More Trails on the Wasatch Front
The Bonneville Shoreline Trail Advancement Act furthers the long-distance dream for Utah’s famed Bonneville Shoreline Trail, while increasing opportunities for more trails close to home in Utah’s growing Salt Lake Valley. The bill passed into law in December 2022.
Creating more spectacular mountain biking in Utah's Wasatch Mountains requires more connectivity for multi-use trails. The Bonneville Shoreline Trail Advancement Act adjusts land management boundaries to create this connectivity.
"The International Mountain Bicycling Association is excited to support the Bonneville Shore Trail Advancement Act introduced by Congressman John Curtis (R-UT). The Congressman and his office has been a staunch supporter of outdoor recreation and public lands protection, and this legislation will meet both of those standards while establishing connectivity and promoting healthy, trail-based recreation adjacent to major population centers along the Wasatch Front. We look forward to working with the Congressman and our friends in Utah on this important legislation." — IMBA Executive Director David Wiens
"I love your effort to complete the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. As you surely know, the trail is a decades long project with both recreational and historical significance. It has the potential to be both a beautiful recreational asset for Utah residents and a tool for teaching us about ancient Lake Bonneville and Utah’s fascinating geologic history. " — Utah Governor Spencer J. Cox
The Story of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail
IMBA has been involved in the BST for more than two decades. A three-part blog series explored how Trail Champions are helping move the Bonneville Shoreline from dirt to trail, featuring interviews with key local leaders, IMBA staff, Trust for Public Land, and other partners.
This legislation has been realized through partnerships with local volunteer trail organizations.
Local and Long-Distance Riding
The Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST) is a regional multi-use concept trail that will stretch 280 miles from the Idaho border to Nephi, Utah. Currently more than 90 miles of the trail is built. The trail follows the shores of ancient Lake Bonneville along the west slopes of the Wasatch Range and the east slopes of the Oquirrh Range through six Utah counties in the Salt Lake Valley, home to 75% of the state’s residents. Better connections along the trail would give locals and regional enthusiasts alike more places to ride.
"The Bonneville Shoreline Trail Advancement Act is needed to maximize recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts—including mountain bikers—along the populous Wasatch Front. The demand for secure access to trails and open space and the need for careful, consistent management is greatest at the wild/urban interface where the BST resides. We are enormously grateful to Congressman John Curtis for his support for this bill and the active lifestyles that Utahns enjoy. We look forward to being a part of the effort to build a sustainable and enjoyable Bonneville Shoreline Trail in the years to come." — Trails Utah Executive Director Sarah Bennett
"The Salt Lake Valley Trail Society enthusiastically supports the Bonneville Shoreline Trail Advancement Act as an opportunity to provide accessible outdoor recreation for a wide variety of trail users. Hikers, cyclists, families, and adaptive athletes will be sure to be recreating in a more sustainable fashion as the sections of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail facilitated by the Act are built out and authorized for local recreation. We hope Utahans join us in supporting this bill and the recreation and community-building opportunities local trails create." — Salt Lake Valley Trails Society Executive Director Kevin Dwyer
Shaping the Bonneville Shoreline Trail
Small segments of overlapping Wilderness designations prohibit biking on parts of the trail, preventing the full vision for a multi-use trail that connects dozens of Utah communities. Many of these Wilderness sections neighbor what are now urban areas, but realigning the trail outside of Wilderness is not viable due to land management boundaries, private land and steep, rocky terrain. The Bonneville Shoreline Trail Advancement Act would release 326 acres of Wilderness divided over more than 20 locations, to accommodate trail connections and sustainable trail development near population centers. The bill designates 326 acres of contiguous new wilderness in Mill Creek Canyon.
Detailed Maps and Legislative Maps
click to enlarge detailed map click to enlarge legislative map
The BSTAA has passed through Congress and was signed into law by President Biden on December 23, 2022.
The BSTAA passed the full House of Representatives on December 12, 2022 by voice vote. It now awaits passage in the Senate.
On May 3, 2022, the BSTAA passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
The bill passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee with unanimous, bipartisan consent and was reported favorably to the House of Representatives on January 19, 2022.
The bill received hearings in April, June and November 2021.
The bill was reintroduced in March 2021 in the 117th Congress, both in the Senate (S.1222) and in the House (H.R.2551). Rep. Curtis and Senator Romney released statements of support for the Bonneville Shoreline Trail Advancement Act.
The bill was originally introduced in the 116th Congress in July 2020, in the House by Representative Curtis (R-UT) and in the Senate by Senator Romney (R-UT).
"The Utah High School Cycling League has nearly 2,000 registered student-athletes and coaches living within ten minutes of the trailheads connecting to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. As a league, our vision is to enable Utah teens to strengthen body, mind and character through the life-long sport of cycling. We have witnessed first hand how mountain biking has strengthened families and communities. The culture of our league and mountain biking in general is one of inclusivity and respect. We fully endorse the efforts of IMBA and other local associations striving to implement the Bonneville Shoreline Trail Advancement Act." — Utah High School Cycling League League Director Dallen Atack
“This legislation balances creating new recreational opportunities with protecting the environment. With a rapidly increasing population, Salt Lake and Utah Counties are in need of more widely accessible opportunities to hike, bike, and get outdoors. This legislation will do this in a responsible manner and help pave the way for all Utahns to enjoy this world class trail." — U.S. Representative John Curtis (R-UT)
Coverage of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail Advancement Act.
The Bonneville Shoreline Trail Advancement Act has the support of Utah Governor Spencer J. Cox as well as several local mayors and municipalities adjacent to the trail. Outdoor Alliance, PeopleforBikes, Trust for Public Lands, and several local and regional trails organizations support the bill. More than a dozen Utah businesses and dozens more bike and outdoor businesses have signed letters of support for this legislation.