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Squaw Peak Loop

Rock Canyon Trailhead

Central Wasatch Mountains, Utah

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Squaw Peak Loop

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  • Cliffs above the north side of Rock Canyon.- Squaw Peak Loop
  • A light dusting of early November snow in the canyon.- Squaw Peak Loop
  • Looking at Rock Canyon with Provo and Utah Lake in the background.- Squaw Peak Loop
  • A great vista point from just below Buffalo Peak.- Squaw Peak Loop
  • Cross the fence at the trail marker to begin the Buffalo Peak Trail.- Squaw Peak Loop
  • Cross the fence at the trail marker (this is not the right place).- Squaw Peak Loop
  • Looking down at the steep, scree-covered descent from Buffalo Peak.- Squaw Peak Loop
  • Singletrack seen from Buffalo Peak.- Squaw Peak Loop
  • Dry, loose doubletrack below Squaw Peak Overlook.- Squaw Peak Loop
  • A view of Mount Timponogos near the bottom of the descent.- Squaw Peak Loop
  • Hitting a double on a college commuter bike (so you really have no excuse).- Squaw Peak Loop
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Close to Provo. Quick escape from civilization. Beautiful mountain views.
Cons: 
Difficult route finding. Only short sections of actual bike trail.
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Region:
Central Wasatch Mountains, UT
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
3,267.00 ft (995.78 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking, Horseback
Trail difficulty: 
Black diamond
Total Distance: 
13.00 mi (20.92 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
5,170.00 ft (1,575.82 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

This loop begins 10 minutes from downtown Provo and less than a mile from Brigham Young University campus. It climbs to the backside of Squaw Peak and descends along the spine of the mountain, connecting a confusing web of trails to end at the East Lawn cemetery. Many riders prefer to shuttle the rowdy descent only, but with this option they miss the most scenic part of the ride. Besides, real riders don't need shuttle vehicles. If you can't ride with someone who knows their way through the many connecting trails, be sure to carry a map, compass and GPS.

After parking at Rock Canyon the initial ride is on the shared use trail leading to Rock Canyon Campground. Unless you are on a fat bike, this section can be frustrating as the trail is made of chunky gravel and rock. A seasoned rider will be able to ride it cleanly with just a few dabs and maybe a short hike-a-bike at the steepest sections.

After Rock Canyon Campground, ride up Squaw Peak Road and/or Second Left Fork Trail until you find the gap in the wooden fence on your left that marks the start of Buffalo Peak Trail. The climb tops out at the end of the Buffalo Peak Trail. For the full experience, scramble 200 feet to Buffalo Peak for a great view. If you're into steep, sketchy descents, drag your bike to the peak (if you can pedal up, you're not mortal). Be sure to drop your seat and check your brakes before riding back down.

At the bottom of the Buffalo Peak scramble, take Little Rock Canyon Trail through the meadow and then bear left onto Squaw Peak Overlook. The trail becomes straight and as fast as you dare to go through the loose, chunky and rutted out terrain. For a downhill and freeride alternative, take a right onto Squaw Peak DH instead of Squaw Peak Overlook. The DH option includes a variety of jumps and drops for experts only. Either trail passes the Squaw Peak Overlook parking lot and continues northward fast and loose, then swings southwest on Squaw Peak Trail.

As you descend, more and more trails branch out, and you may find yourself doubling back or making a loop once or twice. Enjoy the ride and keep track of where you are and which trails you like for the next time around. Most of this area is doubletrack for ATVs, but there are singletrack spurs that include jump lines. If you have some time, you might search the north side of East Lawn for a set of larger hidden jumps, but be respectful of private property. To finish the ride, catch Bonneville Shoreline Trail to East Lawn Drive. From there make your way via Timpview Drive back to your parked car in Rock Canyon.

If you are interested in extending your time in the mountains, there are numerous obvious dispersed camp sites along this route, as well as the reservation only camping at Rock Canyon Campground.

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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(9 within a 30 mile radius)

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(138 within a 30 mile radius)

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