“A beautiful push through some of the last untouched, unspoiled backcountry above Bountiful, Utah.”
— Spencer Parkin
Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This run rides the final section of ridge separating City Creek Canyon and North Canyon just before reaching Rudy's Flat. It is grueling, but very rewarding for its views, and, perhaps, for the sense of accomplishment it can give.
This run features outstanding views into City Creek Canyon and North Canyon. Cresting the hill-cruxes feels amazing, and skillfully avoiding rocks and roots on the winding descents is a thrill too. I gave it 5 stars, because it has high vistas and beautiful clearings seemingly away from any sign of civilization in an area that I hope remains protected and accessible.
Access has been increasingly difficult with private property developments all along and above Bountiful Boulevard. Only a rich few have access to many of the trails that link-up to this trail.
Need to Know
A note about parking: Trail access is given at the end of Woodbriar Way, but parking is extremely limited. Respect the residents that live near this access point. We would not want to lose access here! If no parking is available, consider parking at Wild Rose Park and extending your run.
There are many alternate descents of this trail that would take you into private property. It's best just to return the way you came, or make a loop that involves the Wild Rose Park system of trails. The only alternative descent into public property, that I know of, is South Hooper Ridge Trail
, but you're going to get a direct hit from cell-tower radiation at ground level, and you'll have to suck car exhaust fumes as you run your way along streets back to Woodbriar Way.
I would say that you need to keep in mind that, while the way back is certainly easier than the way up, you're still going to need some stamina for the hill-climbs on the return, because the whole route goes up and down in both directions, especially if you're going to make a loop by visiting the upper sections of Wild Rose Park.
Don't pay attention to what percentage Trail-Run-Project says this route is runnable. It's 100% runnable from start to finish. On the steeper sections, look for the hidden switchbacks. Shorten your stride and relax up those hills.
I seriously hesitate to share this run because I want it all to myself. I have never come across another runner in the upper sections, and that's fine by me. This area is beautiful in the wee hours of the morning or as the sun goes down. I'll often run the whole way back in the dark with a head-lamp.
Note that while Mueller Park Trail
is a longer run to Rudy's Flat, this run to the flat is, in my opinion, much harder due to its rugged terrain.
I like to break this run down into 5 major cruxes. The first comes shortly after leaving the gas pipeline. If you have to walk the steeper sections of this part, don't let it discourage you from running the rest of the trail. After running through beautiful clearings, you finally link up with an old jeep road. Don't worry—it's off limits to motorized traffic. At this junction, you could turn right and make a loop of your run, or, as marked on the given line, head left to the second crux, a steep hill marked by a very large cairn. Now if you've still got energy to burn, continue up to the third crux--a monster hill that takes you to what is probably the highest elevation along the North Ridge of City Creek Canyon before reaching Rudy's Flat. Bask in the glory of conquring the 3rd crux!
But don't bask too long! Lose precious altitude on your way to the 4th crux--a trail emerging from the canopy onto a steep trail that follows the edge of green foliage where it meats the brown brush. I've tried running off-trail here by making my own switch backs to deal with the steep grade. It doesn't work! It actually burns more energy than just sticking straight to the trail and jog straight up the fall-line.
Conquering that, you lose some more hard-earned altitude on your way to the base of the 5th crux. Unlike all cruxes that came before, the difficulty of this crux is due to there being almost no trail, and whatever trail there is, one of terrible quality. Whereas the previous cruxes taxed you on a steep, sustained grade, this one taxes you on an awkward, rocky traverse. I think it's the hardest of all 5 cruxes. However! Once you've finished traversing around the final ridge peak, the trail picks up definition nicely, and it's smooth sailing from here! There's just one little up-hill section and then it's an easy-breezy jog all the way to the Flat! Note that mid-way through the awkward traverse, you have to jog straight up the fall-line (on zero trail!) for a bit to find one of at least 2 trails that finish the traverse. They both converge on one another, and then turn the corner to reach the saddle.
Flora & Fauna
I have encountered little porcupines in the area and little fat lizards. As always, watch out for rattlesnakes in the Wasatch. Remember that this is their habitat, not ours.