“An unexpected delight in a part of Utah little known for mountain biking.”
— Ted Stroll
Some of the jeep road section after Mary's Lake could contain clayey soil that could make the road impassable during rain.
An uneventful 2000-foot climb up a wide gravel road takes you to Pete's Hole Reservoir, where 6.8 miles of Josephite Point Trail
singletrack await. The singletrack is pleasant and scenic. There's hardly anything technical on it. At the end of the Josephite Point Trail
, you descend to your car at Joe's Valley Reservoir. This ride is worth an overnight motel stay and a drive of an hour or two in my opinion. It seems to be little-known and I had the impression the bike shop in nearby Price, Utah, didn't have information on it. You'll be something of a pioneer in riding it, although it is featured in Gregg Bromka's book Mountain Biking Utah
(Pequot Press, 1999 ed.) at pages 222-224 (map included).
There is plenty of car camping nearby (fee charged). You'll share the campground with many ATVers sitting around their giant pickup trucks and ATV trailers. The Josephite Point Trail
, however, doesn't allow any motorized use.
Need to Know
Park when you reach the end of the pavement on Utah Highway 29, on the west side of Joe's Valley Reservoir.
Begin with a middle-ring climb from the end of the paved part of Utah Highway 29. Scenic views of Joe's Valley Reservoir appear as you climb.
In about three miles you start heading along the northern edge of a scenic alpine valley that ends in about four or five miles. When you reach the end, the road reverses course and you're on the southern side, where you'll see alpine wildflowers and meadows.
In eight or nine miles you reach a signed turnoff to Pete's Hole Reservoir - Forest Road 0005
. It's about a mile away, half down, half up. On the reservoir's far side, the Josephite Point Trail
begins. Its 6.8 miles of singletrack contain much nice flowy trail through alpine meadows and wooded areas. Josephite Point Trail
ends just before Mary's Lake, and you'll spend the next eight miles or so descending Forest Road 0041
and Forest Road 0170
- rough jeep roads that will take you back to Joe's Valley Reservoir.
Reportedly the Josephite Point Trail
receives little use, but a local Forest Service ranger stated that it is maintained, and it showed signs of regular maintenance.
History & Background
There may be a couple of historical markers and/or exhibits along Utah Highway 29 in the vicinity of Joe's Valley Reservoir, but I don't recall for certain.