15b Yellow Fork

2 July 2022: 5 miles (4.1 miles semi-official, 0.9 miles unofficial). Trailforks Log

Today we continued our exploration of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail on the west side of the Salt Lake Valley. Near Herriman in the upper southwestern corner of the valley is the Rose Creek and Yellow Fork Recreation Area, a large nature area shared between Salt Lake County and the Bureau of Land Management. They acquired this property that had previously been part of Camp Williams during the 1980s and 1990s, and in 2011 began actively developing it into a county park. Most of the trails in this area have been worn in and used by ATVs, dirt bikes, and horses for several decades. Among these was a double-track high in the hills that the county designated as the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. Recently the trails were renamed as development has continued, and the designation was removed because of the possibility of connecting to the Herriman Trail at a lower elevation.

If that happens, the main Yellow Fork Trail would be the best alignment for the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, so we decided to follow that route. This is an enjoyable, shady trail that is popular with hikers, bikers, and equestrians; there were many of each on this early summer morning.

From Yellow Fork we climbed a trail that was a little steeper and rougher up to Rose Ridge, where we had a great front-row view of the Kennecott Mine (well, actually its massive overburden tailings pile). The trail that descends this ridge is an old ATV track that is not bad in some places, but steep and rocky in other spots. At the base is the mouth of Butterfield Canyon, where Salt Lake County recently acquired more property and plans to begin building a trailhead later this year.

When this happens, a complete BST segment can be designated, but some trail improvements will be a great idea.

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