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  1. #1
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    Salt Lake City Foothills Trails Master Plan

    SLC folks, if you haven't already...please check out this link and have a look at the future trail planning above Salt Lake City. This is our chance. Get on the record for the trails master plan that will dictate what we build and ride in the future.

    https://altaprojects.net/foothills-map/#/


    As part of the Salt Lake Valley Trails Society, I've been involved in this process from early on. The city has been awesome to work with and is excited to have the input and energy of mountain bikers as we set up the foothill trail system for the future. Exciting things are happening from Emigration Canyon to North Salt Lake. Is it going to be perfect? Probably not. But it will be a hell of a lot better than the crowded, braided shitshow that is the Shoreline zone right now.

    I've been very direct with the City and consultants that we want as much hand cut or natural trail as we can get. I've already repeated :"Don't Draper Salt Lake" to them numerous times and I think it's sinking in, thanks to some good old Valley provincialism.

    So please have a look. Use the comment function on specific sections - existing and proposed. Please don't be a jackass.

    Enjoy this unique opportunity .

  2. #2
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    The more you can convince the govt entity you do NOT need "beginner-friendly trails," the better off every MTBer will be in the long run, whiny progressive feelings offered contrarily notwithstanding. The easiest way to achieve this? Rattle off the miles of trails already in place which help a beginning cyclist learn to ride & handle a bike. You know. Existing bike lanes, paths, etc all around the region. The assumption that dirt sidewalks are "necessary" for any trail system is BS, and there are thousands of riders who began in the days of no "beginner-friendly" dirt sidewalks and they still ride bikes.

    Also: if you're a parent and you're thinking Parentally about the "need" for those dirt sidewalks... stop. Take a long nap. Wake up. Remember when you rode bikes as a tyke, fell off, got banged up & maybe even cried? Yeah. You're still here aren't you? So relax, anxious parent. You do not need dirt sidewalks to protect your progeny.

  3. #3
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    Nice work and thanks thanks thanks for the effort! Just a general comment: it would be nice to have a higher up, (rolling rather than flat and at one elevation constantly), trail that parallels shoreline, and has a few access points going from shoreline up to it. The trails listed seems like a bunch of small additions, which is awesome, but a long single trail (placed anywhere really) I feel would be a lot of fun.

    Watershed issues would probably limit this idea, and of course I haven't studied a map to see if this is feasible, but is it actually feasible? Even if it's only slightly above shoreline it would spread people out.

  4. #4
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    Yup. We’ve discussed this with the city and we agree that the existing Shoreline trail provides ample opportunity for beginner riders, and this project is s huge change to build some proper and needed interesting multi-use and challenging bike specific stuff. Fortunately, most of the terrain in question is steep and there’s a ddcent amount of rock.
    There is mellow section at the mouth of Red Butte Canyon that may get a compact set of beginner trails,(mostly for non-profit groups like Trips for Kids and Bike Utah’s youth programs) but that’s about it.

  5. #5
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    Muted, check out the trail that goes from Mt Van Cott eastward than north towards Black Mtn.
    That plus the alternative BST alignment should spread things out a bit

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by joetron View Post
    Yup. We’ve discussed this with the city and we agree that the existing Shoreline trail provides ample opportunity for beginner riders, and this project is s huge change to build some proper and needed interesting multi-use and challenging bike specific stuff. Fortunately, most of the terrain in question is steep and there’s a ddcent amount of rock.
    There is mellow section at the mouth of Red Butte Canyon that may get a compact set of beginner trails,(mostly for non-profit groups like Trips for Kids and Bike Utah’s youth programs) but that’s about it.
    That's a coup. Being able to persuade them on that existing opportunity is always a win. It's usually ironic* and the muni entity usually imagines it knows better than experienced MTBers on what is needed. Often this is because munis have a default "consult IMBA" mindset and we know what IMBA has become.


    * ironic: "We need more trails. These new trails must have plenty of beginner opportunity, to grow the sport and to avoid unnecessary enticement to litigation." RESULT: An area devoid of natural technical challenge gets the problem exacerbated by the muni's "expertise", internal or external via IMBA.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by joetron View Post
    Muted, check out the trail that goes from Mt Van Cott eastward than north towards Black Mtn.
    That plus the alternative BST alignment should spread things out a bit
    I saw that, looks sweet but I'm thinking of something much much longer. Like from the zoo to City Creek. Or especially Zoo to Dry Creek. Avoiding dog-walkers and baby shufflers Zoo to Dry Creek would be nice for user conflict.

  8. #8
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    ok, dumb comment here. i've also submitted this to the email listed on the site you linked us to.

    SIGNS!!!! I'm direction-ally challenged apparently. even in the back country around here i get off trail easily and don't always go the best route. i usually just navigate what i can see which sometimes leads me astray. with that said, i've biked this area they are fixing since 1993. granted i don't get out there as much as i used to, but i always get confused out there on what is a legitimate trail and what is a hiking trail, and what is a deer trail. i know they've got a few different entrances to bobsled, and i'm sure a few illegal runs around there. i've been reluctant to try to follow any trails that i'm not used to up there as i don't want to add to any bad trails/ hiking trails. over the last two decades i've seen countless new trails eroded out from various neighborhoods and off to different peaks. i think this is blm land that we realistically can do that on, but i think signage would help keep bikers on track and not follow any stupid hiking trails or game trails. i know with signage it will end up looking like draper or park city, but for the directionally challenged riders, and the new riders alike- i think it would add to everyone's experience.

    also, I've only been out in this area once this year, so there may be more signs that I've missed.

    i also second the connector from the zoo to dry creek. that whole area got fucked up years ago when they put in the natural history museum. i get that red butte owns a lot of that land behind them, and i think the map/trails you propose eliminates this problem, albiet its a long route.

    last thought, with all the uphill only proposed improvements i guess you'll have to put in signage...

    just my $0.02

  9. #9
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    Is all of the land on the map owned by SLC? Where the trails actually fall, I mean.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  10. #10
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    Yep. Red Butte Canyon Research area is the hang up there. I did add a section of trail from proposed trail 29 over to the exiting stuff on the north slope of Red Butte to skip some of the BST cluster

  11. #11
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    Nice. We have a ton of private parcels and FS here on the Ogden bench which makes any kind of trail improvements difficult.
    Last edited by zion zig zag; 11-27-2017 at 03:04 PM.

  12. #12
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    Way cool. It seems like this is long overdue. Here's a comment: No fucking e-bikes!

  13. #13
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    I run up in the avenues twin peaks / BST area all the time. I have no idea what is MTB-only (I assume bobsled is, but that area is littered with Trails, trails and "trails") and what is not, what the trails are named, etc. Your site is very useful. I'm usually of the opinion that signage is annoying, but some sort of online map resource at least would be great.

    Looks like a lot of cool stuff, especially in the Van Cott / Mt Wire area. I don't MTB but would be interested in supporting these things, as a bunch of what is proposed would be great for me too. It feels like here, in sharp contrast to what I hear about some places, all different user groups get along pretty well in the foothills so far. This seems like all good stuff.

    Also no e-bikes lol.

    Edit: in particular, trail ID 34 is fucking awesome. Looks like a lot of work went into this, nice job.

  14. #14
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    The more I look at it the more I understand it and like it. Again, nice work.

  15. #15
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    Salt Lake City Foothills Trails Master Plan

    Yes much of the land is owned by the city, or at least managed by the city. We’ve got buy-in from pretty much all other landholders (This is the Place, UofU, Huntsman, etc). Red Butte Canyon Natural Research Area is Army Corps of Engineers and off limits, so any trails between Mt Wire and Mt Van Cott get pinched. We run into a similar issue with City Creek Watershed. Long/long term I have hopes of stretching the trails back towards Lookout and Big Mtn, we’ll certainly be talking to Watershed folks about City Creek. We think that a few trails below the water treatment plant wouldn’t be out of the question, and the terrain is so good.
    Edit to add: Signs, yes there will many signs with all the new directions, uses etc. As mentioned, it’s historically been like the Wild West up there - basically a free-for-all. It sucks when you don’t know which spurs suck and which are worthwhile. I did a lot of backtracking when I moved back here in 2012.
    I was a little reluctant to really push for greater trail infrastructure with the city, because there is always going to be a little ratcheting down, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. They’ve been so cool with I St, Bobsled and Tanners that I have hope.
    The plan still has to a ways to with city approval, some enviro evaluation, etc; so stay tuned for the next steps and thanks for your feedback thus far.
    We haven’t really talked EBikes yet, but that should be an interesting convoy. Fuck those things.
    Last edited by joetron; 11-27-2017 at 06:15 PM.

  16. #16
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    This looks great. I don’t do much biking, but I run in the foothills all the time. Having a good online map would be really helpful - this one is already more useful than most.

  17. #17
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    This project is pretty rad, Joe! I'm all for new and better trails, I just hope it doesn't get too much of the Draper treatment.

    I know it kinda sucks for visitors, but the lack of signage and the social trails are what make riding in the area so fun, not very sustainable in the long run but really fun. It's super easy to get away from people once you venture beyond Dry Creek.

    It really makes sense for SLC to have a more legitimate network

  18. #18
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    This looks awesome, left a lot of comments and gonna share to my networks. Agree with Springsproject that the wild-west feel makes it cool too. Also as stated, easy to get away from people. I'd like to keep a lot of the existing trails, maybe with a little erosion and drainage help, and add the new ones.

    Here's my proposal for the future:
    Name:  Screen Shot 2017-11-30 at 3.23.09 PM.png
Views: 163
Size:  550.5 KB

    These would connect to the existing MPT and GWT for truly EPIC loop options. Loops this big would pretty unique to any metro area in the country.

    Edit to add: These connections would also make two separate 'Crest' style shuttle trails for SLC. Upper TH parking lots are already there. This would also be a totally unique situation to a US Metro area.
    Last edited by beaterdit; 11-30-2017 at 08:19 PM.
    There's nothing better than sliding down snow... flying through the air.

  19. #19
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    Yes Sam! I spent a lot of time looking at a very similar Mt Wire to Lookout route the other day. There is a lot of existing ridgeline trail up there already.

  20. #20
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    I know it! There's existing GWT, then another lookout peak trail that's sparsely traveled and comes out down in Little Dell. Then there's at least game trail the whole rest of the way.
    There's nothing better than sliding down snow... flying through the air.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by springsproject View Post
    I know it kinda sucks for visitors, but the lack of signage and the social trails are what make riding in the area so fun, not very sustainable in the long run but really fun. It's super easy to get away from people once you venture beyond Dry Creek.
    We're getting a taste of what losing that wild-west/no signage aspect brings in Draper now. The amount of people riding Jacob's has exploded since the Peak View connector and new signage went in. The number of people up there on Saturday was unbelievable.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dantheman View Post
    We're getting a taste of what losing that wild-west/no signage aspect brings in Draper now. The amount of people riding Jacob's has exploded since the Peak View connector and new signage went in. The number of people up there on Saturday was unbelievable.
    I think this is going to be the new norm all over the Wasatch Front. With the explosion of High School MTBing teams it's only going to continue to get more crowded. I hate to be all gloom and doom but it's started to make riding less worthwhile to me, if I have to pull over for another rider every few minutes I start to get pretty irritated. The amount of trail mileage is not pacing the number of riders added to the sport by a long shot.

  23. #23
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    That's sort of a separate issue from what I brought up, but yeah, overall growth isn't slowing down any time soon. PC and Draper could make things a lot better with a couple more directional designations and a few new trails, though. Perceived crowdedness drops dramatically when everyone is going the same way.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dantheman View Post
    That's sort of a separate issue from what I brought up,
    Yeah sorry, been thinking about it a lot lately.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dantheman View Post
    Perceived crowdedness drops dramatically when everyone is going the same way.
    And yes. I'm not sure why it's hard to get buy in on this, but it is.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by zion zig zag View Post
    I think this is going to be the new norm all over the Wasatch Front. With the explosion of High School MTBing teams it's only going to continue to get more crowded. I hate to be all gloom and doom but it's started to make riding less worthwhile to me, if I have to pull over for another rider every few minutes I start to get pretty irritated. The amount of trail mileage is not pacing the number of riders added to the sport by a long shot.
    Gotta admit, I still have a really good time pretty much every single time I ride CC or PC. I expect to see other riders when I go to CC and I expect to see people below Mid-Mountain and on Pinecone in PC (just like when I ski Alta or Snowbird.)

    More singletrack behind downtown and the U sounds great too...

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