Snowbasin has been open in the summer to mountain biking for what I believe is the 2nd year. My first time biking in the area involved a ride up Wheeler Canyon, and continuing on up a trail which leads to the lower parking lot at Snowbasin. From there we took the Old Snowbasin Highway back down to a trailhead above Wheeler Canyon & completed the ride back through the canyon to the trailhead. It was a good ride, on good trails. One trail I noted that branched off of the trails we were on was the Green Pond Trail. It’s partially on the Forest Service trail system & partially on Snowbasin’s trail system.
The parking area for the Green Pond Trail is on the new Snowbasin Highway and is quite obvious. The trail is in great condition, and aside from the tiny insects that seem to hover in large groups & one down tree offered a really good ride. The signage on the trails is good at times, and sketchy at others. One of the problems is that whenever two trail intersect, like the Green Pond Loop & the Last Chance Loop, only one of the trails is listed, in this case, the Last Chance Trail prevailed over the Green Pond Trail, so without a map of the trail system, I headed down a service road in hopes of finding a turn off back onto the Green Pond Trail. After half a mile and seeing nothing I turned back to ride on the Last Chance Trail. If I would’ve continued further I would’ve intersected the returning portion of the Green Pond Loop, but that would’ve cut my ride in half. Back on the trail I met a couple of other bikers, and I rode with one a bit. He was wanting to attempt a climb all the way up to the top of the mountain. I went with him for a couple miles & left him when my asthma started kicking in. From there I rode back down a ways until I was on the Needles Trail which heads back to the main lodges. I wasn’t a fan of that trail. It was mainly comprised of 40 feet of straight trail & then a tight switchback, over and over and over, so it was all brake & swerve & no fun. At one point you reach one of the snowboarding pipes where there’s no real trail, you just have to haul yourself & your bike up & over it. Not cool. When I was close to the lodge I hopped onto the Maples Trail. This leads you over a fast flowing creek towards the lower parking lot & the Forest Service trail system. I took this trail back down to the turn off towards the Green Pond trail & the parking area. This section of trail was a blast to ride. It’s mostly singletrack, except for the first section, and you can just haul. There are few real obstacles. If you count horse piles, then there were a ton of obstacles — it was bad. Horses are banned from Snowbasin trails ; ) that makes me smile, they’re welcome on Forest Service land unfortunately. So this stretch of trail was great. Aside from one tight turn where I almost went over the edge or head long into a rock, but narrowly escaped incident. At one point Wheeler Canyon was coming up quick & I still hadn’t found my turn off to get back to the Green Pond Trailhead & I started to get worried. Fortunately after another 5 minutes of riding I found it & headed up. From there I crossed the Old Snowbasin Highway, and continued up towards the lot. The final stretch is through a small canyon. It was quite pleasant in there, and would be a fun downhill.
Next time I go up there I might hitch a ride on the gondola to the top, but as much as I love the downhill, I also like to get a workout in, and downhill works your body about as much as one of those vibration belts from the early 1900’s. If I had a full day to bike I’d do it. With the temps in the valley looming around 100, it was nice to be up in the mountains. It was still warm, but not quite as much, and in the different nooks & crannies of the mountain you can get some much cooler air.
All in all it was over 2,000 ft of climbing & 11 miles.