Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry
No access restrictions. I'm not sure if the Hike the Y Trail below allows bicycle access.
Starting at a great viewpoint of Utah Valley atop Maple Mountain, this backcountry ski run descends through a thick evergreen forest, an ethereal aspen grove, then down an epic canyon section to return to Bear Flats.
Starting at the top of Maple Mountain, head north between the obvious ridges to head back in the direction of Slide Canyon. I found this upper section from the 9,088-ft summit to about 8,400 ft to be a little thick with evergreens to my liking. It's still snowboarding, and the snow was fantastic, but circumnavigating trees when you should be shredding feels unsatisfying. Next time, I would experiment with skiing down the ascent (more eastern) ridge or the western ridge part of the way before entering the canyon.
Canyon is perhaps a strong word for the geography here. While the terrain is steep, it's steep downhill towards Slide Canyon and it's easy to navigate east or west. The first section is a little disorienting, but just keep heading downhill.
Soon, just below 8,400 ft, you can ski into the aspen forest that covers a couple acres of the west side of the canyon. Skiing through quaking aspen trees is stunningly beautiful. The snow felt as soft as butter, and turns through here were rewarding and magnificent.
Right after the aspen section, the canyon narrows and the "walls" become more steep. There is a long barren section on the east "wall" of the canyon here that is fantastic skiing, and drops almost all the way from the aspens to the bottom of Slide Canyon. See the attached photo to get a feel. It was like skiing a half pipe, where you could ski high on the canyon side, then gain speed on dropping back in. This was a lot of fun.
At the bottom, you'll find 20 yards of thick trees before bursting back onto the Slide Canyon Trail, and about that far again to reach Bear Flat. Enjoy skiing this last section, because there is no good skiing below Bear Flat. Bear Flat is the transition to the long hike down to the valley.
History & Background
This run might have been lift serviced! Decades ago, Heritage Mountain/Seven Peaks Ski Resort was planned to cover this part of the Southern Wasatch. There was a lift planned from just northwest of Apache Flats to the top of Maple Mountain.
Shared By: Josh Martineau