|Sardine Peak Loop*
Coldwater Overlook / Ogden Overlook
This is a nice 8.7-mile loop ride near Snowbasin. It features a short out-and-back to a great view over Ogden and the Great Salt Lake. Climbing is 1100 vertical feet, with top altitude of 7200 at the overlook. It's easy-intermediate technical and only moderately strenuous.
View up the trail as the aspens begin to turn. Plush trail. Photos and ride description by Bruce based on a checkout ride on October 12, 2010.
|*Disclaimer: Sardine Peak Loop is not the official name of this trail. Or maybe it is. I can't be bothered to do actual research. "Sardine Peak" just sounded good. I like sardines. Now if you need actual verified facts, Mike will sell you an excellent trail guidebook. Our on-line store has a nice selection of them. Oh. Yeah. The trail. Where was I?|
|My ride description starts at Snowbasin. That's about the
right distance and climbing for a typical rider. You can make the
ride longer by picking an alternate trailhead. It's pretty simple to turn this ride into a 15 mile fun-fest.
(See alternate trailheads below.)
If you decide to skip the Ogden overlook, you'll drop a mile off the distance and lose about 150 vertical feet of the climbing.
About 2/3 mile into the ride, we're looking back toward Snowbasin as singletrack interweaves with the doubletrack.
|To ride the loop from Snowbasin, start at the overflow parking.
That's on the far northeast corner, past the lodge area. Ride around the metal gate and head gently downhill on gravel
doubletrack. Shortly after the track turns uphill, keep straight as you
pass the Maples singletrack on your right. That's your return path.
At the "official" beginning of the trail.
|A short bit later, singletrack veers off the doubletrack in
a meadow. Take either one. They both wind up at the same place, which is a
gate with a trail sign. Go through the gate and climb through the forest.
As we climb toward the ridgeline, the views just keep getting better.
|I blundered onto the loop ride as trail crews were still
digging. But (as of fall 2010) it's ready to ride now. The route is cut,
and what's going on now is mostly touch-up work. The mini-excavator packed down
the surface after the recent rains. I strongly recommend clockwise for now,
because it puts the older buff trail on the climb. The new trail has a few
small roots sticking in the air. Downhill, that's not a problem. But when
climbing you could easily suck a root into your derailleur.
The aspen forest in the lower valley gives way to gambel oak and maple on the dryer south-facing hillsides.
|At mile 2.1, you'll reach a fork at the top of the
ridgeline. Go left and head toward the overlook. The trail reverses
direction as it crosses the ridge, reaching the viewpoint about 1/2 mile
after the fork.
We're now heading toward the Ogden overlook. We're getting some glimpses of what's ahead. The overlook is on the saddle at mid-left.
|Take a minute. Oooh, aaaah.|
|When you arrive back at the trail fork, keep left to climb
east toward the baldish peak, which is Sardine Peak. As it gets steeper,
the trail is a tad
loose and rocky for a short distance, but it gets plush again quickly.
Looking east toward Sardine Peak. We'll climb to the shoulder of the peak.
|A couple of trails join on the left. One is right beside the
peak, the other is just as you drop down to the ridge. I didn't check out
where these tracks go. You're welcome to explore. To follow the loop, keep right.
For a short time, you're on the north side of the ridge, with an awesome view over Pineview Reservoir. Then you'll cross the ridgeline and reverse direction from east to west. Time for some serious downhill.
View east over Pineview Reservoir.
|The trail descends through maple forest, with an occasional
stand of fir, aspen, or oak. Even though the trail is brand new, the
riding was great.
When the trail hits the Maples Trail, turn right uphill and climb about 1/2 mile back to the original doubletrack. Turn left toward your car.
On the way back down, as thick maple drop their leaves onto the trail.
|Riding notes, clockwise, from Snowbasin:
Start at gate, far northeast parking
0.0 Pass gate, enter doubletrack heading north
N41 13.114 W111 51.792
0.6 Keep straight uphill (ST on R is return path)
N41 13.538 W111 51.817
0.7 ST or DT, doesn't matter
0.8 Go through gate N41 13.605 W111 51.894
2.1 Fork L for Ogden / Coldwater Canyon overlook
N41 14.066 W111 52.531
2.7 At overlook N41 14.034 W111 52.801
3.3 Back at fork, keep L N41 14.066 W111 52.531
4.3 Trail in on L, keep straight
N41 14.464 W111 52.071
4.6 Keep R and east, trail in from L
5.0 Cross ridge and begin descent
7.6 Fork R on Maples Trail
N41 13.827 W111 51.510
8.1 Back at DT, fork L
8.7 Back at gate
|Getting there, Snowbasin trailhead: From US-89 or I-15 in Ogden, head east on I-84. A few miles up Weber Canyon, take the Mountain Green exit. As you exit, turn left under the freeway, then right. Drive a couple of miles through Mountain Green, then turn L on the scenic byway, U-167. At the top of the hill, turn left and drive to the main Snowbasin entrance. As you approach the lodges, keep right and descend to the overflow parking. The trailhead is the gate at the far northeast corner.|
|Alternate, Green Pond: After
turning left off U-167, drive 1.3 miles to a large parking area on the
right. Good ride: down Middle Fork to Maples, up to the loop (in a figure
8) and back via the Green Pond trail. 16.4 miles, 2000 vertical.
Alternate, Art Nord: Head up Ogden Canyon on U-39. 2.7 miles after the dam, turn R on U-226. Go another 3.6 miles and turn R into the Art Nord trailhead parking N 41° 14.017' W 111° 49.224'. Recommend big loop ride with East Fork, Green Pond, Sardine Loop, down Maples. 14 miles, 2500 vertical. Lariat up Maples and around loop, 10.3 miles w 1700 vertical.
Alternate, Middle Fork: About 1.5 miles up the road from Art Nord, there's a large parking spot on the right. Head north on Middle Fork to Maples. Lariat or loop as per Green Pond or Art Nord.
Alternate, Wheeler: Heading up Ogden Canyon on U-39, drop R just before the dam. Follow Wheeler to Maples. Lariat ride or big loop. Big loop = East Fork to Green Pond to Sardine to Maples, 17.7 miles, 2800 vertical.
Bathrooms: Art Nord, Snowbasin
|Riding resources for this trail:
Single-page riding guide
GPS track files (right-click, "Save as..."):
(includes Green Pond, Maples, Middle Fork, etc)
High-res area topo map: View to print
Lodging, camping, shops:
Links to Ogden area resources
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