Backtracking the BST

As we began Season 3 in Spring 2023, we were excited to finish this project to try to get to the Idaho border by the end of the year. If for no other reason, we need to wrap up because Spencer is ready to get on with the rest of his life (including getting married in February 2024!). However, the Bonneville Shoreline Trail is not static, and “behind” us, lots more trail has been built! Yes, that’s a good problem to have. After some discussion, Spencer and I decided that I would go back and hike these sections myself and report on them. So bit by bit, I’m exploring them and releasing a series of short videos on our facebook page (which are clearly not produced by Spencer!). Here is what I’ve done so far, and what is planned:

Picture of BST in Lehi
Raptor Trail, Lehi
  1. Lehi, 12 July 2023: 1.5 miles new BST, 4 minute video, Trailforks hike log. The Raptor Trail is a short BST connection from the Sensei Trail down into the Canyon Hills neighborhood, built in 2022 as a compromise route to avoid a private property issue with their original higher route to south Draper, as we explored in Episode 7.
  2. Cottonwood Heights, 12 July 2023: 0.25 miles new BST, 3 minute video, Trailforks hike log. When we hiked in the Big Cottonwood Canyon area in Episode 13, a new section was still under construction, finished in the middle but not at either end. So I went back to check on the progress. At the west end, a new crossing of Ferguson Canyon has been completed nicely, but apparently the west end in Dogwood Picnic Area had not yet been built. Hopefully it will be done by the end of the year…
  3. Alpine, 2 September 2023: 2.7 miles not-quite-official BST, 5 minute video, Trailforks hike log. In Episode 7, we skipped over several miles in northern Alpine because a preferred route for the BST had not yet been determined. In late 2021, the cities of Alpine, Draper, Highland, and Lehi got together and worked out a general strategy for the trail along the south face of the Traverse Mountains, incorporating some existing trails, some planned trails, and some area of private property yet to be sorted out. On this hike, my dog Molly and I explored an existing connection between northeast Alpine and Fort Canyon, along Stoney Way, Vista Ridge, and Fort Canyon Trails. It isn’t currently signed as part of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail because it isn’t connected to anything at either end, but Alpine is working on a paved pathway that will connect it over to Lambert Park.
  4. Layton, 12 September 2023: 0.5 miles official BST, 2 minute video, Trailforks hike log. This segment north of Layton Ridge Drive isn’t new; it’s at least 10 years old, built by the neighborhood developer through the back yards of the homes. However, when we came here in Episode 23, It was buried under a foot of snow and wasn’t packed down like the segment we did hike. When I came back, I could see why; it is not used heavily and is somewhat overgrown, because it is a half-mile dead end. On air photos, it looks like there is an old double-track that continues to the north, but at the property line there is a fence and plenty of no trespassing signs. Continuing the trail toward Weber Canyon will require going just a bit uphill into the National Forest, but that is not Davis County’s first priority.
  5. Millcreek, 9 November 2023: 2 new miles official BST, 3 minute video, Trailforks hike log. When we hiked above Millcreek in Episode 16, Sarah Bennett showed us where they were just starting construction on a new trail to replace the truly awful one we had to hike down. It was just completed in October, so Molly and I went and checked it out. Very nice, although the middle set of switchbacks was really muddy.
  6. Bountiful, 12 November 2023: 5 new miles official BST, 5 minute video, Trailforks hike log. I finally hiked the 5 miles of new trail between North Canyon and Mueller Park where we got turned back by snow in Episode 20. A truly beautiful trail in dense conifer and maple forest, and a surprisingly easy 1500ft climb to the highest point on the entire BST.
  7. Bountiful, 3 January 2024: 3.9 new miles official BST, 6 minute video, Trailforks hike log. Above the Bountiful LDS Temple is a brand new segment between Holbrook Canyon and Ward Canyon (plus an even newer 2 miles south of Holbrook Canyon), built by Bountiful City on its own land. This is the first installment in a massive trail network masterplan, with some of the branching trails also under construction.
  8. Lehi, 13 April 2024: 3 new miles official BST, 5 minute video, Trailforks hike log. This is the second part of Lehi’s workaround route on the south side of Traverse Mountain (see Backtrack #1), replacing the old road we hiked in the second half of Episode 7. It climbs from an existing neighborhood, around the new Skye development, to Draper’s Brookside Trailhead. I went a little further on the Woods Hollow Trail; the Fango trail continues east, but Draper is not designating this as BST until it can connect all the way to Alpine and construct a safe crossing of Suncrest Drive.
  9. Herriman, 4 May 2024: 6 new miles official BST, 4 minute video, Trailforks hike log. In Episode 15, we had to climb over a ridge on an old social trail, then descend the ridgeline on a rather rough and steep ATV track which eventually dead ended when it reached property owned by Rio Tinto. In 2023, Salt Lake County worked with Rio Tinto to replace all that with a much better trail as part of a new trail network at the mouth of Butterfield Canyon. It has some climb, but as little as it could, with very reasonable grades.
Layton Ridge

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