Rattlesnake Gulch Trail

Rattlesnake Gulch Trail

Trails Utah is now working with our partners to improve, redesign, and eventually reroute one of the busier trails at the wild-urban interface of Salt Lake City. The Rattlesnake Gulch Trail, near the mouth of Millcreek Canyon, is heavily used by a mix of trail users that include mountain bikers, hikers and dog walkers. Most notably, it serves as an exit point for the popular Pipeline Trail for mountain bikers, many of whom are descending off the iconic Wasatch Crest Trail.

After a long, down-canyon contour along the Pipeline Trail, mountain bikers drop down the very steep, loose, rocky Rattlesnake Gulch Trail at high rates of speed. For those loving a technical high speed descent it can be fun, but because it is one of the first trails that can be accessed heading up the canyon from nearby Wasatch Boulevard it is a go-to for local hikers and dog walkers looking to get out for a quick excursion. The combination of descending mountain bikers and uphill hikers and dog walkers is a dangerous mix that needs a solution.

With funds secured through grants in 2018, Trails Utah is now working with pro trail builders and designers and the Salt Lake Ranger District to identify a new trail alignment in Rattlesnake Gulch that can stop the degradation and erosion of the gully and create a safer, more enjoyable trail experience for a variety of users. Design work and NEPA studies will take place this season and construction of a new trail in this area is slated for 2020. Support one of our most well-loved trails – Donate to Trails Utah today!

 

Skills

Posted on

December 12, 2018

16 Comments

  1. Stan

    Great project! This is a great location for a trail but in desperate need of help.

    Reply
    • Sarah Bennett

      The Rattlesnake Gulch Trail, or combination of trails, will someday be an important access point and link for the Bonneville Shoreline Trail!

      Reply
      • Chris

        I agree they should leave a downhill only bike trail on the existing trail, please don’t block it off once the new trail is built. Make the new section hikers and uphill bike traffic only. That would be the ideal solution in my opinion

        Reply
  2. Rodney

    They should leave the existing trail for bikers and make the new trail for hikers only. That is the best solution.

    Reply
    • Sarah Bennett

      Hey Rodney,….We are working on creating a fun, gravity fed, option for bikes possibly using some of the existing trail in the gulch bottom. There are some safety and erosional issues with keeping the trail as is. Appreciate your input!

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        The rattlesnake gulch trail has been there for over thirty years. There is no erosion problem. You are just doing this project to siphon funds into your pocketbook. Your 8% grade switchback trail sucks. These old historic mountain bike trails need to be preserved as is. You are ruining mountain biking.

        Reply
  3. Tim

    Leave the existing trail for bikes going downhill, make the new trail uphill/hiker only!

    Population will only increase! Any of the modern successful trail systems incorporate this philosophy! Look at some of corner canyon, high star ranch, etc!

    If you remove the existing trail you’re not addressing the problem.

    Reply
  4. Jared Hargrave

    🙂 I took that top photo. Weird seeing my old Cannondale again.

    Reply
  5. Brian

    I live very close so I’m on this trail all the time, both biking, and hiking with my family and dog. This sounds like a great plan. The current trail has some fun bits to bomb down on a bike, but it’s in really rough shape and can be scary to share with both hikers and bikers given how narrow and steep some parts are. Some wider more gradual switchbacks would definitely improve things, and it’d be awesome if we could keep some of the steep sections for bikes like Sarah mentioned. When I saw them rebuilding the parking area I was really hoping that some trail maintenance was coming too, so I was excited to read about this in the Millcreek newsletter.

    Reply
  6. Sarah Kaufmann

    Keep the current trail! Make it hiking/ uphill biking only and the new trail DH bike only.

    Reply
  7. Elle

    Only a mountain biker can understand the rewarding experience it is to end a Crest ride down Rattlesnake Gulch. Although not a 5-star downhill section, it does have its thrill and most importantly I am sure it is part of many mountain bikers’ Crest ride memories ❤️. Keep Rattlesnake Gulch a downhill MTB trail, and free of dog poop.

    Reply
  8. mike

    The existing trail is an amazingly fun DH. Swichbacks are not fun, especially 15 of them from which i can see. Build the other for uphill/hikers, leave this one for dh.

    Reply
  9. Nicole

    Rather than getting rid of the existing trail, I propose using the allocated funding to create a new dedicated low-speed trail for hiking and uphill biking. Getting rid of the existing trail would be a serious loss for the Utah mountain bike community, as it is an iconic section of the Wasatch Crest Route and one of the few advanced options left in that canyon for mountain bikers.

    The mountain bike community understands that erosion in the gully is a concern related to this plan, but I firmly believe there are options to mitigate erosion while keeping the existing trail open, and there are many trail users in the mountain bike community that would be willing to donate their time and money to assist in improving and maintaining this trail if it stays open.

    Reply
    • Nate Blouin

      The plan is to keep the existing trail as a downhill mountain biking trail and create a more bikeable and hiker friendly uphill trail, much as you have described. The existing trail will need some improvements to slow erosion but it will largely stay as is.

      Reply
  10. George Norman

    Hi I have a pass for Millcreek Canyon and really enjoy the rattle snake trail on a bike- I would hope that there would be in the plan for new trails or improvements to preserve mountain bike access-George Norman SLC UT 84105

    Reply
  11. Melissa

    This looks awesome! The current trail is definitely suffering from erosion, and the grade definitely exceeds normal recommendations. Thanks for being thorough and doing your homework (i.e. NEPA studies). Is the trail still projected to begin construction this year?

    Reply

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