A year is a long time to be working towards a goal - espcially when there’s so many individual milestones to be met along the way. In 2018, ...

Aug 24, 2016

A trip around Utah - Ogden

Why a last minute trip to Ogden? Well, there's a lot of out door industry jobs in Ogden and the city keeps bringing in more. Nick has been looking for a change in work for a number of years and there plenty to choose from along the Salt Lake corridor - but most of them in Ogden. And while I've been out there several times for the Xterra USA championships, we never really explored the city and the trails in town. So without an agenda or an important race, we could spend the time getting a feel of the city.

Of course, any long drive has to be broken up a few times. It's a good thing the North entrance to Klondike Bluffs is really close to the interstate... Nick ran Saturday night, I did yoga on the rocks. And then we rode Sunday before heading up to Ogden.
Nothing like yoga on the rocks to clear the mind
Sunset from Klondike Bluffs. A nice quiet evening.

Our goal in Ogden was to find as many in town trails as we could. And while the bike shop we stopped in had some good information, it didn't seem like that many people rode right from in town. Everyone we talked to raved about the Bonneville Shoreline trail and the other "bench trails." They also mentioned Snowbasin and the Skyline trails. So Monday, we decided to take on the Bonneville trail. Nick wasn't keen on the easy traverse just above the city that the south end of the trail offered, so we started climbing. And climbing. And climbing some more. Turns out we'd stumbled along the hardest trail that bikes were allowed on off the south side of the Bonneville trail. Malan Peak. I wasn't riding as much as taking my bike for a nice, steep hike!

At the top of Malan Peak

We reached the summit of the peak and paused to take in the view. The hikers up there though the trail looped back down and round, but weren't sure. So we turned around and wore out some brake pads on the decent. What took nearly an hour to climb was a mere 15 minute plunge back down to the city! It was a good thing we turned around through - the trail actually kept climbing and supposedly connected into one of the trails that when up and over into Snowbasin!

After lunch, it was time for a little more exploring. We decided to run the north section of the Bonneville trail - just a few miles out and back. One of my hottest runs of the year! I usually try to avoid the heat, but since we were trying to cram as much into a few days as we could, that meant running in the full afternoon sun. The trail north of Ogden Canyon was more challenging for sure - plenty of rock gardens, steep little climbs and sharp turns. It was interesting on foot and the heat kept the crowds down. I'm sure that on a nice morning, that trail is jammed packed with hikers, runners and cyclists. Back in the hotel, we spent hours studying the map we'd gotten at the bike store. And despite everything, we couldn't find any other trails in town. Maybe we were missing something, but...

Time to head to the mountains. Instead of Ogden Canyon, which we've driven dozens of times, we decided to take North Ogden Canyon. At the North Ogden Divide, where the Skyline trail crossed, we thought about riding that. Perhaps we should have - but without a good map of the area, we didn't want to get lost on a six hour death march into the unknown. So we went to Snowbasin to ride some of the trails that the Xterra doesn't use. Up Needles Trail - up, up and up some more. Climbing into the sky. I think we may have used part of that trail during one of the years - before the Sardina peak trail was completed. We were just below the lodge, nearly as high as we could get on our bikes.

Almost at the top - Climbing up Needles Trail at SnowBasin
 We took the only down hill only trail back to the base area. Porcupine. It was super dusty, but fun. Different riding then what we have at home for sure! We don't get those long, steep downhills as much as sustained traversing at home. Lots of tight switchbacks and bumpy corners as well.
Halfway down - yep, that's where the swim for the Xterra is!


Peak-a-boo with the moose - she won...
After finishing the ride, we studied the map for a bit. We were finished with Ogden, having learned what we needed to know. Time to move on. The trip was now about exploring, riding and having fun.

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