Ahh, fall in the Wasatch, when the trails are wet and there’s not quite enough snow to break out the powder boards. Despite moist singletrack and a meagre base of snow, for most of us fall is the best time of year to get out in the mountains. Here are some ways to get the most out of the best time of year in the Wasatch.
Explore trails that you’ve neglected between Crest laps.
Sure, Park City is mostly a giant mud pot, but now’s when you can expand your horizons and hit the lower-elevation trails that have all the fun but none of the crowds of their hypoxic cousins. Trail bikes like the 2019 Specialized Stumpjumper or Enduro will feel right at home in the air above Eagle Mountain or plunging down the baby heads of Little Cottonwood Canyon’s Quarry Trail. If you’re rocking a cross-country bike like the Epic or a short travel trail bike like the Stumpjumper ST, Bountiful’s Mueller Park, with its stiff climb and fast descent will satisfy your leg-burning jones until Flying Dog thaws. Feeling sendier? Try out one of our demo Specialized and put some snow under your tires!
Get in those last-minute peak bagging expeditions.
With the right apparel, fall can be the best time of year to hike peaks and trails that are exposed to the brutal summer sun. Hustling up Mount Olympus in the summer is an invitation to heat stroke but in the autumn it’s a temperate and scenic way to get in your post-work sufferfest. Icebreakers merino wool layers will help you regulate your body temperature: cool on the way up, warm on the way down. Leki trekking poles will help you keep your footing on snowy high alpine trails. A Black Diamond headlamp like the Spot or Storm will help you get an early start or keep going even without precious, precious daylight.
Gravel like you mean it.
There isn't a ton of gravel immediately within Salt Lake City but within an hour’s drive in pretty much any direction there are incredible gravel roads leading off to the horizon. With a Specialized Diverge, Sequoia, or AWOL you can saddle up and just disappear into areas that are too hot and remote in the summer to ride safely like the West Desert. Sand has turned into hardpack, there’s a little more water to be had to fuel your all-day gravel missions, and the temps are a more manageable 50 degrees F, perfect for that 60-mile ride on the Pony Express trail that you’ve been eyeing all summer. Specialized Trigger and Sawtooth tires in sizes from 38mm to 47mm widths will eat up the road and help you keep up with the wild horses.
CX is Here!
Wasatch Touring proudly fields an elite squadron of cyclocross racers every weekend in the fall, fast, grey-hound-like man-beasts who eat mud and also drink mud. Or who, you know, race to have fun. Though mountain biking gets most of the love in the Wasatch, both UTCX and the P-Town Cross series offer low-key, fun, and exciting opportunities to stretch your legs in shoulder season. Wasatch Touring can help you find the Specialized Crux to match your level of commitment and we carry a full line of Specialized ‘cross tires. For hard-pack and fast courses, we’ve got the Specialized Tracer and for those days when the mud beckons, we have the redesigned, grippier and faster Specialized Terra. Tell us what conditions you’re expecting and we can help make all the sections between the barriers that much faster.
Get your gear ready for winter!
Now’s the time to start thinking about winter, which means prepping your skis and apologizing to your bike for the past summer. Wasatch Touring can help. For bikes, things like suspension maintenance often have longer lead times that, in the summer, can ruin your weekend. In the fall it doesn’t matter as much. Bring your bike in for a tune before you let it collect dust for the winter, or, even better, get it tuned and ready for your desert trip in January! Bring your skis in for our November Ski Tune Special and get 20% off your base, wax, and edging. That way, when your prayers are answered and the backcountry’s got a 300” base before Thanksgiving, you’ll be ready and waiting. - Bobby
Bobby has been with Wasatch Touring for five years. He likes to consider himself the Mr. Rogers of the Utah outdoor scene.