Ogden Canyon Overlook
Also known as Coldwater Overlook / Ogden Overlook
This is a nice 2.7-mile climb near Snowbasin. The out-and-back is 5.4
miles with 900 vertical feet of climbing. It's
easy-intermediate technical and only moderately strenuous. My sample ride
below includes the Sardine Peak loop.
View of the pinnacle where the ride turns around,
with Ogden in the background. Photos and ride description by Bruce
October 12, 2010. Updated July 23, 2018.
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.)
At the "official" beginning
of the trail. But you can't drive here. You have to pedal another trail to
arrive at this point. The quickest way is via a 0.7-mile dirt road from
The top altitude is 7200 feet at the overlook. Because the
lower portion of the riding is shaded and the upper portion sits on the
north side of a steep slope, during most years this trail won't be clear
of snow and ready to ride until July.
Getting started on the singletrack.
To ride the Overlook trail out-and-back 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.
Further up the hill (past the Sardine Peak fork) we
encounter huge fir trees.
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.
of the ride is in dense forest. As we climb toward the ridgeline, we begin
to see some views back to the south.
At mile 2.1, you'll reach a fork at the top of the
ridgeline. To your right is the Sardine Peak trail. For now, go left and head toward the overlook.
The trail will cross briefly to the north side of the ridgeline, where
you'll pass through a grove of large conifers.
This is your trail fork. Left to the overlook, right
to Sardine Peak.
After getting back to a scrub forest of maple and oak, the
trail will climb to a small bench on an outcrop. It's 0.6 miles, and
another 250 vertical feet of climbing from the trail fork.
Riding in maple and oak scrub as we approach the
Take a minute. Oooh, aaaah.
Good spot for your picnic.
Looking west from the overlook.
Now head back downhill. Keep your speed in control, as
you'll certainly encounter hikers and other riders on this popular trail.
A nice option is to divert onto the Sardine Peak trail and ride a loop
back to Snowbasin. This will add about 500 vertical feet of climbing and 5
Heading back downhill.
Up-and-back to the Ogden
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Riding notes from Snowbasin, with a return via Sardine
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
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.