Pros: beautiful views, challenging distance
Cons: some moderate exposure
Great experienced-beginner ride. Mid-mountain trail gently rolls through pine and aspen forests and occasionally opens up to beautiful views. Johns 99 and Little Chief adds a bit to technical skill (some roots and turns) and more climbing. This trail includes about 1000 feet of total climbing, but it occurs gradually on both outbound and return trips.
The mid-mountain portion is less technical and wider. There are 5-6 places on the John’s 99/Little Chief portion that are steeper and includes roots in the trail. When we rode this trail with our 6-year old, we had to push him up several hills. He also chose to get off and push over the more roots parts of the trail.
There are several places that the trail crosses ski slopes where the trail can feel pretty exposed due to the lack of surrounding trees. The trail is wide and not off-camber, but it can feel a bit scary. At one of these places, our 6-year old mentioned “I think you might die if you fell off your bike here…” at this point, he chose to walk, but hopped right back on his bike when we returned to the trees.
You’ll return to mid mountain for the last part of the trail. It’s a flowy and fun way to end the ride.
Ride details: The first time we did this ride, we were nervous about staying on the right trail, but it is very well marked.
- Begin at Silver Lake lodge at Deer Valley. From the parking area, ride toward the ski lifts. Look down to the right for an overpass. Ride under the overpass and take a left onto the single track. This is Mid Mountain trail. Mid Mountain is well marked – this trail is relatively wide and mostly flat.
- You’ll stay on Mid Mountain for the first 4.7 miles – when in doubt, choose the widest most straight trail
- 1.7 miles – cross Guardsman Road (SR 224)
- Ride past Empire Lodge and under the ski lifts.
- 2.3 miles continue past Little Chief trail (that’s your return trail)
- Continue on Mid Mountain – it is generally the flattest and straightest trail
- 4.3 miles – cross a gravel road, then the trail will curve slightly to the right.
- 4.7 miles – head gently downhill, (Midmountain forks up to the left)
- Exit mid mountain trail and follow the double track down the hill
- At the saddle, turn toward the mine building down to the left
- Take the singletrack heading toward the trees. This is Johns 99!
- At the the dirt road -King Road – go a few feet uphill to your right to find the continuing doubletrack.
- Empire Link crosses at mile 6.0. Turn left downhill as the trails join, then keep right uphill on Johns99
- 6.7 miles – Link joins from uphill on your right, and Johns99 turns into Little Chief.
- Keep straight.
- Pass Ore Cart trail (coming in from downhill on your left)
- Little Chief will begin to climb through some mild switchbacks
- 7.5 miles – Join Mid Mountain
- Roll back to the Silver Lake Lodge at Deer Valley on Mid Mountain
Getting there: (from Main Street in Park City)
- Head northwest on Park Ave toward Heber Ave
- Turn right onto Heber Ave
- Turn right onto Deer Valley Dr
- At the traffic circle, take the 1st exit onto Marsac Ave
- Turn left onto Guardsman Connection
- Turn right onto Royal St
- Parking area will be on the right
- From the parking area, ride toward the ski lifts
Kids Mountain Bikes And More
We offer resources and stories for mountain biking families. Here, you may find your child’s next bike with our kids’ mountain bikes database. You can also get tips for mountain biking with your kids, read gear reviews, and see some great places to ride your bikes.
Your MTB Family Is Awesome
Do you have a story to share? Tell us about your family’s latest-and-greatest adventures while mountain biking. Did you get a new mountain bike for your young girl or boy? Did they ride a new trail or join a NICA team?