Part of Park City’s distinction as the International Mountain Bike Association’s first and only gold-level Ride Center is its abundance of beginner trails. These scenic rides are well marked, easily accessible and relatively switchback-free – perfect for novices, young riders and even experienced road cyclists looking to expand into mountain terrain. If you’re thinking of giving the trails a try this summer, consider one of these beginner rides:
McCleod Creek Trail – An easy ride for any ability, the McCleod Creek trail – part dirt, part paved – winds from the Kimball Junction area to Park City Proper for a scenic out-and-back, about 8 miles one way. A wide trail with a gentle incline, this path is ideal for families with kids and never-ever riders.
McHenry’s Practice Loops – This 1.5-mile loop, accessible from the mid-mountain Silver Lake area, offers a gentle, technically easy route for beginner riders to get a feel for mountain terrain. After a few loops for confidence, riders can advance to one of the many moderate routes in the Deer Valley area, including the popular Mid-Mountain trail, which can take riders all the way to Canyons Resort.
Round Valley – This sprawling trail system is at one of Park City’s lowest elevations, making it an ideal option for sea-level visitors. Wide and rolling, the terrain also offers good visibility for hikers, horses and other riders. Loops range from 3 to 14 miles with plenty of easy turning points for out-and-back rides. With an abundance of parking, a restroom facility and multiple trailheads, the Quinn’s Junction area is the most popular starting point.
Lost Prospector – This shaded route is accessible from Park City’s paved historic Rail Trail, giving riders an easy warm-up before taking on the trails. Mellow grades and easy-to-manage switchbacks make Lost Prospector a good option for beginners, with an aerobically friendly 7.8 mile loop.
Glenwild Loop – One of Park City’s most popular trail systems among all abilities, Glenwild features incredible scenic variety, with marshes, sagebrush, wildflowers and forest all in one ride. Some switchbacks can be technically challenging and the narrow, winding trails can make for a few surprises when encountering other riders, but much of the system is gentle, rolling and easily managed by novices.
McCleod Creek Trail
If you’re new to mountain biking or simply seek a mellow, scenic ride, start with McCleod Creek trail, which is partly paved and requires no technical skill.
Round Valley trail map
When you’re feeling comfortable with beginner trails, Round Valley is a great place to test your skills on wide, well-marked trails with gentle terrain and just enough switchbacks to make it a challenge.
Glenwild Loop trail map
With a variety of terrain and some technical areas, Glenwild is a perfect place to take your riding from beginner to intermediate. To avoid crowds on this popular trail (as well as the heat), start your ride before 8 a.m.