OverviewJacob's Ladder is located at the furthest east and top portion of Corner Canyon, above Draper, Utah. The trail is atop a spur ridge leading from Corner Canyon road to the top of Lone Rock on the southern flanks of Lone Peak.
The trail on the spur ridge has been used by mountain bikes for the downhill portion of this loop, dropping 800 vertical feet in just over one mile. The down hill portion offers plenty of decent drops over fins and ribs of rock which surface directly on the center of the ridge line. Decent drop offs on either side of the ridge add to the excitement while on the bike.
This portion of the route has been used for decades by hikers and climbers heading up to Lone Peak and the Cirque area, nearly 5,000 feet higher on the mountain. Since the development of Corner Canyon by the City of Draper within the last ten years or so, the trail has been dominated by mountain bikes during the summer months. Plenty of hikers and climbers still use this route. (Myself included, having used this trail to ascend Lone Peak.)
Video!Here is a video showing the down hill portion of Jacob's Ladder from start to finish. Best viewed in 720P. Sorry in advance about the pack strap in the left of the video from time to time!
Trail Description, Jacob's Ladder bypass trail.The trail in it's entirety will be described as a loop. Rather than explain how to ascend Jacob's Ladder, which would be very challenging in it's own right, using the loop system by many local mountain bikers seems to fit the bill the best for this one.
The route can be started from a variety of points in the Corner Canyon area. Namely the route's official start is from the Peak View Trail Head area at the head of Corner Canyon.
Once reaching the trail head, head east directly up the hill. After a brief bout of climbing, the trail levels out onto an old double track which turns to the north east. Climbing slowly for the first several hundred yards there are several branches on the double track. Take your pick, I've found the best is to ascend directly north, where the double track takes a 90 degree turn to the the east again. The double track climbs a bit over rocky, rutted terrain, turning slowly to the north east through scrub brush and dwarf maple trees. One reaching a certain point Lone Peak comes into view in a dramatic fashion 5,000 feet higher on the mountain. Continue along the double track as it weaves along through the brush. After about a half mile, a single track cuts steeply to the left, north west, for a short distance where you will regain the ridge. At this point a nice drop to a saddle and then a steep climb back up to the north east will greet you. After climbing this portion the road will turn east heading down hill briefly. A set of twists and turns will bring you to a junction. Take a left here, where the old double track begins climbing steeply. This portion climbs and twists and turns generally staying in a northward direction. Once reaching the crest of this there is another junction with a double track. Fork right, east on this. This old eroded double track doesn't climb as steeply though large erosion gullies in the middle of this portion made riding a bit of a challenge. Continue heading up this, after about 400 yards the double track begins to cut north east and climbs, turning north. After a bit of short tech on a rock ledge, you will be at the top of the Jacob's Ladder down hill portion of the route.
Trail Description, Jacob's Ladder down hill trail.Once you have reached the top portion of the route, take a break and admire the scenery all around! Lone Peak dominates the horizon to the north east, the Traverse Range and View Benchmark, and the Salt Lake Valley to the west. Utah County with Utah Lake and Mt. Timpanogos to the south. East you'll see Box Elder Peak above Dry Creek.
The first portion of the route starts gently down the spur ridge, a short single track bypass cuts through the brush to the north east. Follow this around and be greeted to the first larger obstacle heading down. Several rock ledges mixed with some loose gravelly sand will make descending this interesting. After this point the trail smooths for a bit with some smaller obstacles along the way. About a third of a mile further, another rib in the ridge creates more tech, followed shortly be a large boulder balanced dead center on the ridge. The trail contours to the right around this. More mixed tech, some very small uphill portions, no more than ten feet will be present for another quarter mile. The route descends another rocky eroded section before plummeting into brush and a well eroded trail. It seems through this section, perhaps 400-500 yards long, has had a water channel erode the center during the wet season. Good side wall's and knobs on your tires will be put to some good use on this portion. Once clearing this, a sign will greet you, pointing to the south where the trail has been re-routed. Fork left, heading in a south east direction as the trail drops off the ridge line. The trail will drop through gambel oak in a series of tight switch backs for the next third of a mile. It is important to keep an eye out for other trail users here, there are plenty of blind spots. Also good bike handling skills will be required to clean the switchbacks. After about ten switchbacks through the oak brush you will reach Corner Canyon road, with a hole in the wood gate just large enough to fit your handle bars through. The Ghost Falls Trail Head is just due west down the road.
Getting ThereFrom I-15, north or south, take the Bangeter exit in Draper, Utah. Go east, and the road will curve south around a shopping center with a Harmon's Grocery. Turn left on 13800 S, and travel east to the next stop sign. Turn right under a highly decorated and landscaped bridge, which will bring you to another stop sign on Highland Drive. Turn left here, and follow Highland Drive as it progressively turns north to approximately 12600 south, very near the west flank of the mountain. Turn right and head up to the parking area. You can load up on water here, a restroom is available as well and covered picnic tables.
Continue up Corner Canyon Road, improved dirt, approximately 3.25 miles to the Ghost Falls Trail Head area. You can start here or drive another .25 miles to the Peak View Trail Head area. Most passenger vehicles, if driven carefully can reach both trail heads.
When to BikeThis route is best biked from late spring to early fall. It's best avoided when very wet. Check out the local weather before venturing out. If you do decide to head out after a nice rain storm, pack those fenders! You'll need them.
Check out the weather forecast here:
Local forecast link here.