||19th Avenue Trail
The 19th Avenue trail is a one-way downhill trail above the Avenues
area of northeastern Salt Lake City. It must be reached via the Avenues
Section of the Bonneville
Shoreline Trail (BST), so a trip on 19th Avenue will be a solid ride in
both miles and climbing. The trail is intended to take west-bound downhill
bikes off the BST to reduce conflicts with hikers on this portion of Salt
Lake's foothill trail system.
View south as we descend 19th Avenue. Photos and
description by Bruce on September 10,
|The trail is 3.3 miles long. It starts near the highest point on the
Bonneville Shoreline Trail 0.2 miles west of the Bobsled trail fork, or 3.5
miles from the BST trailhead on Bonneville Blvd. The 19th Avenue trail is
intermediate in skill requirement. The expected riding season is May through
November, with the option for winter riding when conditions permit.
Climbing the one-way East City Creek section of the
BST. In this photo, I'm 1/2 mile into the ride, with 3 miles to go before
I reach the eastern side of 19th Avenue.
||Peak elevation is 5750 feet where 19th Avenue forks away from the BST near
the top of Bobsled. There's 1050 feet of elevation loss over the length of the
trail as you go east to west. There are frequent twists and dips, but most
riders will have enough momentum to carry them up the many short uphill spots.
The last mile has the steepest downhill pitches, dropping 550 vertical feet as
the trail leaves the Bonneville shelf and drops toward the bottom of City Creek
Entry to 19th Avenue. We're on the BST, looking west.
The BST is the trail on the left; 19th Avenue is on the right. (I came via
the BST and I'm using the wide spot here to make a 180-degree turn and
snap a photo.) Note that there are no trail name-posts. The green sign
says "Wheels Not Heels."
My sample ride is an out-and-back ride from City Creek. It will have 1300 vertical feet of overall
climbing and a total distance of 7.2 miles. It includes a one-way uphill
outgoing path for the first mile, then two-way BST for 2.5 miles, then one-way
downhill trail back into City Creek Canyon. There's 0.4 miles in the
biking/hiking lane of Bonneville Blvd to join the two trailheads to complete the loop.
The by-the-mile description of this ride is below.
A bit into the ride on 19th Avenue. The undulating track
here is typical, as the trail twists and dips constantly.
||There's a short connector trail from the BST to the middle of 19th Avenue at mile
2.5 from City Creek Canyon. If you use this cutoff to make a shorter loop, you'll cut
one mile and 250 vertical feet off the BST, and 1.1 miles off the descent on
19th Avenue. This would make a ride of 5.1 miles with just over 1000 feet of
A bit of shade as we roll into a side canyon.
|The terrain is mostly exposed grass hillside. There are intermittent stands
of scrub oak with an occasional maple. There will be views over the entire Salt
Lake Valley. Trail signs are few, with many critical intersections remaining
unmarked in 2021. In fact, there's one spot near the 18th Avenue trailhead
where I can guarantee a casual newcomer will become lost. A navigation app
is highly recommended!
Looking west at the buildings of downtown Sale Lake
||The trail surface is gray-brown dirt with occasional small round boulders.
It's a narrow bench-cut, with frequent twists and dips that will require focus
to ride. This is what gives the trail its intermediate rating. Once the trail
begins to drop into City Creek Canyon, there will be a few tight switchback
Rolling around another drainage.
|My sample ride starts at the pavilion parking area on
one-way Bonneville Blvd in City Creek. You'll need to access it from the
intersection of 11th Avenue with B Street. While my by-the-mile
description assumes you'll start at the pavilion, there's room for around
six vehicles at the bottom of the 19th Avenue trail (just before the
junction with the City Creek road). If you park at the downhill end, it's
an easy barely-uphill cruise up to the BST entry.
Looking south as the trail hits a couple of hairpin
||The initial climb is fairly steady exertion on the one-way
City Creek BST. You'll gain 500 vertical feet. Pass the I Street bike park
on your right (at this spot, the downhill trail is just a few feet
downhill on your left).
Another side drainage in a grove of box elder. We're
almost to the spot where we'll rejoin the two-way BST for 1/10th of a
|At mile 1.3, veer left uphill at the trail fork. (The right
fork traverses past the top of the I Street bike park to the 18th Avenue
trailhead.) As you reach the broad doubletrack, turn a bit left, then pick
the right-hand side as the wide trail splits. Your goal is to work
eastbound into the broad valley. When you see singletrack on your right
across the valley, take it. This little segment of two-way trail combines
the BST with 19th Avenue.
We've just climbed out of the little valley. If we
keep straight, we'll hit this entry into the one-way downhill section.
||At the end of the valley, the 19th Avenue trail comes in
from the left. Keep straight and begin a cruel stretch of climbing.
At mile 2.5 from the trailhead, turn right at a singletrack trail fork.
The left-hand option goes 100 yards up to join the 19th Avenue trail for a
shorter ride option.
Descending through oak, grass, and sunflowers.
|At mile 3.5, make a 180-degree turn onto 19th Avenue, which
lies just uphill from the BST. Then at mile 4.6, go through a wide and
unmarked 5-way trail intersection to find singletrack veering to the right
on the far side.
We're now descending the steep sides of City Creek
||You'll temporarily rejoin the BST at mile 5.6. As the trail
comes up the levee on the west side of the valley, keep straight as it
crosses two wide foot trails. Now you're on the final stretch, with the
19th Avenue trail also serving as the descending limb of the BST into City
At the trailhead, you can turn left on pavement to complete the ride,
or go further on the Ensign Peak / City Creek
section of the BST.
Coming into a banked hairpin turn near the bottom.
|Ride notes, from pavilion parking
0.0 Singletrack across from parking
1.0 Pass entry to I-Street bike park
1.3 Fork L (R = to 18th Ave TH or bike park)
1.4 Left, then keep R on wide track
1.45 R through valley
1.6 Keep R (L = return route 19th Ave)
2.1 Straight and level
(L = old trail, R = descend to
Terrace Hills Dr)
2.5 Fork R (L = cutoff to 19th Ave)
3.0 Keep L (hard R = connector from Terrace Hills)
3.5 Hard L (Twin Peaks trail connects from uphill
Hiking trails on saddle at L
Straight = continue BST
4.6 Straight then R (wide old trail crosses)
L on ST = connector to BST
5.6 Join BST then keep straight
5.7 Cross BST connector, keep straight
5.75 Keep straight and cross wide trail
6.8 At Bonneville Blvd, go L uphill
7.2 Back at parking
In northeast Salt Lake City, climb B street northbound. At 11th Avenue,
keep straight to enter one-way Bonneville Blvd. The right lane is for
vehicles, while the left lane is for hikers and bikes. Drive 1/10th mile,
then turn left into the pavilion parking area. The climbing limb of the
BST is across the road from the entry into parking. (Note that the other
trails you'll see below you in the valley are hiking-only.)
There is additional parking at the bottom of City Creek where the 19th
Avenue trail hits the road. (Note that you can't ride uphill on this
section of trail! You'll need to pedal uphill to the climbing limb of the
BST across from the pavilion.) This lower trailhead also accesses the
northbound City Creek (Ensign Peak) section of the
As you drive away after your ride, you'll need to continue around the one-way loop until
it ends on 500 North. There's no water or bathrooms at the trailheads at
the time of this review.