Originally presented in Park City’s Prime Cuts 3 by Paul Boyle, Mark Fischer & Charlie Sturgis
|Ride Time:||0.75-3 hours|
|Highest Elevation:||8,427 ft|
|Lowest Elevation:||6,202 ft|
|Total Climb:||236 ft|
|Net Climb:||2,455 ft|
Fast singletrack through a mix of wide open alpine and sagebrush meadows plus some aspen and evergreen forests over the course of a long descent that has you covering more than 10 miles of trail in a single shuttle. Expect to see incredible views of the Wasatch Range and the town of Midway. As an added bonus, there are very few intersections, so navigation is pretty easy.
A super fun shuttle ride that has you descend from one of the highest points in Park City down the backside of the Wasatch Range into Midway. This ride is peppered with fast singletrack, berms, small jumps, and one climb to keep you honest—making this one of the most fun rides in this book.
The ride starts at the trailhead near the top of Pine Canyon Road. Out of the parking lot you will head southeast and the fun pretty much starts right there. As you cruise through aspens keep a lookout for elk, moose, and even (possibly) mountain lions. The wide, machine-built singletrack takes you in and out of aspen groves and high alpine meadows. Well-placed rock slabs make for fun side hits and the corners are built up nicely. Around mile 2.3 you will cross a small stream and then begin climbing.
Much like the first descent, this climb winds its way through aspen groves and high alpine meadows. It’s quiet up here—taking a moment to enjoy nature here is a plus. After climbing for only about a mile, the fun starts again. You’ll head south across some long cuts and then the trail opens up. For the next 7 miles, it’s all twisty, turny, and jumpy. This trail is well-built, and it’s easy to keep your rhythm as you rip.
A unique feature of this ride is the changing ecosystems. We mention above the high alpine meadows, but you can also expect to ride through dense foliage and flowers, aspen groves, high alpine deserts, and forests of spruce trees all in the same ride. If you do this ride twice (which you should, if not more) you will really take in the remarkable changes in ecosystems as you descend—that’s because the first time you are just looking for the next turn, berm, or jump! Keep in mind the bottom 4 miles of this ride are in exposed high alpine desert. If you decide to climb the WOW Trail, be sure to start in the cool of the morning.
The WOW Trail was created to connect Empire Pass to Midway via singletrack. There has always been the Guardsman Pass Road connection which is usually featured in the Tour of Utah, but the WOW trail is the first true singletrack connection. The best part is there are plans to extend it further to truly connect it with other singletrack near the top of Empire Pass.
If you are looking for a long ride that will really test your skills and stamina, try linking the WOW trail to one of our other Epic rides, The Crest. This combination would have you ride the WOW trail uphill—which is nice as well—and will send you clear over the mountain range into Salt Lake City (or Midway if you ride from the opposite way) covering 40+ miles.