Mud Springs, Finally

After reading Brad's post a pang of guilt surfaced - I have not biked the Mud Springs trail. I've been mountain biking around here for over 15 years. I ride American Fork Canyon a lot. I've known about the trail for years. But never rode it - until today.

I met my lovely wife at the mouth of of American Fork Canyon and up we went. Dropped a car at the Tibble Fork fork then started from Salamander Flat camp ground. Yes, it's lame to shuttle and cut the ride so short, but we didn't have much time.

The climb up Pine Hollow and out the Ridge trail were nice, as always. We met (Tall) Steve and Clayton along the way. Then we arrived at the fork for Mud Springs and I was thrilled to be doing a new trail in a place I love to ride.

It started a bit rough and I almost cleaned the logs of the climb (spun out on a tricky one). The climb was good - some technical stuff and a grade steep enough to work me, but not kill me.

At the top we took the spur out to the overlook. Steve told us it gets too rough for bikes so we dropped them at the first rocks, but we should have gone farther. Still, a pretty short walk. It was a nice view.

Back on the Mud Springs trail it descended mellow at first and then got steeper. It was never death-defying, but it had some technical rocky and rooty spots that kept me on my toes. After a pretty long run we crossed with the Tibble Fork trail and up the short, steep climb on the other side. I made the climb, but was surprised when I got over a log step that I was sure I would spin out on.

The trail continued less steep now, but still fun. We came to the Mill Canyon trail and went down. It had a few spicy spots, but still fun - like the 3 stream crossings.

At Tibble Fork Reservoir I suggested we go across the stream, but Jolene didn't want to get wet so we went along the south side of the lake. Bad choice. Some of it was rideable, but a lot was not and the final rock outcrop was a pain to hike down. Unless you're a major aquaphobe, go across the stream.

We zipped down the road, retrieved the shuttle car and headed home.

The Mud Springs trail was a good ride. Very scenic as it's mostly in thick pine and aspen trees - shady and serene. The technical features are challenging, but not frightening. I hear that sometimes Mud Springs is a mess, but it's pretty good right now. Most of the trail was buff, but there were sections of moon dust and loose rock (usually there was a clear path). If I were riding down Tibble Fork I'd often prefer to take Mud Springs over to Mill Canyon to make for a longer ride.


Derek said...


Next time finish Mud by dropping down Tibble Fork at the intersection. It's a great ride down and you get to skip the water crossing at the bottom.

Jay said...

If you stay high on the trails south of tibble fork res, you can cross over to the tibble fork trail and avoid the rock outcrop. It's still not rideable, but it's much better than that rock.

Eat Sleep MTB said...

Does that car shuttle really save much time over riding up the road?

Oh, and agreed, its lame. ;-)

KanyonKris said...

derek: I like going to Mill because it's a longer ride, but Tibble is fun too. Good to have options.

jay: Good to know. Next time I'm going across the stream unless it's raging or unless it's really cold.

eat sleep mtb: I doubt the shuttle was much faster, especially if we would have started at the Pine Hollow trailhead. I suggested no shuttle but was overruled.