Fairfield, Utah (Tooele) Technical Rating: 3-4
Last Updated: 02-25-2018
BLM 5 Mile Recreation Area
The Climb Highlights
This is an awesome trail within the 5 Mile Recreation Area that takes you up to 2 incredible viewpoints overlooking just about every direction. "The Snakes" as the locals call it, consists of Rattlesnake, Constrictor, Bullsnake and more recently Sidewinder and Sidewinder Exit, but rarely do people run many of the hundreds of spurs in the area. This is one of those rarely used routes. It is a fun challenge for just about any vehicle. Due to its steep ascent, just about everyone will spin a tire or two trying to reach the top of the initial climb. After the first viewpoint overlooking The Pony Express, the trail gets much easier and a bit more used, but that won't take away from the surprise at the end of this gem.
Technical rating: (3-4) Easy
Rutted and/or rocky road. No shelves but rocks to 9". Water crossings usually less than hub deep. Passable mud. Grades moderate, up to 15 degrees. Side hill moderate up to 15 degrees. 4WD under most conditions. No width problems, vehicle passing spots frequently available if less than two vehicles wide.
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Directions to Trailhead
From the Salt Lake Valley, head south on I15 until exit 282 in Lehi for 2100 N. Turn west and follow until you run into Utah 68. Turn south on 68 and follow a short distance until you intersect Utah 73 (Sunshine Canyon Road). Turn west on 73 and continue for 23.1 miles until the turnoff for the air down lot on the right.
From the Provo Valley, take I15 north until exit 279 for Utah 73 (Sunshine Canyon Road) and follow 27.4 miles until the turnoff for the air down lot on the right.
From Tooele, take Utah 36 south out of town for about 11 miles, until you turn left (east) on Utah 73 (Sunshine Canyon Road). Continue east for 13.5 miles until the turnoff for the air down lot on the left.
You must then complete most of Rattlesnake to get to the next turn. At Waypoint 14, turn right and follow for about 1.3 miles to the trailhead for The Climb.
The climb is a very interesting trail for this area. The start of this trail is a very different kind of rock from the second half and other trails in the area. It is more of a black slate compared to the slick rock in surrounding areas. Throughout the first major climb, it will be loose, sharp slate. After the first viewpoint, you will drop into the area where Rattlesnake, Constrictor, and Gopher run. This is a transition of rock and soil. If you are trying to find the top, make sure to follow a map because there are a number of random trails that take you all around these hills. Once you reach the second viewpoint, you will be above 6800 feet overlooking the west desert. The Pony Express historic trail should be in sight as well. There are no major obstacles along this trail, but some of the climbs will be very steep so if they are wet or you don't keep momentum, you could see a little bit of trouble.
The Climb is just a suggested route through this complex network of trails within the 5 Mile Recreation Area. There are hundreds of spurs and interconnecting trails so you are able to go anywhere you choose. It can be easy to get off track, however, you will not be bored with the hundreds of miles of trails to explore in the area.
1: Trailhead/Start the First Climb (0.0mi)
The trailhead may be a bit tricky to see. It will be a northerly turn off of a well-used trail. The Climb does not initially look like an established trail, but it's there. The start of the trail will give you a good quick example of the type of terrain you will be tackling in the main climb, which is just around the corner. Be sure to keep momentum and do not lay down the skinny pedal with anybody too close behind you!
2: Top of Hill (0.5mi)
If you have made it this far, you shouldn't have any more problems. That steep initial climb is the hardest part. Once you reach the top, you get great views of The Pony Express out to the west. You may even get a chance to see some military aircraft flying around the area, generally flying pretty low. You can also turn around and overlook the valley to the east.
3: Top of Descent (0.5mi)
Just after the viewpoint, you will make a right (east) and start a blind descent. This hill is comprised of half rock and half dirt, unlike the first climb which was mostly loose rock.
4: Intersection - Continue Straight (0.7mi)
This is the first of many intersections. Continue straight to complete the trail per this guide.
6: Fork - Stay Right (0.9mi)
Take a right at this fork to continue up. Taking a left will drop you down into Constrictor.
7: Steep Fork - Stay Left (0.9mi)
Both trails meet up at the top of the hill, but the left seems to be a bit more used and less steep.
8: Fork - Stay Right (1.0mi)
Continue right at this fork. Taking a left will drop you into Constrictor.