Salt Lake City, Park City, and the surrounding areas are a mountain biker’s paradise. Fortunately for the next generation of riders, many of the trails are suitable for kids as well.
Here are our top picks for family-friendly mountain bike trails. These are rides our family does often, and we’ve offered options for all ages and ability levels.
You’ll note we’ve divided this post into pump tracks/skills parks, beginner trails, and intermediate trails. The pump tracks and skills parks are appropriate for all ages and skill levels. The beginner trailers are best suited for young kids and children who are new to mountain biking, while the intermediate trails are best suited for older children or those that can handle longer distances, climbing, and some technical challenges.
That said, don’t discount a beginner trail system even if your kids are more experienced–these are still some fun rides! Likewise, the intermediate trails can still work for young riders especially if you plan on using a tow-rope or hauling your kid on a front-mounted bike seat or trailer-cycle.
Note: These are all off-road mountain bike rides. For tamer rides, including bike paths, check out this article instead.
Salt Lake City Area Pump Tracks and Skills Parks
Trailside Bike Park
Our family spends a TON of time at Trailside bike park in Park City and it is hands-down our favorite place to ride with kids near Salt Lake City. There is plenty to challenge and keep everybody entertained, including two pump tracks, a couple jump lines, progressive tech and flow trails, and a skills area.
Start with the lower pump track and then try Yaba Daba Doo, the beginner flow trail. Both are easy enough even for balance bike riders, but fun enough for mom and dad too.
Bring snacks and plan to stay for several hours. There’s also a skate park and a playground nearby.
The bike park also connects to the Round Valley trail system if you want to get in a trail ride as well.
Draper Bike Park
We don’t go to Draper Bike Park quite as often, but only because it’s a longer drive for us. This bike also has a ton to offer for the whole family. There’s a pump track, some killer jump lines, and plenty of technical challenges to session.
The bike park also connects to the Corner Canyon trail system, so one parent can always go for a trail ride while everybody else stays entertained at the bike park.
9-Line is a sweet little urban oasis underneath the 1-15 in Salt Lake City. There are several progressive bike lines and a great pump track. While it’s not a full blown skills park, there is plenty here to keep you entertained for an hour or two.
It’s close to the light rail so you can even train and bike to get there. Or, alternatively, connect on to the Jordan River Parkway for some bike path miles.
Schoolyard Pump Track
This is a great pump track for the balance bike crew as well as new pedalers. When my son was 2 and 3 years old, we loved bringing him here.
The pump track is located in the Jeremy Ranch trailhead right below Bob’s Basin and the Flying Dog trails. This makes it a great place to play before throwing your little one on the MacRide for a longer trail ride.
Located at Centennial Park in West Valley City, these two pump tracks are worth traveling to. They modular tracks are made by Progressive Bike Ramps and can be ridden most of the year thanks to the lack of dirt to get muddy.
The park also has a couple of playground areas and plenty of grassy space to play. Kids can easily spend a full afternoon here.
Wasatch Mountain Park
Wasatch Mountain Park has a newer bike park area across the road from the campground. There is a pump track and a rather challenging downhill flow / jump trail. This spot is best for older and more experienced riders.
From the skills area, you can connect to the WOW trail or to the Dutch Hollow Trails if you want to add in a trail ride as well.
Eagle Mountain is THE place to go when the rest of the Salt Lake Vally is under snow. It tends to dry out much faster than other trail systems in the area. While most people seem to flock here to ride trails, our family really enjoys the skills park area.
There skills area includes a pump track, progressive jump lines, and a skills area (skinnies,etc). We all have fun here and it never seems to get very crowded.
These trails are great for ALL riders. Don’t discount them just because we’ve labeled them “beginner.” Older kids can have fun on these trails as well, and we’ve added in options on how to make these rides more challenging.
Little Valley connects into the Corner Canyon trail system in Draper (see below for more info on Corner Canyon), but this little hamlet is built specifically for kids and beginners. A perfect introduction to trail riding, the Little Valley trails include a gradual uphill climbing trail, and downhill trails of varying difficulty levels (none TOO difficult).
Utah Olympic Park
Located just below the Utah Olympic Park, these are fun and easy trails winding thru a grove of Aspens. Perfect for a quick, after-work ride with the family or for very young children.
Start with RTS and RTS Lower and add in BYOB and OMH once you’re ready for a bit more challenge.
If you are hoping for a longer ride, these trails also connect into the local system of bike paths.
Before you go, grab a map from the Mountain Trails Foundation.
Round Valley is our favorite place to spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. The trails range from easy doubletrack to mild, swoopy singletrack climbs and descents. The trails are gentle enough for trailer-cycles and exciting enough for older kids who want to ride on their own. There are also beautiful views of Park City and the ski resorts.
True beginners will want to start on Round Valley Express or the Fast Pitch and Hat Trick trails. From there, take kiddos on the Porcuclimb / Downward Dog loop. Younger riders may need a Tow-Whee for help on the climb. Older kids who are ready for some adrenaline will love the downhill Pulp Friction trail.
The Round Valley trails link into Trailside Bike Park (more info above).
For more information on Round Valley, check out the article I wrote on The Kid Project for more details, as well as the Mountain Trails Foundation website.
Alexander Creek or Mormon Pioneer Trail
Higher up, Alexander Creek can be brutal, but the first few miles of this trail are a fun cruise for young riders. Minutes outside of SLC in Parley’s canyon, this trail is uncrowded and a great place to learn without pressure. On I-80 in Parley’s Canyon, take the Little Dell Recreation Area exit. Turn north and go just past the golf course. Park on the right side of the road where you see a gate blocking the start of a double track trail.
A little further up the road, at the Little Dell Reservoir lot, you can also connect onto the Mormon Pioneer Trail. Like Alexander Creek, this trail gets steeper and more challenging the further you go. The first several miles, however, are relatively flat and perfect for all ages. Bring a picnic dinner to eat at one of the many picnic tables along the shoreline.
Families with kids who are capable of longer downhills can also have fun shuttling the Mormon Pioneer trail from the top of Big Mountain Pass back to Little Dell Reservoir.
The Dutch Hollow trails in Midway are fun for riders of all levels. Even kids on balance bikes can have fun here.
Dutchman Way is great for true beginners, while kids with a bit more braking ability will have fun on the downhill-only Luge and Lower Barrell trails.
Families looking for a bit more distance and challenge can create a loop using the Prospect, Phosphate, and Donkey Ridge trails.
The trails are best suited for older and stronger riders. That said, we've done most of these rides with younger kids. They'll just need help. Bring a Tow-Whee or a Mac-Ride and you'll figure out a way to make it work.
While the west side of Antelope Island is known for technical, rocky trails, the Mountain View trail along the east side is buff, flat, and lots of fun. Pack a picnic lunch, and enjoy it while exploring the ranch on the south end of the trail.
Kids with a bit more climbing prowess will also enjoy the White Rock loop. It has one long climb from the parking lot, but it never gets too steep. The views of the Salt Lake Valley and the Great Salt Lake from the top of the trail are epic.
If you do go, just beware of mosquitoes in warmer months, goatheads in the spring, and buffalo all the time. (Yes, you’ll get to see buffalo)! At the entrance to the park, you’ll be required to pay an entry fee ($10); make sure to ask for a trail map while you’re there or print one ahead of time.
Jenni’s Trail to Loose Moose
This beautiful ride from the Park City Mountain Resort base area does contain quite a bit of climbing, but for the more experienced kiddos, this is a favorite. The ride offers a little bit of everything, and depending on the time of year you might be treated to either wildflower and changing aspen leaves. Go up the one-way Jenni’s trail, and come down the fast, flowy Loose Moose trail. (Kids also love the name).
Before you go, grab a map from the Mountain Trails Foundation.
Corner Canyon is wildly popular with families. Expect to see lots of kids out riding. You can park at the Draper Bike Park and enjoy the lower Corner Canyon trails from there. Alternatively, park on the South end of the trail system and enjoy the purpose-built downhill trails.
Start on Rattle and Hum the newly-built green downhill flow trail, and work your way up from there.
Visit the Corner Canyon Trail Foundation website for more info.
There are a few tricky spots and some exposure that might require kids to dismount, but overall Pipeline offers a fairly easy cruise for kids who are old enough to stay away from the edge.
Located in beautiful Millcreek Canyon, this ride can get busy on weekends so go early or on a weekday afternoon. There is a $3 entry fee.
Deer Valley Bike Park
Want a fun family bike day that doesn't involve any whining? Head to Deer Valley bike park. These lift-served downhill trails are tons of fun and don't require any climbing!
Your child will need a full-face helmet and protective pads, and ideally a bike with suspension and disc brakes.
Start on Holy Roller, the green downhill trail. Many kids will do laps on this trail all day, while more skilled riders will have plenty of trail options to choose from.
Bob's Basin is a blast for kids old enough to ride laps. Take the climbing Fink Again trail to Crazy Eights. Nailed that? Return to the top again, link to 24-7 and descend on the Drop Out.
Both of these downhill trails are flowy, with berms, and the opportunity to practice jumping. More skilled riders will also enjoy Team Cutthroat and Ant Farm, both of with are more tech oriented.
Park City Lift Assist
Unlike Deer Valley, which is a purpose-built bike park, Park City mountain offers lift-served access to their cross-country trails. These trails are generally a bit easier than the Deer Valley trails, and lets you get higher on the mountain than you would normally get with kids.
The only bummer is that most of the trails are multi-directional and multi-use, so make sure your kids know to yield and pull over for other users. Weekdays are also better than weekends, when these trails get really crowded.
As we mentioned before, Eagle Mountain tends to be rideable when much of the valley isn't making it ideal for late and early season riding.
Make sure to make it to the prayer flags. Kids get a kick out of these and it makes a great place to have a snack and picture break.
High Star Ranch
This trail system is in Kamas making it a bit further of a drive for folks coming from the Salt Lake Valley. Still, it's worth the trip. The trails are fast and flowy and purpose-built. Climb up Escalador and connect to one of several downhill-only trails from there.
After your ride, stop at High Star Ranch for lunch or dinner before heading home.
Even More Options
- Bonneville Shoreline Trail - The Bonneville Shoreline trail runs long distances along the Salt Lake Valley and many sections offer quick access and relatively flat trail.
- Coyote / Riverview Trails - While the full Coyote loop is a ride best suited to stronger riders, families will enjoy a smaller loop on the Lower and Upper Riverview trails.
- Mueller Park - Located in Bountiful, this out and back is fairly smooth and wide. The only challenge will be for younger kids since it does a substantial amount of climbing.