A nexus of amazing and scenic bike routes

By Karel Kramer

Having ridden my e-bike all around the western states, time and time again I come away reminded that one of my favorite areas to visit is Lehi, Utah. There are miles of excellent bike paths, several mountain bike parks with many mapped and signed trails, a Flight Park State Recreation hang-gliding area, and Timpanogos Highway that travels east into mountain recreation areas.

Lehi and Timpanogos Highway are the meeting point of impressive bike paths that are worth making the trip. On my most recent visit I used Lehi as a jumping-off point to access the Jordan River Parkway trail, the Murdoch Canal trail and the Point of the Mountain trail.


Jordan River Parkway trail is west of Interstate 15 where it cuts through Lehi. There is some parking where the trail begins, but we park near the Murdoch Canal trail (MCT) in Lehi, meaning anywhere along Timpanogos Highway. MCT runs along the south side of the road. Take the MCT west until it ends at Desert Forest Lane. Go right on Desert Forest Lane for a short distance and pick up the Jordan River Parkway trail trailhead.

Here we are on Porter Rockwell trail headed towards Point of the Mountain trail. Behind us you can see the canyon where Interstate 80 leaves SLC for Park City and beyond.

The Jordan River connects Utah Lake with the Great Salt Lake. With only a few short breaks in the trail, Jordan River Parkway trail traverses the same distance. The northern end of the trail gets close to the Great Salt Lake, but it doesn’t go to the shore. The trail connects to the Legacy Parkway trail near the Salt Lake City International Airport. The Legacy Parkway trail does get close to the water.

At times the Jordan River Parkway trail is on both sides of the Jordan River at once! There are twists and turns and trail intersections, but just follow the signs. There is a gap in the trail in Draper, Utah, but from our typical starting point that is a 33-mile round trip. That is about the limit for the 400Wh battery on one of our e-bikes, so that is as far north as we typically take the trail.

The early miles of the Jordan River Parkway trail have a golf course on one side and the river on the other. It is a marvelous place to ride. The trail is narrow for U-turns with soft shoulders.

When the trail runs right next to the river it is somewhat level, but there are twists and turns enough to make the ride plenty interesting. At times the trail deviates from the river course, and then there are steep climbs to test your legs and descents that will test your brakes. Some climbs creep up to 15-percent grades!

For part of the ride you feel like you are well out in the country, but at other times you are near neighborhoods. Despite bathroom and water stops at intervals along the trail, this section of the trail never feels urban. Some parts are shady, while others get blasted with sun, so be prepared!

The Provo River Parkway extends farther up Provo Canyon alongside the Provo River, but we usually turn around at Bridal Veil Falls.

The Jordan River Parkway trail does not have a separate running lane, so it is narrower than some bike paths. Some riders may find it tricky to make a U-turn without getting off the bike. That is especially true when the trail climbs high above the river and the terrain drops off sharply at the side of the trail.


The Murdoch Canal was a construction project undertaken by the pioneers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when they settled Utah in the mid 1800s. The open canal allowed irrigation water from the Provo River to be brought north towards Salt Lake City. In 2012, the Murdock Canal was enclosed using a 10 1/2-foot steel pipe. The closed canal was paved to create much of the 17-mile Murdock Canal trail.

For most of these bike-path routes, it is rare to cross a road. Bridges and tunnels like this one keep you up and away from traffic and roads as much as possible.

While we use it heading west to connect to the Jordan River Parkway trail, we have taken it in the east and south from Lehi to Orem, Utah. This is an engineered grade to keep water flowing, so it is a mild ride that passes through seven cities. You can extend the mileage by connecting to the Provo River Parkway up Provo Canyon.

The Provo River Parkway is a 15-mile trail that runs from Utah Lake to Vivian Park in Provo Canyon. Most riders turn around at Bridal Veil Falls. For our bikes, the trip from Lehi to Bridal Veil Falls is a one-way trip. We don’t have the battery for a return trip.

This is on the Jordan River Parkway trail, but just above the lead rider’s head you can see the Point of the Mountain on the other side of Interstate 15.

Like other path routes mentioned here, Murdock Canal trail has nice parks and restrooms along the way. The path does cross several roads, though.


One other route out of Lehi is the Lehi Rail trail that connects to the Point of the Mountain trail to the Porter Rockwell trail and then to the Draper trail. The trail ends at Draper City Park. Other bike paths leave the park, but they are urban. Like some other routes, out and back from Lehi is a good ride. The Point of the Mountain trail puts you high up on the bench between gravel pits and the I-15 freeway and access road. It provides a commanding view.

Point of the Mountain has long been an area for recreation. For decades it was the site of the world-famous Widowmaker motorcycle hill-climb, and for a shorter time a motocross motorcycle track of the same name. Once largely undeveloped, it is now the site of many large and luxurious homes, gravel pits and the Flight Park State Recreation hang-gliding area.

Point of the Mountain trail heading toward the Flight Park State Recreation hang-gliding area. Morning is the best time to see large numbers of fliers.

With any of these trail names you can simply put them in your phone and get a map and even navigation to make finding them a breeze. To get to Draper City Park, we would get on the Lehi Rail trail and put Draper City Park in our phone navigation. Be sure to indicate that you are riding a bike. It should keep you on the bike paths.

This group of trails are a great reason to vacation in the Lehi, Provo and Salt Lake area. Beyond the bike riding, there are a number of other outdoor activities in the area, as well as a wide range of lodging and camping options.