||Lazuli Trail (historic Ireland
The Lazuli trail runs approximately north-south on
the western edge of the Timpanogos Foothill bench area.
It gradually curves to the east, and reaches the Little Baldy trail 33
just 200 feet above the trail intersections at The Altar. It can serve as a
climbing or descending route. The trails here are intermediate in tech
requirement but fairly strenuous due to sustained pitch.
south on Lazuli. Photos and ride description July 12, 2016 by Bruce.
|The Timpanogos Foothill trails lie on a bench area south of
Little Baldy on the western slope of Mount Timpangos. The trail system
here is complex, consisting of many "social trails" that cross
over and connect to each other erratically. The system was simplified in
2019 through 2021, with designated official routes.
This sample ride will start at the Orem Bonneville Shoreline Trail
trailhead. All routes to this area must use part of the Orem Bench
road, which has other connecting trails from downhill. So you can also get
to this loop from Zorro (1560 East in Orem), the Race Loop (Canyon View
Park), and the Dragon's Back (Canyon Glen or Nunn's Park).
The Orem BST trailhead. The Provo Canyon North BST is
behind me at the entry to parking.
||From the BST Orem trailhead, head east into the canyon.
After passing the entry to Swift Ridge (historic
Shooter) at mile 0.4 of the Bench Road, your
next uphill connection (as of 2016) will be Lazuli at mile 0.8. Turn left
and settle into a climbing rhythm. Keep left and northbound at the first
couple of trail forks, which will be a connector to Cottontail and a trail
fork with the
lower end of the Elk Crossing trail.
On the lower mountain, Lazuli is a narrow band in a sea of crested
wheatgrass. Here Lazuli climbs up through grass on the
lower mountain. Note the second "social trail." Stay on the main
trail unless it's marked as a trail fork!
|Option: Elk Crossing to lower Gopher Snake (with
At mile 0.6 comes your first chance to connect over to a downhill
route. A hard right here will take you east on Elk Crossing eastbound.
This trail climbs up to meet the middle of Gopher Snake at mile 0.5.
Stay eastbound on Elk Crossing, then turn right when lower Gopher Snake
forks away to the right.
Looking southeast down Elk Crossing as it leaves Lazuli. That's Cascade Mountain on the left.
||Note that Rattlesnake is just another 200 feet down Elk
Crossing, giving you another descending option.
A little bit down Gopher Snake, fork left to descend on Cottontail. Or
keep straight to descend Gopher Snake. Both good options.
View west at Utah Lake and Lake Mountain as we
approach the Swift Ridge (Shooter) fork while climbing Lazuli.
|Option: Middle of Lazuli, taking upper Gopher Snake
If you stay on Lazuli past the connector trail, you'll quickly pass
a connector from Swift Ridge (Shooter) on the left at 0.7, then another at
0.8 miles. Now Lazuli and Swift Ridge will be a combined trail for the next 100 feet.
Another 100 feet uphill, keep right as Swift Ridge forks off on the
left. Keep climbing straight north uphill until the trail turns to the
right onto a ridgeline trail fork at mile 1.1 from the Bench Road.
Still climbing higher on Lazuli. That's Little Baldy
on the left, Mount Timpanogos on the right.
||Go across the ridge, and you're on Gopher Snake (historical
Crank) descending south. Gopher Snake will turn back northeast, then southeast. As the trail turns back
northeast again, 0.9 miles from the ridge, keep left as the Elk Crossing connector trail joins on your right.
As we turn across the ridge to the Gopher Snake (Crank) trail, we
look back southwest. That's West Mountain, with Utah Lake split around the
|At mile 1.1 from Lazuli, fork to the right on the continuing
Gopher Snake trail. 200 feet later, your options are Cottontail (left) and
lower Gopher Snake (right).
The Gopher Snake trail crosses a meadow.
If you selected Cottontail, keep left and uphill, then climb over the
ridge southbound. Cottontail gets steeper and a bit more tricky in the
final descent down to the Bench Road.
A connector from lower Lazuli will join on your left. When you hit the
Bench Road (BST), head right to return to the Cascade trailhead, left to
climb up Rattlesnake.
Finally. Heading downhill towards Utah Valley.
|Option: Descend Swift Ridge
When climbing Lazuli, keep straight and northbound as you pass the fork
to Gopher Snake. At mile 1.3 from the Bench Road, pass the first connector
on the left. Then turn left on Wild Turkey.
On Lazuli near the fork with Wild Turkey.
Climb 0.4 miles to Lament and turn left. In just 100 feet, fork left
again on Swift Ridge and descend 3.2 miles back to the BST near the
Looking uphill on Swift Ridge. The oak brush is
re-growing from a fire in October 2020.
Option: The Altar
Continue on Lazuli at the Wild Turkey trail fork. Lazuli will now
descend through oak forest and cross a meadow to the Little Baldy trail,
just 200 feet uphill from The Altar.
Descending on upper Lazuli toward the Little
At this point, pick an uphill loop. Like uphill on Little Baldy to Black Bear.
Take a little loop by forking onto Wild Turkey and returning to Lazuli. Or
do a bigger loop by riding all of Black Bear and coming back via Lament to
lower Wild Turkey.
Or from The Altar, descend via Rattlesnake or Mouse or the GWT 33. Lots of
ways to ride!
The rockpile in the meadow is the site of a 4-way trail
intersection. The top of Lazuli is about 200 feet uphill from here, straight
ahead in the photo.
Canyon View Park: Exit I-15 on Orem's 800 North and drive straight towards the mountains.
Keep left to enter Provo Canyon. After 1 mile, you'll pass the entrance to
Canyon View Park on your left. About 100 yards later, there's a diversion
dam, then a bridge over the river. Drive over the bridge and park in the
lot. Ride to the northwest corner of the parking area. Begin your ride by pedaling up the gravel
road. Keep straight at the road fork at mile 0.3 if you're heading
for the Bottom Access trail (recommended), or fork R uphill for the Ravine
or East Access trails. Ride through the race loop and take the Upper
Access trail to the BST to connect to uphill trails.
Orem Bench BST Trailhead: Exit I-15 on Orem's 800 North
and drive straight towards the mountains. At 800 East, turn left and drive north about 1
mile. Immediately past the fence at the uphill end of the cemetery, turn right (east) on Cascade Drive.
Drive 1/2 mile then fork uphill before you approach the water treatment plant.
Take two switchbacks up, passing the lower overflow parking, to the paved
parking area with the bathroom. Your trail is right across from where the
road entered the parking lot.
Bathroom: Orem BST TH, Dry Canyon TH, Canyon View
Park, Canyon Glen Park, Nunn's Park
Water: Canyon View Park, Canyon Glen Park, Nunn's Park
Camping: Nunn's Park
|Dry Canyon Trailhead: Turn
east off State Street (Highway 89) at 200 South in Lindon, which also
happens to be 2000 North for Orem. Keep straight as you approach the
mountains. When the road begins to turn right (south), turn left onto Dry
Canyon Drive heading northeast. Now keep straight uphill until the road
turns into the trailhead. To reach the Shooter uphill route, go south on
the BST to the Orem trailhead.
Canyon Glen: Use this trailhead if you plan to ride
counter-clockwise or out-and-back. Note that if you ride this direction
there are some granny-gear climbs that are a bit loose. Exit I-15 on
Orem's 800 North and drive straight towards the mountains. Keep left to
enter Provo Canyon. About 3 miles later, you'll see the parking area for
Canyon Glen on your left. Go across the bridge to the Parkway. Turn right,
and find the GWT on your left about 200 feet later, forking uphill just
before the paved parkway curves around a rock outcrop.
Nunn's Park: This makes the ride about a mile longer, but at the
expense of a rather ugly short section of trail from Nunn's park up to the
aqueduct. Going up-canyon, turn right 4 miles up the canyon, then left
under 89. Go into Nunn's Park. On your bike, come back through the park
entrance, then turn left on a broken-up roadway just before the road goes
under 89. Turn left at the fence and follow the fence uphill. This section
is a hike-a-bike uphill. As the singletrack reaches the top, go left (west).
Zorro (1560 East Trailhead): Take 800 North in Orem
toward the mountains. Just as the road starts to descend into the canyon,
turn left on 1560 East. Go to the end of the pavement and park on the
right. The ugly jeep road switchbacks east of the trailhead take you
uphill -- 0.4 miles with 200 vertical -- to the Zorro singletrack. Zorro
will add another 300 vertical and 0.6 miles. (Don't fork onto the steeper
Bramber DH. You'll know it as you pass it.) When Zorro hits doubletrack,
head a bit further uphill to the Bench Road for uphill connections.
Canyon Mouth Provo River Parkway: There's a parking area on
Orem's 800 North Street just before you enter Provo canyon. It's just east
of the gas station. GPS N 40° 18.840' W 111° 39.472'. To get to
the parkway, go east over the river and through the fence. Go uphill to
the Canyon View Park, Canyon Glen, or Nunn's park for uphill singletrack
connections to the Bench Road.
Note! These trails are on Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
land, purchased with sportsmen dollars and set aside as the Orem Bench
Wildlife Management Area specifically to protect Utah's native animals.
Mountain Biking is allowed, but only insofar as it is not harmful to
wildlife. To insure continued access please be respectful to the
landowner by following proper trail etiquette and obeying all posted
1. Do not ride these trails during the winter. Deer will not
survive the winter if frequently disturbed.
2. Unauthorized trail-building is strictly prohibited!
3. To reduce erosion and prevent "trenching" of trails,
do not ride trails when muddy.
4. Avoid disturbing wildlife, and do not allow your dog to chase