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WASATCH MOUNTAIN STATE PARK — The warm weather has deterred many snow sports enthusiasts from snowmobiling this season, but there is still decent snowpack in several mountain ranges and some great trails are located in Wasatch Mountain State Park.
Encompassing 28,000 acres, Wasatch Mountain State Park is the second largest state park in Utah and the oldest recreational state park, according to assistant park manager Drew Patterson. The park opened to the public in 1967 and will have 67 miles of non-motorized trails after the completion of the Wasatch Over Wasatch Trail. The WOW Trail is expected to be completed by Oct. 1.
The park also offers nine designated motorized trails that interconnect and cross into the Uinta National Forest in American Fork Canyon, according to Wasatch Mountain State Park manager Tracy See. OHV riders can ride almost 32 miles without changing trails because of the interconnectivity, See said. The park also grooms 70 miles of trails for snowmobiling during the winter.
Located 45 minutes from Salt Lake City, Wasatch Mountain State Park draws around 12,000 snowmobilers annually, See said. Several of the trails are fun to snowmobile in the winter months and the snowpack is still good this year, despite the warm weather.
Here are five recommended trails to snowmobile in Wasatch Mountain State Park.
The Mill Flat trail is about 15 miles round trip and climbs from the Mill Flat Trailhead to the summit of the Wasatch Mountains. The steep, groomed trail has several switchbacks, but is manageable for riders of most abilities. The trail provides beautiful views of Lone Peak and Mount Timpanogos.
If you want a longer ride, you have the option of continuing through American Fork Canyon to Tibble Fork Reservoir. It is the most popular trail in Wasatch Mountain State Park because of the easy access to American Fork Canyon, according to Wasatch Mountain State Park buildings and grounds supervisor Charles Springer.
This trail is roughly 3.5 miles long across the top of the Wasatch Mountain ridgeline and offers beautiful views of the Heber Valley and the back of Mount Timpanogos. Cummings Parkway is the easiest trail for beginning snowmobilers, Springer said. However, snowmobilers should be aware of the possibility of drifting at or near the ridge line.
Cummings Parkway connects into the Mill Flat Trail, which offers access to American Fork Canyon.
Cascade Springs Trail
This trail begins at the Cascade Springs Trailhead, which is one of the two main trailheads for OHVs. It is around 8 miles round trip and climbs from the farmlands near Charleston and continues past the Soldier Hollow Olympic site. It also passes its namesake, the historical Cascade Springs, near the junction of the Decker Pass Trail.
The wide and relatively mild climb of the trail makes it a good ride for snowmobilers of all abilities.
Little Deer Creek Trail
This trail is around 6 miles one way and follows the main road to the Little Deer Creek Campground. It goes through the canyon and is a relatively easy snowmobile ride. The Little Deer Creek Campground is one of the few designated campgrounds in Utah that allows OHV use, See said.
This trail is not groomed, but it is an easy ride and offers the prettiest vistas, See says. Trail 3 is around 12 miles round trip and starts at the Cascade Springs Trailhead. It eventually drops into the Deer Creek Trail Campground area.
What is your favorite trail to snowmobile during the winter? Tell us on the comment boards.