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dblack Mt. Van Cott Trail

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2.2 mile 3.6 kilometer point to point
Extremely Difficult


Ascent: 1,040' 317 m
Descent: -1,115' -340 m
High: 6,304' 1,921 m
Low: 5,189' 1,582 m


Avg Grade: 18% (10°)
Max Grade: 44% (24°)


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Trail shared by Jacob Crockett

Intense suffering on the way up, amazing views at the top, and a fun, technical descent.

Jacob Crockett

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-


If you're tired of riding the same path along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, then give Mt. Van Cott a try. The trail gains/loses elevation at an impressive rate, and the views of the Salt Lake Valley and the Wasatch are spectacular.

There are multiple ways to access it, and the route shown here takes you from the Red Butte Canyon side and the Red Butte North Trail (near the Red Butte amphitheater parking lot), up to the top, and down the ridge toward Dry Creek. The trail can be connected with the Red Butte Skyline Trail (Rough Riders), or you can skip some of the climbing and ride up Red Butte Canyon Road to the Red Butte North Trail directly across the street from Red Butte Skyline Trail (Rough Riders).

The trail can be ridden in either direction, but the climb from the Red Butte side is slightly more manageable. The trail is extremely steep in either direction (and you're nearly guaranteed to have to hike on the way up at some point), but fully rideable downhill, and the downhill in either direction is one of the best technical descents in Salt Lake City limits.

Where the singletrack flows (mostly on the Red Butte Canyon side), it is great, and you'll be left wondering why there aren't more developed trails in the area--it's prime area for a trail system. The descent, whichever direction you choose, will make you forget all about the suffering on the climb.

If you'd like some more distance, the ridge from the top of Mt. Van Cott can be ridden a ways back. If you descend the north side (as shown here), you can continue along the ridge all the way to behind the Huntsman Cancer Hospital and back to any of the various spurs of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.


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May 13, 2018
Josh Kraushaar
It would be great.. if I was a mountain goat
May 3, 2017
Jacob Crockett

Trail Ratings

  3.3 from 4 votes


  3.3 from 4 votes
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in Utah


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1,052 Since May 10, 2017
Extremely Difficult Extremely Difficult



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