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Trail difficulty
BLACK DIAMOND
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
Loop
Distance
13.00 mi (20.92 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Close to Provo. Quick escape from civilization. Beautiful mountain views.

Cons

Difficult route finding. Only short sections of actual bike trail.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

5,170.00 ft (1,575.82 m)

Net Elevation Gain

3,267.00 ft (995.78 m)

Address

Rock Canyon Trail
Provo, UT 84604
United States

Features

Backcountry camping
Rock climbing
Big vistas
Wildflowers

Suitable for

Hiking
Horseback

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

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