Wasatch-Cache National Forest Cross-Country Skiing Overview

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Wasatch-Cache National Forest Cross-Country Skiing Travel Tips

  • Mill Creek Canyon Ski Trail begins five miles up the canyon at the winter gate near Maple Grove Picnic Area. The groomed ski trail follows the road for the next 4.5 miles.
  • Pipeline Trail, a popular summertime mountain bike trail in Mill Creek Canyon, becomes an ungroomed ski trail in winter. It parallels the road from near the bottom of the canyon to just above the winter gate.
  • In Big Cottonwood Canyon, Jordan Pines (8.8 miles up the canyon) and Spruces campgrounds (9.7 miles up the canyon) have snow trails suitable for beginner skiers.
  • Solitude Nordic Center offers groomed trails, rentals, lessons, supplies, light snacks, and guided backcountry tours. It’s 14.2 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon between Brighton and Solitude resorts.
  • Little Cottonwood Canyon Trail begins near the canyon mouth and follows Little Cottonwood Creek on a well-graded climb of 3.5 miles one way. Ice formations along this trail can be fantastic.

Beaver Creek Ski Trails, Kamas Ranger District
The Beaver Creek Ski Trail is a system of cross-country ski trails maintained for free public use. The trail system is on the Kamas Ranger District, and begins six miles east of Kamas, Utah. The trails are open to cross-country skiers but closed to snowmobiles and other motorized vehicles. Forest service snowmobiles are used to maintain the trails.

Skiing Safety
The Beaver Creek Trail System is not patrolled and skiers are responsible for their own safety. Do not abandon an injured person. One person should stay with the victim while someone else summons help. Keeping the injured person warm and preventing hypothermia is of utmost importance. Parents with children should remember that warm drinks and high-energy foods are especially important for younger skiers.

Etiquette

Passing: Slower skiers should stop out of the way to allow faster skiers to pass. When skiing uphill, be aware of skiers coming down the trail and be prepared to move out of their way. In icy conditions the downhill sections can be quite fast: Maintain control at all times.

Dogs: Dogs are only allowed on this particular trail on ODD-NUMBERED DAYS. Due to rising conflicts among dogs and dogs, and people and dogs, safety concerns and limited access had to be addressed. Anyone skiing with their pet should have the animal(s) under control at all times either with a leash or simply by voice commands. Skiers who chose to bring their dogs must keep them under control at all times. The Beaver Creek area is important winter range and dogs can pose a real threat to moose and other wildlife already stressed by harsh winter conditions. Also, in certain weather conditions dogs can ruin the groomed surface for other skiers.

Sanitation: Toilets are no longer open along the trail. However, there are toilets at both main access trailheads, the Yellow Pine Trailhead and the North Fork Trailhead.

Trail Maintenance
Trail junctions are signed. Beaver Creek and Taylor Fork trails are groomed. Trails are usually groomed on Fridays following heavy storms.

Trails

Beaver Creek Trail
5 miles - 7,000 to 7,600 ft. elevation
Parallels the south side of Beaver Creek. Winds through conifer and aspen forests and open meadows. Gains 600 feet of elevation between Slate Creek and Shingle Creek divide (4.5 miles), then drops 100 feet in the last mile to the Provo River.
Groomed and track set
Difficulty: Easy

Pine Valley Trail
3 miles - 7,600 to 8,600 ft. elevation
Begins at the Pine Valley Trailhead and travels the western edge of Pine Valley, connecting the Beaver Creek Trail and SR35. This ungroomed trail provides beginners with opportunities for more solitude and more primitive travel than can be found on the Beaver Creek Trail.
Not groomed
Difficulty: Easy

Loop Trail
2 miles - 7,160 to 7,480 ft. elevation
Forks off the Beaver Creek Trail 1.5 miles from the Slate Creek Trailhead and reconnects with the main trail near Failure Canyon. Provides access to the Mine Trail. Climbs a narrow aspen-lined draw and tops out in a large meadow that is a fine picnicking spot on a sunny day.
Not groomed and track set
Difficulty: Intermediate

Mine Trail
1.5 miles - 7,400 to 8,000 ft. elevation
Connects the Loop Trail with the ridge south of Beaver Creek. Climbs steadily through a dense conifer forest, past old mines and a cabin, finally opening onto a ridge that offers a spectacular view of Mount Timpanogos to the west. The trail ends at the ridge, but unmarked trails continue into Red Pine Creek, Rileys Canyon, and Cedar Hollow.
Not groomed
Difficulty: Difficult

Taylor Fork Trail
0.75 miles - 7,780 to 7,945 ft. elevation
Forks from the Plantation Trail. Climbs steeply to a knoll. Skiers may continue on unmarked trails back to the Beaver Creek Trail near the mouth of Failure Canyon.
Not groomed
Difficulty:
Difficult

Plantation Trail
2 miles - 7,400 to 8,120 ft. elevation
Forks from Beaver Creek Trail four miles from the Slate Creek Trailhead. Climbs steadily to a large opening that offers a fine view of the Uinta peaks to the north. Loops back to Beaver Creek Trail.
Not groomed
Difficulty: Difficult


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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