Fall in Park City offers some of the best mountain biking of the season. The temperatures are cool, the dirt is tacky, and the colors are downright psychedelic. It’s riding so good you wish it would never end.
But like all things that bring joy to your life, there’s a tradeoff. With the sun setting earlier each day – but your unrelenting soul-crusher of a boss still making you stay until 5:00pm – the window for riding after work is quickly closing.
When Mother Nature and the Man are conspiring to limit your riding time, it’s important to have a solid strategy in place. So, I asked three Jans Experts to each detail their classic after-work rides for fall.
Paul’s Shuttle Lap
Shuttle to Empire Pass – Corvair – Mid Mountain – Little Chief – Speedbag
Descent: Approx. 1,700′ over 5 miles
Duration: 30-45 minutes
PB: “I still want maximum vert so during the fall I shuttle as much as possible after work. Getting a ride at least as far up as Empire Pass gives you plenty of options to work with, and sometimes you end up having time for two different laps.”
View Paul’s Shuttle Lap with the Mountain Trails Foundation Route Builder.
“Flowy, fast turns, with steeper sections to keep you alert. There’s not much traffic so the trail holds itself together a little better.”
“Tighter, twistier, and a little more loose than most modern trails. Old-school Park City riding at its best.”
“Good balance of fast and smooth, to slow and techy – back-and-forth. It keeps you on your toes. Plus, there’s an intensity factor riding along deep ravines and picking your way over steep sections of roots and rocks. It’s a good final push in terms of having to pump and keep your speed up to clear obstacles, but without actually having to pedal much.”
Cindi’s Shuttle Lap
Wasatch over Wasatch (W.O.W.) trail – Midway reservoir to Wasatch State Park
Climb: Approx. 600′
Descent: Approx. 2,500′ over 9 miles
Duration: 1.5 hours
CG: “I have been riding the WOW trail after work quite a bit this summer. I run a shuttle to the bottom of Wasatch State Park and then leave right from my cabin (near Guardsman Pass.) It takes about an hour-and-a-half, so I have to keep moving at a pretty good pace to finish before dark.”
View Cindi’s Shuttle Lap with the Mountain Trails Foundation Route Builder.
“Starts out with a short and fun climbing section and then you get 2,500-feet of flowy, bermed downhill.”
Eric’s Endurance Lap
Start at White Pine Touring – Daly – Tour de Suds – Team Big Bear – Moosebones – Corvair – Mid Mountain – Tour de Suds – Trappers
Climb: Approx. 2,150′ over 7 miles
Descent: Approx. 2,150′ over 8 miles
Duration: 2 hours
EL: “Even when I’m working with limited daylight I still like to try to get a real climb in. If you choose the right trails you can gain some serious vert without beating yourself up too badly – meaning there’s still time for a big, long, rowdy downhill before dark.”
View Eric’s Shuttle Lap with the Mountain Trails Foundation Route Builder.
“Great conversational double-track climb.”
Tour de Suds (up)
“Classic old-school Park City hand-cut trail.”
Team Big Bear (up)
“Great climb through a mix of aspens and pine trees. Semi-steep at points with some technical sections mixed in to keep you honest.”
“Last push before the downhill starts. A short section of climbing before you intersect with the Guardsman Pass road (Hwy 224) and then another short pedal up the pavement to the top of Empire Pass.”
“Fast, flowy and fun descent through a mix of pine and aspen trees. If this one doesn’t put a smile on your face you might be dead.”
Tour de Suds (down)
“Same as the climb, but this old-school trail takes on a new feel when you’re descending it.”
“Look for this fun detour as a bonus on your way out. It’s another old, hand-cut trail. Short but sweet, with some tight and twisty sections.”
Nate Tomlinson, Senior Content Writer