|Typically Open:||Year Round|
(MODERATE - DIFFICULT)
|Highest Elevation:||6088 feet|
|Duration:||About 2 hours|
|Shape of Trail:||Straight Through|
|Best Direction to Travel:||East|
|Nearest Town w/ Services:||Cedar Fort|
|Official Road Name:||Sidewinder Exit Trail|
|Management Agency:||Bureau of Land Management|
|District:||5 Mile Recreation Area|
Looking for some excitement near Five Mile Recreation Area and Fairfield, Utah? Look no further than the area known as "The Snakes". This trail, in particular, was created to serve as an exit for the extreme trail known as Sidewinder, however, it is not for the faint of heart. With obstacles such as Buggy Bouncer and The Gauntlet, you are sure to not be bored. This offroad trail takes you quickly into the south end of the Oquirrh Mountain Range, rising in elevation with every inch traveled. Though it is a fairly new "established" trail, it is well used and changes often, providing newer challenges every weekend. Due to its proximity to Rattlesnake and Constrictor, as well as Five Mile Recreation Area, you will probably not be alone along this trail. Be sure to bring plenty of food and water as there are hundreds of miles to explore in the mountains just west of Utah Lake.
Severe rock over 15". Frequent deep holes over 15". Shelves over 15". Mud bog conditions (long, deep, no form bottom). Over 30" water crossings with strong currents. Steep grades over 30 degrees. Sidehill over 30 degrees. May not be passable by stock vehicles. Experience essential. Body damage, mechanical breakdown, rollover probable. Extreme caution required.Read more about our rating system
|Spring:||Trail is usually dry.|
|Summer:||Trail is usually dry and dusty.|
|Fall:||Trail is usually dry and dusty.|
|Winter:||Trail may be impassable due to snow.|
The trailhead starts just north of the canyon where Rattlesnake runs. You will reach a meadow with a Y, with the left (western) spur continuing along the foothills of the mountains, and the right (eastern) spur being the trailhead.
After running through the wash briefly, you will meet a decent-sized rock in the middle of the trail. Working your way across it, you are likely to lift a tire if you do not have a good amount of flex.
This little hill consists of very loose and sharp slickrock. There is a good foundation of stone, but much of it has been chunked away causing it to be a little tricky, especially if wet.
The first of the major obstacles, Buggy Bouncer, consists of two parts. The "gatekeeper" is a rock pile with bowling ball-sized stones that you must crawl over. Having a spotter helps to not tap an axle. The second part is the "big boy". There will be a 5-foot tall rock right in the middle, causing you to either take it far right or far left. The left (north) side has been dug out over the years, but still proves a challenge with its ruts and a not-so-forgiving tree that you may brush against. The right (south) side is the harder line, causing you to climb a slick dirt mound on your passenger side while your driver's side is climbing the big rock in the middle. After you get your front end up, it will be greeted by two more large rocks with vertical faces, wanting to push your front end hard to the driver's side once you hit. Lockers are almost a necessity on the right side, however, the left side may be navigated carefully with a spotter.
Hammered Tree Hill consists of two lines. The left (north) is the bypass and is nothing other than steep and loose. The right (south) line is a mess of 1-3 foot rocks scattered between ruts and a few "hammered" trees, hence the name. Again, lockers will help on the right due to the loose dirt and rock combined with the off-camber terrain.
As you round a corner to the right (east), you are greeted with a rock right in the middle of the trail. It stands about one foot tall (vertical face) with another foot above rounding out to the top. The bottom is very dug out, so approaching at an angle might help. You can also move a little more to the right (south) to make the line a little bit easier.
The Gauntlet is a mess of a hill. You are able to pick a number of lines from steep but easy, to rock faces and trees on your side. Staying left (north) is the easiest route being steep and loose but is void of any large boulders or rock obstacles. If you take a right to the south, it is the beginning of the hard lines. It starts with step-after-step until you are at a double step with large holes below and a tree on your passenger rear tire. After the double step, you open up to a large shelf spanning about 12 yards. At this ledge, the further left (north) you go, the bigger and harder it is. If you don't have the wheelbase, you can scoot over to the right (south) as far as necessary to get up and over. You can also head all the way to the right for a simple bypass to this ledge.
Just after The Gauntlet, you reach the top of the climb and are treated to quite the stunning view. To the west, you can see the Rush Valley and the beginning of The Pony Express.
At this point, you intersect with the end of Sidewinder. Continue straight downhill to finish the trail.
Starting Point: Lehi, Utah