Trail Planning and the Birth of the Three Falls Trail

0
1142

Amazing things can happen when the right people get together. In 2016, the Corner Canyon Foundation, Draper, Alpine, Three Falls Development and Trail Ace Construction collaborated to plan, design, and build a new trail connecting Draper, Utah to Alpine, Utah. The process began with members of the Three Falls Development contacting the Corner Canyon Foundation and the City of Draper Trails & Open Space Department. Brad Jenson, Project Manager, and Greg Hilbig, Trails & Open Space Manager, have worked for over a decade developing the Corner Canyon trail system for the City of Draper and were involved in the original concept design for the trail. Bill Becker, Executive Director for the Corner Canyon Trail Foundation, was instrumental in attaining funding for the section of the Three Falls Trail on Draper property. Will Jones, owner of the Three Falls Estates, allowed the trail to be routed through open space incorporated into the Three Falls subdivision master plan and paid for the trail that passed through his property.

Jenny West riding the finished trail on the east end of the Three Falls Trail above Fort Canyon in Alpine, Utah. Photo by Don West
Jenny West riding the finished trail on the east end of the Three Falls Trail above Fort Canyon in Alpine, Utah. Photo by Don West

The Three Falls trail is unique because its birth is the result of a collaboration of private business, private land owners and two city governments. It has resulted in a stunningly beautiful trail connecting communities and providing a recreational outlet for members of the local and surrounding communities. The trail is currently (as of February 2018) partially open to the public to discover and enjoy. The trail is complete except for three bridges that will be built on the Three Falls Estates property on the east side of the trail in 2018. The largest bridge will span over 50 feet and is 20 feet high over the Sliding Rock gorge, The trail was designed and constructed by Trail Ace Construction, which is owned by Bonner Brumley. The field flagging and onsite construction was completed by Donald West, Project Manager for Trail Ace Construction (2015-2017) & current owner of Wasatch Trails Company, Bonner Brumley, and Nate Smith.

Trail Details

Construction began on the Three Falls Trail in the fall of 2016 and was completed in the summer of 2017. The trail is 3.1 miles long and has an elevation gain of 1,250 ft and an elevation loss of 700 ft. It starts at the intersection of Peakview Trail and Jacob’s Ladder in a stunted scrub oak forest. It drops steadily downhill past a series of four geocuts. Geocuts are large vertical features cut into the mountainside to determine if the soil is stable enough for property development. They are easily seen by looking at aerial photography of the area. The trail continues downhill through maple groves and open meadows with views of several stunning 11,000 ft peaks, including Lone Peak, Box Elder Peak, and White Baldy Peak. The trail pops out into the open as it approaches Fort Canyon in Alpine, Utah. The trail then traverses the mountain above the Three Falls Subdivision crossing three major drainages. Here the trail starts climbing and descends again finding the best spots to cross the imposing terrain. The last drainage is a huge gorge that feeds the Sliding Rock Falls and is host to massive granite boulders and towering spruce trees. After crossing a 50 ft bridge (to be built in the spring of 2018), the trail finishes in the Three Falls Estates main road. Here, people can continue on to the 2.3 mi Nephi Lake Trail that will eventually connect to Lambert Park. The Three Falls Trail was designed specifically for hikers and mountain bikers. The trail is considered purpose built for mountain biking, because it has reasonable grades that can be ridden by most experienced riders, features like insloped, bermed switchbacks, and an open and flowing trail design with no awkward or abrupt direction changes. The average grade on the trail hovers around 8% grade +/- 5% for short sections. The trail was designed to allow riders to enjoy the ride in both directions, but most people currently will access the trail from the Draper trail system on the Peakview trail.

Heading east on the Three Falls Trail during construction. The trail enters a meadow with views of Lone Peak. Photo by Don West
Heading east on the Three Falls Trail during construction. The trail enters a meadow with views of Lone Peak. Photo by Don West

The Three Falls Trail has connections to the Jacob’s Ladder trail on the west side and the Nephi Lake Trail on the east. This section of trail will eventually connect to Lambert Park in Alpine and provide a continuous connection of trail from Alpine, Utah to Sandy, Utah. The east portion of the trail may be used as a connection for the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, which is part of a larger trail plan connecting the Idaho/Utah border to Nephi, Utah.

For more information about the Three Falls Trail you can go to Draper Trails & Open Spaces website: http://www.draper.ut.us/116/Trails-Open-Space. You can donate to or learn more about the Corner Canyon Trails Foundation by logging on to http://www.cornercanyontrails.com/. If you are interested in property or a home in the Three Falls Estates, go to http://threefallsalpine.com/. For more information about planning, design, or trail construction contact Donald West at Wasatch Trails Company at https://www.wasatchtrailscompany.com or call 385-444-6666

(Visited 360 times, 1 visits today)

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here