Instead of just seeing the hills, you feel them while riding a road or mountain bike across Tooele County. In addition to feeling the hills through your legs, lungs and heart, the ride is exceptionally enjoyable because you’re not fighting for space on local roads or trails. Relative solitude, even on weekends, is the norm here.

Although Tooele Valley is Tooele County’s population center, road cycling opportunities remain ideal. Except for Highway 36 between Tooele and Lake Point, and Highway 112 between Tooele and Grantsville, the majority of local rural roadways see light motorist traffic.

Because of the county’s topography, most of the lower elevation trails can be ridden year-round. While snow buries the Oquirrh and Stansbury mountains during winter, the Stansbury Island Trail remains open. Other trails in or near the Great Salt Lake Desert also remain snow-free.

Middle Canyon above Tooele City features a challenging 19-mile round trip mountain bike ride to the summit of West Mountain in the Oquirrhs. Also in Middle Canyon is the White Pine Trail, a fun single-track ride that crosses Butterfield Peak’s lower slopes and ends in White Pine Canyon.

Settlement Canyon contains the Dark Trail Loop and Left-Hand Fork rides. Dark Trail is an ideal novice ride that hugs the canyon floor without hard climbing and technical sections. Left-Hand Fork is entirely the opposite: it includes a hard climb to the summit, yet a heart-pounding, wildly fun descent.

A ride that features a lot of history is the Pony Express Trail from Five Mile-Pass to Simpson Springs. Nearly 40 miles in distance, the route is mostly flat on a developed gravel road, except for the gradual climb to Lookout Pass. It ends at a restored Pony Express Station and campground at Simpson Springs.

For the ultimate mountain bike challenge, cyclists can test their legs (and courage) on the 25-mile long Stansbury Front Trail, which runs from Grantsville to Big Hollow in Rush Valley. Most of the trail runs near the boundary of the Deseret Peak Wilderness Area and provides incredible vistas.

The Stansbury Island Trail is a rugged loop for physical and technically astute riders. After climbing several hundred feet during the first half-mile, the trail reaches a wide terrace that encircles the island’s southern half. The terrace is an ancient shoreline of Lake Bonneville.

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