Draper Mountain Bike Trails

You can find the official website here. It includes a link to download the PDF map, but that map is out of date by some years. The trails generally have even more loops and switchbacks than drawn in with colored lines, and two or three times I found myself in areas of the map with no lines at all. I went out on this ride Thursday.

It was my first visit to the trails park and I really didn’t intend to shoot too many pictures. This shot is about what most of it looked like. The trails are well-worn, somewhat sandy and the terrain itself feels mostly flat. The rise and fall is long and gentle in most places. The whole thing sits on a faint ridge that runs north-south. There are the occasional natural features with gullies and places where the underlying red sandstone juts to the surface, but it’s mostly thick underbrush dominated by blackjack oak.

There are just a few man made features. This one is an over-n-under where the trail runs below and then doubles back to climb over. I am still not quite recovered enough to make that climb without dismounting. Such happened only a handful of times in the considerable distance I rode. At no time did I find any of the sand pits too much to handle, but there were an awful lot of them. I think somehow my well-trained eyes saved me far more than my actual riding skill, but I didn’t hurry.

For some reason the trails were marked with instructions to follow a reverse direction on most of the defined loops. From the parking lot, I was directed by red-on-white arrows southward to the yellow loop (moderate difficulty). At some point it merged into the orange loop (another moderate trail) without any kind of notification. By the time I came back out to the open cut through the woods, I was already tired, but I carried on into the green loop (fairly easy and very long). I skipped the red loop simply because I was already tired and headed down to the blue loop, supposedly the easiest. In the midst of this was the black loop, featuring a large collection of man made challenge features. I spotted a banked wooden wall that was off the ground a bit, as well as several other things impossible for me.

The blue loop was quite easy in one sense, but there were so very man tight switchbacks that I could almost see myself coming and going. There were dozens of places where you could reach through the foliage and grab someone behind or in front of you. Eventually I was led back to the green loop which had been interrupted by the detours on the northern end of the park area. By the time I finished, I was whipped. It took me about an hour-and-a-half for the loops I chose. I noticed it felt more like running than those long steady road rides, frequently swapping between fairly hard surging and coasting. I managed to get started early enough not to melt in the heat of the day.

I could stand to do this about once per week. I think I’ll skip the blue and try the red next time.

About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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