Park City Punisher MTB
ANNOUNCEMENT: ALL COURSES ARE OPEN!
A 45-mile (7,000′ gain) Punisher that includes a Hike-a-Bike to Jupiter Peak.
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Spirit & Safety of this Challenge: While participating in this challenge it is of utmost importance for you to observe all trail rules and proper etiquette including yielding to uphill traffic, all hikers, and riding in a safe manner at all times.
Course: 45 Miles, 7,000′ Gain.
See top of this page for GPX, Strava, Garmin download. Note that the downloadable strava route at the top of the page has a 2 small errors during the last 3 miles of the route (Jenny’s Trail to Finish). This error is on Strava’s end. Make sure to study this segment on the trailforks map to avoid any confusion. Moreover, the trailforks route is the best way to preview the course as it has all trails labeled. Your fitness app might give slightly different mileages/elevation than stated above. That is a common occurrence. Not a problem! Also note that different apps may have different names for trails than what you see on the trail.
Start/Finish:This Epic starts in civilization in the PCMR parking lot. In the southwest corner of the parking lot are cement barriers labeled with red paint “Jenny’s” and “Silver Spur”. Start your fitness app at these cement barriers and follow signs to Silver Spur and Armstrong Trail. Enjoy the climb up Armstrong trail in the forest canopy. Just past mile 5 take the right fork up onto Pinecone Trail. Be alert for occasional downhill bikers coming down. Pinecone Trail spits out on the Crest Trail dirt road. Take in the beautiful views that never get old of the Cottonwood Canyon ridgeline to the south. What a beautiful place we live in! Take the Crest service road to the right (west). Beauty and Fun now combine! Gain momentum and grins on the double track while taking in the awesome views. A couple miles in you are shot into the red velvet single track. This early season dirt is smooth and rhythmic. Pay attention and be polite to the occasional hikers and runners by dismounting to let them pass by. At about 13.5 miles you’ll come to the Spine which is a very technical rocky section just above Lake Desolation down on your left. Most people dismount. A mistake can easily result in something broken. After the spine, continue on and up the Crest Trail passing the trail on your left that descends to Lake Desolation (Mill D). The Crest Trail now becomes more rocky and technical. At about mile 14 the trail forks (unsigned). Stay right to remain on the Crest Trail. The trail shortly thereafter turns into a rutted double track that bottoms out at the intersection with the Mill Creek Canyon trail system. Continue straight thru the junction onto the single track which brings you over into Park City Mountain Resort. At the service road (Murdock Peak up to your left) continue on straight across to reconnect to the Ridge Connector Single Track following signs to Mid Mountain Trail. Get ready for another fun descent. You’ll encounter uphill track. Practice safety and etiquette by dismounting and letting the uphill traffic pass you by. Around mile 17 you’ll merge onto the Mid Mountain Trail direction Park City. The next while is on the Mid Mountain trail. You’ll cross and merge onto several dirt roads on the way. Just be cognizant of following the Mid Mountain Trail Signs. At around mile 18.50 you’ll come to a little lake with the gondola passing over above. The Mid Mountain Trail continues in the trees on the left. Around mile 19 you’ll come to the Red Pine Lodge. The trail disappears. Continue south on the dirt expanse passing the lodge on your left reconnecting with the Mid Mountain Trail on the other side in the grove of trees. At around mile 22.5 turn onto and up Gold Finger Trail. Now it’s time for another steady climb! In about a mile turn right onto Iron Man Trail. Just a little bit left of this climb! Iron Man Trail peaks out and descends thru the forest reconnecting with the Mid Mountain Trail. Turn right on the Mid Mountain Trail. This next short section is rocky! and will require most to dismount a few times and hike thru the rock gardens. In a short bit the Mid Mountain Trail intersects Armstrong Trail. You are right back where you started!……just a little bit more tired:) Continue up on the Mid-Mountain Trail. Now it’s time to think about the uniqueness of this Challenge. As you ride this section of the Mid Mountain Trail to your left across the valley is the ski run combed ridgeline. With your eyes follow the ridgeline up to the right. That peak in the horizon is Jupiter Peak. Unless you’re an avid hiker that wears a sun hat you’ve probably never been there. The way we’re going involves hiking with your bike. Put that thought to rest as we still have some hard work on civilized trails to do! We’ll stay on the Mid Mountain Trail for another 5 miles or so at which time you will be dumped onto a red dirt road. Continue rightish/straight up the dirt road and turn right onto Tommy Two Steps Trail which is just past the entrance of Steps Trail.Tommy Two Steps Trail peaks out just below the Yurt complex. Ride up to the Yurt. Note: the course passes the Yurt 2 times. Now and on the way back. When following your GPS app make sure you are going the right way. Directly across the road from the Yurt is the entrance to Three Candles Trail. Ride on up Three Candles Trail and turn left onto Keystone Trail. As you ride look south up at the top of the Park City Ridgeline. That’s where you are going! You’ll ride and hike along that ridge past the tops of the highest ski lifts you can see! Keystone Trail ends by crossing a dirt road and merging onto Fat Lip Trail. This trail is Old Style Park City. It’s rugged, rooty with punchy climbs that will make the faint at heart dismount. It’s also devoid of people. You’re starting to leave civilization behind. Take in and appreciate the unique views and contours of the mountain. In a while you’ll come to a dirt road. You now are officially leaving mountain bike civilization. Turn right. As you start up the steep road you’ll quickly want to dismount and we won’t blame you. If you have it in you (most won’t) stay on your bike pedaling up. As the road turns left you’ll pass a single track on your right and the road becomes even steeper. Right about now on your left is the Powder Monkey metal sculpture in the field. Anyone and everyone now has earned the right to get off the bike, sit down, rest, take in what you’ve already done, and importantly muster up the fortitude to complete the crux of the Challenge that awaits. Just don’t rest too much because the next leg is going to require a lot of strength and mental determination. Pscyhe yourself up! Get on the bike and start pedaling up the steep road. You can do it! I want you to remain on the bike for the next 0.2 miles. You’ll pass the 2 single tracks shortly on your left. Up ahead the road crests and bears right. You have permission to take a break here. Ok done with the rest and back on the bike. The road ahead climbs steadily. It’s loose and slippery gravel the whole way. As you ride you’ll look ahead and see that the road appears to flatten and looks as if the loose gravel dissipates so that you can ease up on the cranks and hold a line. This is a mirage! The road just keeps on going and going. This is where your Tony Robbins/self-help seminar comes into play. As you struggle to remain on the bike your mind will naturally wander and analyze the parallels of this struggle with other challenging aspects of your life and how by perseverance and pushing thru the pain you can and will reach your goals! Make a valiant effort on this stretch and it will surely transfer to other areas in your life. The road eventually flattens out. Take a moment to reflect. You’ve done well! Up ahead the road steepens and tops out at McConkey’s Ski Lift. We hiked this part:) As you pass the top of McConkey’s lift house take the single track straight ahead up the ridgeline. It’s hike a bike from here. Note: half way up the ridge you’ll see an official trail going off to the left. Do not take this trail! Remain on the steep ridge so you pass the ski patrol shack. Jupiter Peak is just above the ski patrol shack on the ridge. This Challenge is almost in the bag! This hike portion is strenuous but not nearly as grueling as what you’ve already done. You are almost there. Once you reach the ski patrol shack it’s just a few more steps to the Jupiter Peak flagpole. Take a victory lap around the pole, take in the views and know that you’ve a accomplished a great feat and have burned success into your soul. It’s literally all downhill from here! This is one of the best continuous downhills Park City offers…If not THE BEST! Note: Exhibit safety and restraint on your way down anticipating and yielding to occasional traffic coming uphill. Leave the ridge and take the dirt road down to the west. Look for the opening in the trees and turn right onto Deadwood Trail. Now the fun begins! No need for anymore descriptive adjectives and analogies. Shortly down the trail stay left at the forks remaining on Deadwood Trail. Cross the dirt road and continue down on Apex Trail all the way till it ends at Thaynes road. Turn right on Thaynes road. Pass the yurt and head left towards the top of Tommy Two Steps Trail. On your left take the entrance to Silver Queen Trail. Silver Spur ends into Mid Mountain Trail. Turn right onto Mid-Mountain Trail – left on Upper Jenny’s Trail. Keep a careful eye on your GPS from here on out. Continue on Jenny’s. When Jenny’s Trail crosses Loose Moose (this is labeled “Upper Loose” on TrailForks map.), stay on Jenny’s and take the lower entrance to Loose Moose (right turn) – right on CMG trail. CMG trail ends on the dirt road at the ski resort base. Stop your fitness app as you pass the bottom of the Crescent Lift house, specifically right as you pass the ticket scanner booth that has the neon yellow/green covers on it (see photo gallery). You did it!