Bad Stuff That Became Awesome Stuff

03.10.2014 | 10:25 am

First came the fires. 


Specifically, back in July of 2012, Lambert Park — a small but well-crafted network of singletrack at the foot of the mountains above Alpine, UT, just one mile from where I live — caught fire in a huge way. 

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It could have been a lot worse,” we said. Presciently, as it turns out. 

Because a year later, the floods came. And they were amazing. Without any vegetation holding the water back, it cut an amazing gash down the mountain.

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That’s me, standing at the bottom of one of the trenches the water cut — it was well more than twenty feet deep and thirty feet wide. 

And all those rocks and dirt that the water picked up? Well, they had to wind up somewhere.

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Anywhere the water went, it left boulders behind.

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Yeah, that trail suddenly gets a lot more technical right there. 

And honestly, I didn’t think the flooded, rock-strewn part of Lambert Park would ever be rideable again.

And I am so happy to announce that not only was I mistaken, but I was mistaken in the best possible way. To The Rescue is one of the sites pretty much every single mountain biker in Utah knows about — it’s the best resource there is for getting ride information and access info for trails throughout Utah. 

But they also do a lot of trail work.

So after the rains and the floods, the guys got to work. Within a few days — amazingly — they got parts of the trail into rideable condition.

And then more rain…and floods… came.

I thought it was over; I assumed this section of Lambert Park was done. 

And I was wrong. The UTMTB guys went back at it.

And they made the trail better than it used to be. Specifically, they took the Zag trail, which used to be one of the least interesting trails in the park, and turned it into a fun and challenging ride.

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It’s twisty and technical, but if you pay attention you can keep your momentum.

The Hammer and I have been out to Lambert every day for the past few days; the trail salvaged by the the UTMB folks has become our favorite.

Who’d have expected that fire plus flood could equal a fantastic reimagining of a new trail? 

Thanks, guys. You’re amazing.


  1. Comment by owen | 03.10.2014 | 11:19 am

    that is great and looks really fun!! In every state there are dedicated trail builders and maintainers that we all should thank whenever we get a chance as its hard work from the few times I’ve volunteered.

  2. Comment by Christina | 03.10.2014 | 1:30 pm

    That fire and your subsequent post taught me to never say, “It could have been worse,” to a person who lived through an awful event.

    Awesome trail and awesome work,!

  3. Comment by Uncle Rico | 03.10.2014 | 1:38 pm

    Sadly, I’ve never done Lambert even though I live in Utah Valley. I’ll be visiting your “neighborhood” before the month is out and hope to see you and the Hammer there.

  4. Comment by Jason | 03.10.2014 | 2:50 pm

    I rode it last November before the snows came and it was AMAZING! I was blown away by how much debris was up there but equally blown away by how fun all the trails up there now are. Serious thanks to!

  5. Comment by Mark in Bremerton | 03.10.2014 | 3:34 pm

    Question: Are those trails used by other activities, i.e. hikers, horses, motocross bikes? I have a beautiful mountain that I can ride to in five minutes that would be (and to a certain extent still is) great mountain biking, but the trails end up looking like miniature versions of your chasm photo due to the dirt bikes and quads that are allowed on them. I end up bypassing big sections using the fire roads because I would just end up walking anyway. It’s a bummer here in this motorcycle/quad/jeep heavy community. I’m envious every time you post something like this or I see ads for Moab.

    The singletrack is for pedestrians and bikes only. (Maybe horses too? Not sure, never seen a horse up there.) Motorized vehicles are allowed in the park, but are to stay on the doubletrack and jeep roads in the park, and off the singletrack. There’s a good overlapping network of these roads, so almost everyone seems happy to play by the rules. – FC

  6. Comment by Jeff | 03.10.2014 | 3:46 pm

    Lambert is a wonderful park, especially for those of us lucky enough to live in close proximity to it. Like you, I was awestruck by the flood damage. The river bed that now runs through the park from east to west is a monument to the power of the run off caused by the fire damage on East Mountain. It’s remarkable Lambert has lost none of its appeal–UMB did us all a wonderful service. Nice post.

  7. Comment by NancyJBS | 03.10.2014 | 5:15 pm

    What an encouraging story!

    This is why it’s important to support – financially or with your muscles- your local trail association!

    My buddy Isaac N. (whom I met right here in the FC comments section) is very active in trail work for park near his home and mine, and he’s given me good appreciation for what goes into a great trail.

    They don’t happen by accident!

    Thank you Isaac N. and all the other passionate trail builders!

  8. Comment by Liz M. | 03.10.2014 | 7:13 pm

    Our local mountain bike association is also active in trail building, maintenance and conservation. Wonderful people! They deserve our thanks.

    I’ve heard some parts of the west have gotten far below average precipitation this winter. Hope that’s not the case where you are.

  9. Comment by Davidh-Marin,ca | 03.10.2014 | 9:56 pm

    Fatty you are the ‘Master’ of perspective. Viewed one way a veritable ‘Olympus God’


    When seen from above….in a trench….you come up a little short(er)


  10. Comment by Daddystyle | 03.11.2014 | 7:44 am

    Lets hear it for local volunteers. The people that get it done. Smiling

  11. Comment by Daddystyle | 03.11.2014 | 7:53 am

    Good morning fellow followers of Fatty, this is a timely post. Dare I suggest you check out some British Columbia Canada Vollies. If you note a worthy nominee such as Bob stanhope/aka Daddysyle please vote. I have a chance at an entry for a spot in the BC Bike race as a nominee for a community award. I know it’s tacky self promotion but…. it must be done. Sorry for hijacking the post. Any and all votes very much appreciated. Thank you, 2 wheeled love my friends, Bob Stanhope Halfmoon Bay BC.

  12. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 03.11.2014 | 8:45 am

    Very compelling story to vote for Daddystyle for the BCBikerace. Though the competition is stiff, as FoF’f we could make this happen for him.

    And imagine if that did happen, Bob would ‘owe us’. Can’t think of a better payback than hosting a Fatty Round-up in Canada. Is everyone’s passport current?

    Vote for Bob!

  13. Comment by Daddystyle | 03.11.2014 | 10:54 am

    I’m a gracious host and a know all the best beachs and trails

  14. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 03.11.2014 | 12:15 pm

    BTW Can’t wait for the Fatty Fond(ue) when we can all come out and try those trails!


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