Tuesday, October 15, 2013

North Fork, Mule Ear-Mule Shoe, Utah

 (updated July 31, 2015) A nice, loop (or out and back) ride with various kinds of terrain-- everything from forests to sagebrush and meadows.  Some water might be there in the spring time. Opens April and closes by about October 31.   It may be accessed from either the North or South entrances of North Fork Park. Parking is either at Cutler Flats or a small parking lot at the conjunction of the two trails.  No fee is required for day rides. It may also be accessed from the Horse Campground (and corrals) in North Fork.  Fees are required here for overnight camping.

 For more information refer to: http://www.mtbproject.com/trail/4181679  
Also check out the other blog posts on North Fork. For links to directions, maps and more photos of the area, look at: North Fork, Bicentennial Trail

(click on any photo to open a slide show of enlarged images.)

This shows where to park for this trail.  For optional parking see the map below in the Mule Shoe section.

Total distance: 5.21 miles; slightly more if you go all the way out to the lookout; Maximum elevation: 6,519 ft; Ascent/descent: 1,100 ft; Trail conditions: dirt 70%, rocks/gravel 30%; 

Mule Ear Section:  I remember it's the trail that goes up the mountain by thinking "ears are at the top."  The Mule Ear Overlook spur has a steep drop off and narrow trail area, but can be avoided by not taking that option.
Looking back at Parking area from the Mule Ear trail
This is showing a new section of the Mule Ear trail completed 2014.  It connects the "bottom" of the Mule Ear trail with a nice dirt trail NOT going up the ridge.  It provides an option other than riding on the road. Conditions are 70% dirt, 30% rocky. Accessed at the bottom of the Cutler Creek "arm".  It has signs clearly stating it is NOT the Cutler trail up Ben Lomond.
The "New" Mule Ear connector, described above.

The "New" Mule Ear connector, described above.
Aspens along the Connector Trail
My favorite part of the Mule Ear trail

 on the way out to the overlook

 on the way out to the overlook

 on the way out to the overlook

Some great views of Ogden Valley and PineView reservoir

Coming off the Mule Ear section at the intersection of the road and the Mule Shoe

Mule Shoe Section

As of October 20, 2013, there is now a connector trail between Cutler Flat parking area and Mule Shoe trail.  This opens up more parking to access these fine trails without having to ride on the roads. I saw on one map, that it is called "Mule Back".

Showing how to connect to the Mule Ear/Mule Shoe/Connector Trails via the "Clearwater Horse Corral Trail" starting at North Fork Corral

Clearwater Horse Corral Trail--a much prettier way to get from the Horse Corrals to the Mule Ear/Shoe Trails

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