubletrack trail at mile 6.1 (7.5 from
the ST gate). Veer right and downhill on the dirt road.
On the last climb of the loop ride, heading back toward the summit.
View to the southeast as we begin descending.
At the DT fork 1/10th mile later, turn hard left for the main entry DT. Now watch for Giddy
Up or Rambler for a return to the ST gate, or stay on the DT to the main trailhead. Note that
this DT had several horse riders with very nervous animals that were afraid of my bike, even
when I was standing still. Perhaps in the future there will be a ST link that keeps bikers
away from horses in this area.
Here's the trail fork for Shorty's (to the right), waiting for a trail sign at the time of my ride. The Loop is to the left and downhill.
Shorty's Cutoff is a two-way general use singletrack trail that links Quarry Hills to a doubletrack.
It's 0.5 miles in length, heading generally downhill until it ends on a doubletrack.
The primary purpose of Shorty's would be to shortcut the loop for a shorter and much-easier
ride. When you reach the DT, turn right. Then keep left and downhill at the DT fork. Stay eastbound
and the DT will take you down to the main WMA trailhead, crossing Giddy Up and Rambler on the
way. If you use this route as your mini-loop return, expect to encounter horse riders.
After the initial descent, Shorty's meanders north until it ends on dirt road.
Descending narrow singletrack eastbound on The Sneak...
The Sneak is an expert-level alternate line at the far northwest corner of the Quarry Hills Loop.
It forks away to your left at mile 7.0 from the singletrack gate, mile 5.6 of the official
Quarry Hills trail. It first descends to the east, then turns 180 degrees to climb back to the
Quarry Hills Loop.
The Sneak is 0.5 miles in length and is one-way. It bypasses 1/10th mile of Quarry Hills
and adds around 50 feet of climbing to your ride. There were no hairy rock stunts or tech features.
The expert rating is based on the narrowness of the trail.
When you reach the trail fork, keep to the left to resume riding Quarry Hills.
.and cranking back uphill heading west, to rejoin the Master Loop trail.
I really liked this trail system. I was expecting a juniper-infested dusty
yawn-fest. It's not. There's serious old-time narrow singletrack here
that's a lot of fun. But I seriously underestimated this ride and finished
wasted and dehydrated after 1350 vertical and 13 exploration miles. Not a
single-bottle ride, it turns out! The horse riders I encountered were
friendly and polite, but it's obvious that mountain bikes are a relatively
new concept to this scenic piece of Utah. So be extra considerate when you
encounter our equestrian friends.
Map of WMA area
Most Wasatch Front riders will take
I-15 southbound to Nephi, then drive east 30 miles on Highway 132. Be sure
to catch the right turn of Highway 132 as you reach the eastern end of
Moroni. (If you arrive at Spring City, you missed the turn. Just go south
2.5 miles on Pigeon Hollow Road and you're there.) When Utah-132 ends on
US-89, cross the highway to Pigeon Hollow Road. Now drive to your target
trailhead, which will be on your left. The secondary doubletrack entry is
at mile 1.5; the main WMA trailhead is at mile 2.5; and the singetrack
entry gate is at mile 2.8.
Open for riding ONLY during May through November! No water, bathrooms, or other services at the trailheads.
Riding resources for this trail:
GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
Multi-track area file
Lodging, camping, shops:
Links to south Utah