||Cutler's Twist Trail
with Cinch Trail and return via Mule Shoe
The Cutler's Twist trail is new in 2021. Located near the northern end
of Ogden Valley's North Fork Park, it offers an option off the Mule
Loop, or a ride all by itself. The trail lies at around 5700 feet
elevation and has an expected riding season of June through October.
A rare breakout view from Cutler's Twist. Photos and
trail review by Bruce on August 13, 2021.
|The Cutler's Twist trail is suitable for beginning riders.
It's designated as a two-way trail, but almost everybody is going to be
flying downhill. So I wouldn't try to climb this trail on a weekend, as
it's quickly become extremely popular. High-speed riders will be running
you off the trail constantly.
The trail is 1.5 miles long with 300 feet of elevation loss. My ride
description here includes a return by climbing Mule Shoe.
Heading into a nice banked turn as we descend through
maple forest on Cutler's Twist.
||The trail starts on the far north end of Mule Ear, just
uphill from the Mule Loop parking area (see trailhead directions below).
Find the connector trail at the northwest edge of the parking circle.
Immediately fork left uphill on Mule Ear.
Looking west from the Mule Loop trailhead, 1.8 miles
up the North Fork Park road. The entry to the singletrack is at the far
|Cross the road, then cross the Mule Connector trail. (Note:
the trail markers in North Fork Park could be better, as of August 2021.
The arrows don't always point in the right direction as they sit on the
trail-post, and I had to frequently fire up the Trailforks app to decide
which trail was which.) At this four-way, pick the trail that goes uphill,
the middle of the three choices. You're staying on the Mule Ear trail.
Heading uphill on Mule Ear after crossing the road
and the Mule Connector trail.
||At mile 0.2 from the trailhead, fork to the right on
Cutler's Twist as Mule Ear makes a turn to the left. (There was no trail
marker here in August 2021, but this section of Mule Ear has been newly
re-cut. So I expect a trail-post will be coming soon.)
Northbound in an aspen forest after forking away from
|Cutler's Twist heads north through aspen and maple forest.
At mile 0.5 from the trailhead, the singletrack enters the group area.
Cross a doubletrack, pass a small building, then cross a second doubletrack.
You'll see a pavilion to your left here.
Looking back at an alternate line as we head toward
the pavilion area on upper Cutler's Twist.
||As you hit the (unmarked as of August 2021) trail fork just
after the road crossing, keep to the right to stay on Cutler's Twist. The
left fork is Traildemic. (Note that you can do a loop of Cutler's Twist
and Traildemic by connecting them with a bit of dirt road. See the map.)
Rolling into a highly-banked turn. Fun stuff!
|Cutler's Twist has tons of banked turns on a smooth ribbon
of trail. You'll be losing 300 feet of elevation over the 1.5 miles of the
trail. There are a few alternate lines with stunt opportunities, but the
main trail is easy.
An alternate line with a wooden ramp leading to a
drop. The main trail goes around it.
||Just a few feet after crossing the main North Fork Park
gravel road, Cutler's Twist ends on Mule Shoe. Now you need to decide on
the rest of your ride:
- For a quick return uphill and another lap, keep right onto Mule Shoe.
- To enter the Mule Loop for a clockwise ride, go left.
- For a shorter version of the Mule Loop, go left, then fork right on
Cinch to shortcut the bottom of Mule Shoe.
The trail intersection here has some "shortcuts" that make it
confusing, and the trail markers don't help much. If you're unsure where
to go, take a short spin down each trail until you've figured it out.
At the bottom, looking up towards Ben Lomond and
The Cinch Trail begins on Mule Shoe, just 100 feet downhill from the
end of Cutler's Twist. Fork to the right. It zips back and forth downhill
for 0.3 miles before rejoining the Mule Shoe trail. The combined Mule
Shoe/Cinch trail then continues south for a loop ride.
A banked turn as we head south on the new Cinch
||Mule Shoe climb
To return quickly to the trailhead, fork right on Mule Shoe. (Again,
this area is in flux. You'll probably count 3 right turns in 100 feet
before you're sure you're heading uphill on Mule Shoe.) This portion of
the loop has been newly re-cut, so it's a nice plush ride uphill. You'll
climb 250 vertical feet over 0.8 miles to reach the Mule Loop trailhead.
Plush new trail-cut as we climb up Mule Shoe.
|Riding notes, short loop:
0.0 Mule Loop TH, find ST on NW
Immediate L uphill on Mule Ear
0.1 Cross Mule Connector
0.2 R on Cutler's Twist
0.5 Cross 2 doubletracks
R on Cutler's Twist
(L = Traildemic)
1.5 Cross campground road
Option: north to Traildemic or Bicentennial
2.0 Cross main road
R at fork, then keep R on Mule Shoe
2.8 Back at parking
||Getting there: Go up
Ogden Canyon. (From the north on I-15, take the 12th South Ogden exit and
head east on Highway 39. From the south, exit I-15 on US 89. Pass I-84 and
climb up the hill, then turn right on Harrison Blvd. Continue on Harrison
until you hit U-39 and turn R toward Ogden Canyon.) Turn left across the
dam at Pineview Reservoir. At the stop sign in Eden, turn left. Turn left
at the stop sign in Liberty. After about 1/4 mile, take the next right.
Just after you cross the river, veer left toward North Fork Park.
Mule Ear trailhead (recommended): Turn left
again at the North Fork Park sign. At the campground entry gate, you can
turn left into the 365 Trail trailhead for a longer ride. To park at the
Mule Loop trailhead, go
1.8 miles on the main North Fork Park road from where you turned off the main road. Look for a the
trailhead sign on your right. Pull into the little loop and park. Connect to the trail on the northwest side of
the parking area.
Traditional road-fork entry: Pass the
first entrance into the North Fork Park (on your left). Go another mile up
the road and turn left at the second entry N41 22.986 W111 54.298. Fork
left at the T intersection. When you reach a hairpin turn with a gate at
the apex (north side) of the turn, N41 22.979 W111 55.187, you're there.
There's a singletrack on the right as you face the gate. That's a shortcut
for a counterclockwise loop. Ignore it. Take the singletrack that sneaks around the left side
of the gate, then climb the soft cindered DT up to the pavilion area.