Sunday, June 23, 2013

Wasatch d'Huez - Mountain Biking Farmington Canyon to Bountiful Peak 06-22-2013

Big climbing today on my mountain bike! I rode from my house up to Bountiful Blvd, over to Farmington Canyon via the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, up Farmington Canyon, then up and over Bountiful Peak, descending Skyline drive into Bountiful and back home via Bountiful Blvd. A long day on knobbies!   

Leg 1 -To Farmington Canyon: 14.5 miles, 1,522 ft. elevation gain (rolling terrain).
Leg 2 - Up Farmington Canyon to Bountiful Peak/Frances Peak Junction: 7.1 miles, 2,375 ft. gain.
Leg 3 - To Ridge Crest overlooking Farmington: 3.17 miles, 1,280 ft. gain.
Leg 4 - Ridge Crest to Bountiful Peak: 1.22 miles, 597 ft. gain.
Leg 5 - Descent of Bountiful Peak via Skyline Drive then home: 16.76 miles, 269 ft. gain, 4,495 ft. loss.

Totals - 42.83 miles, 6,066 feet elevation gain, 6,030 feet loss. Total ride time 4 hrs 37 minutes. Average speed 9.25mph, 41.3mph maximum speed. Highest point: 9,100 feet at Bountiful Peak overlook. Lowest point: 4,730 feet, at my house. 

I'm a decent climber on a road bike and can hold my own, but I was pathetically slow today on my mountain bike. Yeah, I had a flat and took way too many photos, but still too slow. Before starting the real climbing in Farmington Canyon, I had over 14 miles and  over 1,500 feet of climbing, and did some backtracking in the Centerville foothills due to a poorly marked trails. It's a spiders web of trails up there. I could blame it on ATV's and their penchant for cutting new paths, but I won't, but the thought crossed my mind. Once I hit the big climbs I was slow and steady. Oh well, it was an endurance ride and not a time trial (like riding up to Rudy's Flat). Isn't anything under 20 miles a time trial? 

The day was beautiful, clear, sunny and a cool breeze to freshen things up. The wind even felt cold at 9,000, but refreshing after a long, sweaty, dusty climb up Farmington Canyon. Did I mention dust? Yes, I was sucking dust thrown up by big trucks and four-wheeler's all day long. Dust is just part of the equation when riding dirt roads in Utah, but it's still annoying. There was one considerate fellow who actually slowed to a crawl as he passed to minimize the dust, but, sadly, there are too many motor heads that hit the gas while passing a cyclist, just to throw more dust.          

Antelope Island from the switchbacks in Farmington Canyon.

Rice Bowl with just one patch of snow remaining. I skied this in late March (see post), again riding the mountain bike (skis strapped to frame) up the canyon due to a locked gate.  

Bountiful Peak from near the Bountiful Peak Campground.

Last of the snow on the NE aspect of Bountiful Peak (elevation 9,000 feet).

Farmington Lakes

Antelope Island from ridge crest.

Beautiful Day!

View south from Bountiful Peak with the central Wasatch on the horizon, with the snow going fast.

I take way too many photos, wasting time and carelessly dropping the bike wherever. My wife says I should just leave the camera at home and my Strava segments wouldn't look so bad. Maybe that's why my times are more competitive on a road bike? And she's right, but she never minds that I go off adventuring on Saturdays when yard stuff is waiting. That said, upon arriving home I still added two new sprinkler laterals, even in my staggering-tired state.   
Another shot of Antelope Island, from Bountiful Peak. Salt and mud flats emerging after another dry winter.


  1. Nice day, the place really looks different without snow. I think I have only been up there once during the "off season." My legs hurt from thinking of the effort of riding a bike that high. If I were king there would be a more developed bike trail network and more - separate - places for the 4X4/4wheeler people to go tear it up. I think everyone needs a place, but here in the West it seems like there are too few places for bikes and skies. great pics, keep taking them, someday your kids and grandkids will treasure them.

  2. Yeah, it's kind of depressing to see so little snow. I was holding onto a weird fantasy that I'd get up there and find Mudd and Rice still choked with snow, NE aspects and all, then I'd drive back up today to ski. Farmington Canyon is becoming a popular biker hangout. It'd be nice to have a separate single track for the bikers, but that is a long way off. I think they should go to the City Creek Canyon plan: bikes on odd days, motors on even days, but that's a total fantasy too.