The Wasatch Boulevard road ride is considered to be one of the true Salt Lake Valley classics. It traces the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains.
What Makes It Great
The ride begins at the Bonneville Shoreline Trailhead—about 3000 South and Wasatch Boulevard (3565 East). Pedal south with Mount Olympus in your sights. Head left at the intersection with 3300 South and pick up the bike lane along Wasatch. I-215 will be just below you. Cross 3900 South and pass the Olympus Hills Shopping Center. Cross 4500 South and descend slightly. Pass the Mount Olympus Trailhead. The road curves slightly and Lone Peak will come into view. You’ll come to the intersection with 6200 South/Highway 190. Turn left to continue on Wasatch Boulevard/Highway 190 (this widens to four lanes). Be cautious of gravel and debris on the shoulder. Traffic can also be dangerous here—it’s fast and heavy at times.
Go through the intersection with Fort Union Boulevard/7200 South (right) and Big Cottonwood Canyon Road/Highway 190 (left). This will be one of the route’s steepest climbs, so gear down. Fork right to continue on Wasatch Boulevard toward La Caille restaurant to begin the loop portion of the route counterclockwise, or go straight and ride the loop clockwise. Both ways have a steep climb. The climb past La Caille (counterclockwise) is shorter but is followed by a steady, gentle grade on Little Cottonwood Canyon Road/9800 South. Going straight (clockwise), the hill is longer, but then you’re done.
If you take the counterclockwise route, pass the entrance to La Caille Restaurant and head uphill. Turn left onto Little Cottonwood Canyon Road (9800 South/Highway 209). The shoulder is less than one foot. Climb gradually. Pass the parking area/trailhead for the Lower Bells Canyon Reservoir Trail/Bonneville Shoreline Trail. The road will rise gradually into the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon. Go left on Highway 210 and exit the canyon. From here, you’ll cruise down a hill and see quite an incredible view of the Salt Lake Valley. Be ready to slam on the brakes at the bottom if the light turns red. Return to Wasatch Boulevard at the La Caille junction to close the loop and retrace your tracks northward. Pass the gravel pit and turn right at the light to continue on Wasatch, and then arrive back at the parking area at the end of Wasatch Boulevard.
This loop is 21.8-miles with a 1,300-foot gain. The physical difficulty is moderate. Always be aware of the traffic around you when traveling on the shoulder and keep an eye out for gravel and any construction on Wasatch Boulevard, and remember to bring proper hydration and any nourishment. Despite occasional heavy traffic, the Wasatch Blvd Road Ride is a Salt Lake City classic, and it’s worth the effort for the views alone.
Who is Going to Love It
Beginner to intermediate road riders will enjoy the challenge, and racers-in-training can use the Wasatch Blvd ride to train.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
There is a large free parking area near the beginning of the ride on the west side of Wasatch Blvd. You can ride Wasatch Blvd at any time, but daylight is the safest.