What makes mountain biking so special in Park City? Perhaps it’s the fact that you’re never more than a mile or two from a trailhead. And no ride exemplifies that more than this little loop which is perfect as a pre-work, lunch ride, or post-work spin. The 10 mile loop links four different trails (Gamble Oak, Solamere, Snowtop, & Lost Prospector) to make for an outstanding mini-all-mountain sesh with awesome views of Old Town as well as Deer Valley and Park City resorts.
Our favorite way to ride the loop is starting from City Park near the Miner’s Hospital. From there, cross Deer Valley Drive and head up the road to Aerie Drive. This part sucks, and is a bit of a grunt, so it’s why we recommend getting it out of the way first as opposed to starting at Deer Valley. Head right towards Gamble Oak. Again, the climb here is loose and the switchbacks are tight, but if you can bust it out in the beginning, the rest of the climbs are fairly mellow.
Once April Mountain starts to plateau, head right on the Solamere connector trail dropping you back down towards Deer Valley. This is a fun little romp through the trees, and I’m not sure I’ve ever ridden it without seeing some sort of wildlife. At the bottom, cross the street and get on the sidewalk to go past the tennis courts toward Queen Esther Drive and the Deer Crest gate. Head left on the trail past the gate, and climb up the mellow switchbacks to the start of Snowtop. Despite it’s name, Snowtop is one of the first Deer Valley area trails to dry out, and after a quick spin to the top provides a whooping descent through shrub oak forest. The backside of Snowtop dumps you out on the cul-de-sac, climb up the road until you see the trail on the right. From here on out, the directions and trail markers aren’t great, and you will most likely not find the drop-in for the connector back down to Lost Prospector unless you know what to look for or have a GPS. However, the idea is to get on Lost Prospector and head south back to where you started on Aerie Drive to complete the loop.
Afterwards, if it happens to be a Tuesday, spin over to Wendy Ridge or Sammy’s Bistro, for Taco Tuesday specials. If not, the Boneyard is another excellent option for post-ride burgers and beers.
Note: We recommend hitting this ride during the week as these lower trails close to town can get quite crowded during the weekends. Also, the climbs are fairly exposed, so when it’s hot, best to ride morning or evening.
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