Top 10 bike rides in Utah

Elliott Miller
Mountain bikers enjoy riding down the slopes of Sundance during the summer months.

The mountains of Utah offer prime scenery for bicyclists. A road bike, a mountain bike, a tandem bike — it doesn’t matter; the climb, the descent and the 10-minute water and granola break at the top will let cyclists experience Utah on an elevated level.

  1. Potato Hill, Draper (All levels)

Just above the Draper Temple, Potato Hill overlooks the entire Utah Valley. Beginner cyclists can drive to the entrance of the hill, go down switchbacks and end their ride directly behind the temple parking lot.

Those who want more of a challenge can bring their hard-tail mountain bikes and make sure their shocks are lubricated. Go up Potato Hill and cut over to the adjacent mountain that climbs to the peak of Draper. Experienced cyclists can take the main path down the entire mountain and then take a different route for the 45-minute climb back up.

  1. Alpine Loop, American Fork Canyon (All levels)

This 20-mile ride passes through Cascade Springs, Sundance Resort and Provo Canyon. Cyclists can expect for a challenging climb and a rewarding view that will excite them to do it again.

  1. Hobble Creek Canyon, Springville (Intermediate)

A path just for bikers is always a plus. This ride is a hidden gem, said local cyclist Kim Bagley. There isn’t any traffic forcing cyclists to stop midway through a climb. Distance can range from 25 to 35 miles depending on how high riders go up the canyon.

  1. Squaw Peak, Provo (Intermediate)

This ride starts in south Provo and is a little busy with traffic until cyclists reach the beginning of the climb into Squaw Peak. The five-mile climb guarantees a quality leg workout.

  1. Utah Lake, Provo-Orem (Advanced)

This ride requires preparation and is for serious cyclists only. Traveling south and filling up on water in Lehi, this ride is a total of 100 miles. Bagley said this ride opened her eyes to a whole new part of Utah.

“We saw ostriches, bison, and we were almost chased down by a roaming horse.”

  1. Provo River, Provo (Intermediate)

Starting at Vivian Park and ending at Utah Lake, the ride is a 35-mile trip that goes along the Provo River Trail, through Orem, to the Jordan River Trail and then to Utah Lake. The ride is mostly rolling hills or flat ground, but there are a few climbs with an 8 percent grade.

  1. Park City to Wolf Creek, Park City–Weber County (Advanced)

From Park City up to Wolf Creek and back through Kamas, this ride is for advanced cyclists who are training or looking for a beautiful long ride. It reaches an elevation of 10,000 feet and is about 75 miles. Week days are best if cyclists would like to ride without being interrupted by traffic.

  1. Emigration Canyon, Salt Lake City (Intermediate & Advanced)

This ride is highly recommended by advanced riders and can be enjoyed by intermediate riders. The difficulty increases because of the eight-mile climb up Emigration Canyon. Gregg Bromka, author of “Bicycling Salt Lake City,” said Emigration Canyon is one of his favorites. Starting by Hogle Zoo and continuing up a paved road, this is a ride that can be casual or used for intense training.

  1. City Creek Canyon, Salt Lake City  (All Levels)

On odd-numbered days, cyclists can ride without cars in the canyon. This is helpful during the 5.7-mile climb to the top. Don’t worry, though, the climb is about 7 percent grade and has rolling hills as well.

10. Flaming Gorge, Daggett County (Advanced)

In the northeastern corner of Utah, this ride’s scenic view includes springs, creeks and trailheads. It’s about 75 miles and ends in Manila. The majority of the path runs by the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. Because of the various hills, a day with a cooler temperature is best for cycling.

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