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Sardine to the Brim

sardine to the brim trail ogden valley mountain biking

Mountain Biking in the Ogden Valley

 

The most exciting developments for Ogden area mountain bikers have taken place at nearly 9,000 feet, atop Powder Mountain. In 2016, Pow Mow debuted the Brim Trail, a six-mile rolling jaunt through the meadows and pine forests southeast of the ski area. The resort hasn’t taken its foot off the gas since. Pow Mow’s trail net- work will surpass 30 miles summer, an investment of more than $700,000 according to their website.

 

To build Brim Trail and get their network started, Pow Mow consulted with the International Mountain Bike Association. “They built a master plan for us, and helped us out for the first couple of months,” says J.P. Goulet, Marketing Manager for Powder Mountain. “They taught us the ropes on how to build, and our team has been able to replicate their level of professionalism.”

 

sardine trail to brim trail mountain biking
Photo By: Cam McLeod

 

The first step of the master plan was a network of trails suitable to all levels of riding. As such, more than 90 percent of Powder’s trails are currently rated as beginner. That will change as they get deeper into their build. “As far as our master plan goes, pretty much all of the green ones are done,” says Goulet. “Now we’ll be moving to the more difficult trails.” The newest, Trail Yeah, will debut this summer. It’s a 3.2 mile intermediate singletrack that ventures into the Cobabe Canyon and Raintree areas. Pow Mow also plans to incorporate the road built to bring fiber optic cable to the resort last summer into the network. This 4.7 mile, expert-rated doubletrack will connect the resort to the valley, starting at the Wolf Creek Canyon gate and ending at the Sundown Lift.

 

Plans for this summer are yet to be determined. “Obviously this season’s going to be a little shorter just because our snow pack is so heavy,” says Goulet. During the shoulder seasons, the trail crews stay busy elsewhere around the valley, including a 2.3 mile single-track in North Fork Park called 365 Trail that they built last spring.

 

“Our crews are often sidelined during the fall and spring due to wet conditions and snow on the mountain,” Says Powder Mountain General Manager Mark Schroetel. “We offered to provide up to $20,000 annually in trail crew services to help Weber Pathways build trails in the Ogden Valley when our crews are underutilized. This year, they will return to North Fork Park to continue expanding the biking and fat bike trail network there.”

 

mountain biking ogden valley
Photo By: Cam McLeod

 

In addition to keeping otherwise idle crews working, Goulet says it is also important to Powder Mountain to help create outdoor opportunities across the valley. “We want people to stay active outside, and we want people to enjoy the Ogden Valley,” Goulet says.

 

While Powder Mountain has been home to the most recent upgrades to the Ogden Valley mountain biking scene, it’s far from the only show in town. Here are a few other places to get your nobbies dirty.

 

Art Nord/Snowbasin

 

Despite all the action going on at Pow Mow, The Art Nord trailhead is still the center of the best mountain biking in the Ogden Valley. From this forest service parking lot off Old Snowbasin Road, riders can spin loops of just about any size—from a quick 45 minute pre- or post-work sprint, to a multi-hour crusher to the upper reaches of Snowbasin Resort.

 

Sardine Peak – accessed by either a four-mile climb up the Wheeler Creek trail from Art Nord or by parking at Snowbasin’s Maples lot—is the gold standard of riding in the valley. This well-constructed, six-mile trail climbs about 1300 vertical feet and offers views of Snowbasin, Pineview Reservoir, Ogden, and Ogden Canyon. It’s also one of the most used trails in the area and is open to horses—keep that in mind as you start to give in to the whims of gravity. On weekends, Snowbasin offers lift-serviced riding via the Needles Gondola and rents bikes at the Grizzly Center. On most Sundays, the resort hosts Blues, Brews and BBQ, a free concert series outside of Earl’s Lodge. You’ll be hard fought to find a better way to end a day in the saddle than at a free concert with a beer garden. In all, there are about 50 miles of mountain biking trails between Snowbasin and the forest service trails.

 

ogden valley mountain biking
Photo By: Cam McLeod

 

Skyline/Nordic Valley – Lewis Peak is one of the signature rides of the Ogden area, and also one of the hardest. Most often ridden as an out-and-back from Windsurfer Beach, the ride gains about 3,000 vertical feet over roughly 8 miles, and ends with views of the Great Salt Lake and beyond to Pilot Peak, Nevada. The ride can also be looped by continuing north on South Skyline to North Ogden Divide and linking up with the Pioneer Trail into Eden.

 

Nordic Valley put a lot of work into their modest trail network over the past couple of years, constructing new trails and improving some of the legacy singletrack that snakes through the tree islands between the ski runs. The rides at Nordic are short, with no single loop more than 5 miles. From a fitness perspective, they make up for that by being relatively steep. Up until 2018, the resort offered lift-serviced biking on weekends. Unfortunately Nordic Valley has suspended all summer operations for 2019 aside from a few events. The trails, however, remain and are worth checking out. The
longest, Pine Creek, is a beautiful three-miler gaining 1,000 vertical feet through a sheltered canyon just south of the ski area, where it can be a legitimate 5-10 degrees cooler than other rides on hot summer days.

 

North Fork Park/Ben Lomond – The premier Nordic skiing venue in the valley during the winter, this county park has been quietly stepping up its game as a summer mountain biking destination. A few years ago, the Mule’s Ear Connector trail went in. Last summer saw the construction of the 365 trail (called Bonnie and Clyde’s on some maps). Neither one is much on its own—Mule’s Ear Connector is a fun, relatively flat one-miler that rides like an adult pump track, and 365 is a great introductory trail for never-evers and beginners. Together, though, they offer singletrack access to more established loops such as Mule’s Ear, Mule’s Shoe, and the Bicentennial Trail, allowing riders to piece together an 8-11 mile singletrack ride without having to spend much time on the graded park road.

 

north fork park mountain biking
Photo By: Cam McLeod

 

North Fork is also home to the Ben Lomond Trail, which can be ridden either as an up-and-down from the Park’s horse corrals, or as a rather demanding point-to-point using the Northern Skyline Trail from North Ogden Divide. For the fit, adventurous and committed, Ben Lomond is an expert-rated singletrack that stretches for 10 miles, over the summit of Ben Lomond Peak, and around Willard Peak to the Willard Peak access road. It’s more common, though, for people to turn around at the Northern Skyline Junction, and enjoy the 3,000 vertical foot descent back to the park.

 

These incredible photos were taken by Cam McLeod, check out more of his work HERE.

 

The Ogden Valley is one of the most beautiful places in the entire state of Utah. Stay in a Huntsville, Utah lodging option and come explore it yourself. After you experience our neck of the woods, you won’t want to leave. Check out our Huntsville, Utah homes for sale or Eden, Utah real estate and find your dream home (or build your own!) There’s no such thing as a bad day in the mountains, let us be your guide.

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