Utah Road Courses
-Routes near Salt Lake City
Big Cottonwood Canyon
Description: Just start at the parking lot and head east.
Comments: A little warm up is a smart idea before hitting the mountain. This is a challenging ride with steep grades and a narrow shoulder. Average grade is about 7.8%. Be sure to have warmer clothing available for the (fast) trip down if it’s going to cool down.
Distance: 14.70 miles (one way)
Little Cottonwood Canyon
Description: Start at the parking lot and go east.
Comments: Depending on your perspective, this is about the best or the worst that Salt Lake has to offer. Average grade is 9.2%. To put this ride in perspective, you’ve heard of Alp D’ Huez? You know, the brutal Tour De France climb? Well Little Cottonwood is almost exactly the same profile – distance and grade – just without all the switchbacks.
Distance: 8.38 miles (one way)
Description: This ride picks up at the frontage road and Bangerter. It heads south, around the point of the mountain (be careful of the gravel trucks) and goes east on the Alpine Hwy. At (insert correct road name here), it heads up over the point of the mountain and then comes down Traverse Ridge.
Comments: A newer ride in the valley. It opened up late in the summer of 2005. the route from the south has a much lower grade than the going up from the north. Also, the road on the north side, Traverse Ridge is pretty busy and you need to be very careful. Heading around the point of the mountain on any day other than Sunday involves sharing the road with large gravel trucks – be careful!
Distance: 19.20 miles
Description: The northern end of Wasatch is at a parking lot on the south side of I-80 at the entrance to Parleys Canyon. The southern end is at 11650 south and 1700 east in Draper.
Comments: One of the best roads to ride down in the valley. Very popular. I often combine sections of Wasatch into other rides.
Distance: 14.30 miles (one way)
City Creek Canyon
Description: City Creek Canyon Road starts at Bonneville Blvd and heads east up the canyon. Cars only on even numbered days and bicycles and pedestrians only on odd numbered days.
Comments: This great ride enjoys the solitude of being without cars – but is only available on odd numbered days. The ride averages a 7.3% grade, but really seems like two very different rides to me. The lower portion is a lot like Millcreek and averages a 5.6% grade of mostly rolling hills. Once you pass the water treatment facility (I think that’s what it is) the road deteriorates and gets quite narrow. This upper section averages a 9.4% grade with some rather steep sections and is mostly shaded with lots of water running past. Another nice thing about this ride is that there are restrooms and water fountains all along the way.
Distance: 5.70 miles (one way)
Description: You can park at the shopping center and then just head east.
Comments: Another great ride. Average grade is 6.7%.
Distance: 9.20 miles (one way)
Description: This ride starts at the zoo and heads up to the crest of Emigration canyon.
Comments: This is a very nice ride. A consistent 5% grade. For a longer route, keep going up to the next crest.
Distance: 7.80 miles (one way)
Emigration Canyon II
Description: This ride starts at the zoo and heads up Emigration canyon. When you reach the first u-turn, just continue straight.
Comments: The first portion of this ride is a consistent 5% grade. One you elect to go straight and not stay on the main road, the grade changes to inlude 8, 10 and even 14% sections. After about 1.2 miles the road narrows considerably and it’s probably time to turn around. The notch you see on the elevation profile is where you continue straight as the road u-turns to the right.
Distance: 8.40 miles (one way)
Description: This ride is a loop around Heber City. It’s a nice quiet place.
Comments: This track is part of the Heber Century that my wife and I rode in the fall of 2005.
Distance: 20.20 miles
South East Benches
Description: Head south on 700 east and 300 east until you reach the Bangerter highway extension (at 138 south). Take that up to highland and head north to Pioneer road. Pioneer road to 1300 east and 128 south. Then head over to Wasatch and head north to Creek road.
Comments: The extension of Bangerter from 138 south up to Highland where it connects to Traverse Ridge is fairly new. It looked like a fun way to climb. It’s about a 7 to 9% grade in sections, but has a nice wide shoulder. This ride includes nice climbs and some rolling hills. I love riding on the benches in this area of town.
Distance: 28.00 miles (one way)
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