Snowbasin is becoming a welcome retreat this summer with the heat that the valley’s have been having. The increased electric bill for keeping my place cool is proof enough of that. It’s totally worth the 30 minute drive up there (40 minutes if someone drives the canyon at 25 mph). I’ve been going up 3-4 times a week, though I certainly don’t post about every time. The Porcupine Trail is by far my favorite trail up there, downhill at least. It has some sweet jumps and some good amounts of trail that aren’t encumbered with switchbacks. Towards the top there’s a large rock that’s right next to the trail that you can ride up on and jump off a 2 foot drop back onto the trail. It’s an open invitation for some tacos — with my bike at least.
As of Saturday I’ve ridden every foot of trail on the mountain. My top 3 trails are Porcupine — downhill, Green Pond Loop — clockwise, and Last Chance Loop — counter-clockwise. You can come up with some pretty creative combinations with all the trails up there, and that can give you some good opportunities for some more uphill in your ride if that’s what you’re after. I’m still not a fan of the development of the switchbacks. Like I’ve said before, the majority of them are really tight, and you come up on them without warning. They’re also covered with a deep layer of fine dirt that resembles talcum powder. This hides some rocks, deep cuts, and other obstacles in the way, and makes tight turns at any level of speed an uneasy prospect. Compounding this, a lot of the switchbacks have downward slopes on the exit portions instead of banks, so the natural course of a bike, is right off the trail. Before I slowed down to a crawl on these switchbacks, I made out with a couple endos because of that design. Which brings up a question — were the switchbacks planned this way to force bikers to slow down, or is it a result of a lack of planning & foresight on the trail designers part?
Back to the subject at hand, I decided to make one big loop out of the Green Pond & Last Chance Loops. This was a good combination resulting in 8.4 miles of trail climbing around 1500 ft. This route took me my preferred way up the Green Pond Loop, and gave me the chance to do the Last Chance Loop the opposite way of what I’ve done before. I didn’t like it that much to be honest. I think next time up there I’m going to try these loops in a figure 8 pattern. It will cover more mileage and be a little more climbing, but It’ll be a better ride. Overall, though, it was a great ride. It doesn’t even feel like you’ve climbed 1500 ft throughout the whole ride, maybe just half.