The Flying Dog Trail … The Other Side of the Valley
The Flying Dog Trail lies in the mountains on the opposite side of Interstate 80 from the Mid-Mountain and Wasatch Crest trails. The Spring Creek Trailhead was easy to find and featured ample parking, a bathroom, a lawn, a gazebo, and a kiosk which posted nice maps and other information.
Adjacent to the trail head flowed Spring Creek. All this was placed right on the edge of a housing tract. In fact, Glenwild Road passes by the trailhead, crosses the large bridge over Spring Creek, and continues on up a hill to another bunch of houses on top. I would later find out the houses on top of the mountain were not exactly “housing tract” type of structures.
THE FLYING DOG INTERACTIVE MAP
- Below you will find a map for The Flying Dog Trail.
- Click the Green or Red balloons for driving directions to the trailhead(s).
- Click Tracks or Icons for Specific Info.
I said my goodbye to Cindy, crossed the bridge, made an immediate right turn, and pedaled up the Glenwild Loop, which starts out parallel to Spring Creek on its way to the Flying Dog Trail.
As the trail began to climb I looked down to see Cindy leaving the parking lot. She was going to go look at a couple of stores, a visitor center, and the Utah Olympic Park. Thinking about the Olympic Park made me glance up from her car and easily spot the ski jumps and the bobsled run carved into the mountain on the opposite side of the valley.
These huge structures are where the U.S Olympic Ski Jumping Team trains and where the bobsled and ski jumping events of the 2002 Olympics were held.
The Glenwild Loop takes about 1.2 miles to crisscross its way through sagebrush to the top of the first mountain.
I passed a couple of signs that should be posted on EVERY trail. Right near the top of that initial hill I pulled off the trail for a young lady coming down. I was amazed to see she had 4 kids (ages 8 to 12) following her. They were all negotiating the steep, loose trail quite well. Seeing these young riders made me feel great about the future of our sport and the health of some of our youth. So many of our youngsters are obese due to lack of exercise (except for the fingers they use to play video games). I see them every day in my math classes. The kids I saw would have made Mrs. Obama proud.
From the top of that first hill the trail skirted east around some houses and across some open fields of brush. The trail was narrow, with many long flat stretches occasionally interrupted by sharp, banked turns. I found myself riding fast and leaning hard into the corners, almost losing control a couple of times (sometimes I like to challenge myself, as if I were in some kind of a race). Large, beautiful, custom homes spread out on huge acreages were always within sight. I’ve always heard the more wealthy people tend to build their houses in the hills. That was truly evident here.
The Glenwild Loop passes through some unusual looking gates, a couple of paved roads, and then enters a marshy area. Several plank causeways were built to prevent hikers, bikers, and horseback riders from getting caught in the bogs. I kind of enjoyed the clicking sound my tires made when passing quickly over the slats.
Once across the marshes the trail comes to a “Y”. I could turn left and complete the Glenwild Loop back to the trail head… or turn right onto the Cobblestone Trail, which leads to the Flying Dog Trail… leading to the top of the mountain. I stopped at the sign even though I knew I wanted to go to the top. My Garmin map Csx GPS said I’d traveled 3.72 miles. When I looked down I realized I’d lost an unopened bottle of cold, orange, Gatorade. I didn’t feel like riding back to look for the drink and I had plenty of liquid (a hydration pack)… so I headed up the hill. I hoped some passerby might find it, realize it was unopened, and drink it down. I also hoped that if they didn’t want to drink it they would at least pick it up and recycle the container. I am proud to say that I often pick up trash on trails.
I took the Cobblestone Trail which wound up a ravine under trees and through tall weeds. I could not figure out how the trail got its name … the tread was smooth dirt. The trees blocked some solar radiation yet I still felt considerable heat as I no longer sensed any breeze.
Soon I came to another split. The sign said… Cobblestone left… and …Cobblestone right. The Cobblestone Trail was what some trail makers call a lollipop shape. If I took the Cobblestone left I’d hit the Flying Dog. If I took the Cobblestone right I’d come to… the Flying Dog. Just when I wasn’t sure which way I wanted to go… a young lady (maybe 14 years old) came riding down the left branch. I saw no other riders so I gathered she was out riding alone. I was a little shocked as I have never seen a young teenage girl riding all by herself. I asked her which way she would recommend I go.
She said she liked to ride up the right branch (and come down the left) … so I rode up the right. I didn’t ask her if I could get her picture (for the website) for fear she might think me some kind of pervert.
I finally started passing over cobblestones as the trail entered some aspens groves. Many of the trees were dead. Eighty-five percent of the spruce trees in Brian Head were dead due to some kind of beetle. I wondered if the aspens were suffering from a similar plight.
A large grassy meadow began to emerge as I passed over the rounded summit of a hill. I spotted another sign as the trail led me to another split. This time the sign read… Cobblestone–left … Flying Dog–right.
I knew ahead of time I had my work cut out for me. Twenty-one switchbacks… that was how the Flying Dog Trail started on this side of the mountain.
Click Park City Mountain Biking to see an overview of all the rides in this area.
To read about the best part of this ride click Flying Dog Trail (page 2).