||Eagle Rise Trail System at Mantua
The Eagle Rise Trail System is narrow singletrack on the slopes of the
mountain east of Mantua Reservoir. Eagle Rise has a Main Loop with side rides: a
lariat to Little Knoll and North 600 at the north end, and a jump line and
Ridge Trail loop at the
southeast corner. You'll need to get onto the Mantua
Dike Trail to bike to Eagle Rise. The ride I describe below is 9.4
miles with 900 vertical feet of climbing (it misses two of the newer
View west from the North 600 loop, looking at Little
Knoll in center left. Original review
ride on May 24, 2012 by Bruce, accompanied by fellow senior bikers Joel
and Gene. Updated for new trails in 2016 and 2020.
|Mantua is located about three miles east of Brigham
City, just off the combined US-89 and 91 at an elevation of 5150 feet. The lake is
beautifully surrounded by mountains. It offers fishing, boating, and camping.
There's also a gravel/pavement route around the lake -- called the
Dike Trail -- for beginning riders and children.
The Eagle Rise trails are located on Mantua City land, built and
maintained by volunteers under the coordination of local Jack Leavitt.
Looking west from paved parking stall
on the southeast trailhead, which is closest to the Eagle Rise trail.
||The Eagle Rise Main Loop is 2.5 miles with 400 vertical
feet of total climbing, done at a gradual slope when riding clockwise.
This Main Loop is popular with beginning riders.
Other loops are accessed from the main loop and include the Ridge
Trail, The Knoll, and North 600. All loops are designed to be done
clockwise. There's also a jump-line trail called Phillip's Playground with
access from the upper side of the main Eagle Rise loop.
On the Upper North 600 loop.
From the closest (southeast) trailhead, you'll ride 0.3 miles of the Mantua
Dike Trail to reach it, for a minimum ride of 3.1 miles. Most riders
will want to continue around the reservoir on the dike trail for a 6.8 mile
trip (7.8 if you ride the viewpoint trail). For a dike-plus-dirt-loop ride, you can start at any of three trailheads (see
below). My description uses the southeast TH.
As you reach the southeast dike
trailhead (whether by car or by bike), head for the gate, then follow a
narrow curved path through the boulders to the right of the gate.
From the southeast trailhead of the dike trail (see below),
ride east 0.3 miles and turn right to the singletrack. Navigate through a
field then climb two turns up the mountain. At mile 0.2, fork left for the
lower side of the loop to ride it clockwise. (Save the right side for a
fun return from the loop.
Looking east as Eagle Rise forks off
the dike trail. The sign says "No Horses" which guarantees a
smoother trail as bike tires buff out the surface.
|Assuming you turned left, at mile 0.4
of the singletrack (0.7 from the trailhead), the trail splits again. And
once again, go left to enter the Eagle Rise Main Loop clockwise. The right
fork is a shorter return route from the loop. This
ride description follows the " clockwise" recommendation for ALL
loops in the Eagle Rise area.
Crossing a meadow
of arrowleaf balsamroot. The yellow flowers on the lower mountain,
balsamroot, bloom in early May. Higher up, mules ear flowers (similar
blossoms but different leaves) blooms in early June.
||At mile 1.4 from the southeast TH parking, the loop turns
180 degrees to the right uphill to begin the return trip. At this spot, the trail to Little Knoll forks to the left.
You'll be able to see it traversing the hillside, heading to the west. To
visit Little Knoll before completing the Main Loop, go left.
Gene Poncelet heads north on the lower
half of the loop. Nice views, eh?
Knoll Trail (Little Knoll lariat
The Little Knoll trail winds around the hill and up over the top of the knoll, where there
are 360-degree views. It's worth the trip.
As you leave the main loop the trail rapidly splits, but will rejoin in
1/10 mile as you approach the saddle downhill. Take either fork; the trail
on the downhill side will be better for climbing
back. At the saddle itself, go to the left to enter the Knoll Loop. It's
designed to ride clockwise.
Joel Quinn rides toward Little Knoll.
||After reaching the top of the hill, the trail will drop
lower on the hill and begin descending parallel to your uphill course.
Stay uphill and right at the trail fork on the north slope. The trail
to the left simply drops steeply down to the Dike Trail.
On the way back from the loop portion of the Little Knoll trail, take
either trail fork. I think the lower trail climbs better.
Looking west at the top of the knoll.
Upper leg of the Main Loop southbound
After returning to the trail fork, go uphill onto the
higher half of the Eagle Rise main loop. The trail will turn south,
running parallel to the lower side of the loop below you. At first, you'll be riding through
About 0.1 miles after turning south, you'll reach a bench and repair
stand (see photo). If you're finishing the loop, keep straight. Or go uphill left to do the
lariat North 600 loop to add 2.3 miles and 400 vertical feet of climbing
to your ride. See below.
Joel cruises through blooming
balsamroot on the upper half of the loop.
|| The trail will continue to climb
gently as it traverses the slope heading south. 0.4 miles after the North
600 trail fork, you'll reach the climbing trail for access to Phillip's
Playground (a DH jump-line trail, see below for information).
You'll begin to hit the
edge of the juniper forest as you gain altitude. 1/4 mile past the entry
to Phillip's you'll reach a 4-way. Left is your entry to the Ridge Trail
loop, straight is the exit from the loop, and right is the return path
toward the trailhead.
Here's the kiosk at the junction of North 600 with
the northern uphill Eagle Rise loop. We're looking east.
Ridge Trail (southern uphill
On the southeast corner of the main loop, you'll reach the fork to the
Ridge Trail. This is a loop ride that climbs high on the mountain
southeast of the lake.
Turn left uphill, then keep turning left to enter the loop clockwise.
(It rides much better in this direction!) You'll climb through several
long switchbacks as the trail climbs 350 vertical feet over one mile to
5750 feet altitude.
Entry to the Ridge Trail loop, as seen
from the apex of the Main Loop's southeast corner.
|On the north-facing slope, there will be some groves of
maple. I found temperatures here cool even in July. The riding is fairly easy, with wide climbing turns and
mostly-smooth trail surface. Catch a few views as you go up, because there
isn't a wide "lookout spot" at the top.
The Rocky Mountain leans against a
tree as the trail skirts some rock outcrops on the way up the Ridge.
||Just after you pass the ride's highest point, you'll reach a trail fork. You've done
your 900 vertical feet of overall climbing now.
The downhill will be a lot more techy than what you've done so far. Decide
how much tech you want. Neither option is easy, unless you want to turn
around and go back the same trail you climbed.
On the day of my most recent ride there was a trail guide-post, embedded in brand-new cement, at this trail fork on
the ridge. It indicated blue-square for the left fork and black-diamond
for the right . Don't believe it. (Unless somebody's either changed the
sign or worked over that very-techy "easier" trail by the time
Just before the ride's highest point,
we're looking north at the top of Little Knoll.
|The right fork has one steep tight turn and a couple of rock rollovers,
then a long skinny traverse on the side-slope before it rejoins the left fork.
Sure, expert-level riding, I guess.
The left fork (supposedly easier) zips through a series of tight turns
that I found difficult and claustrophobic, then
rolls around a long turn to a very tough-to-ride sequence of dipping
twisting rock squeezes. Black diamond and a half.
The trails will rejoin in about 1/4 mile. The trail descends fairly
quickly, dropping 350 feet in just 1/2 mile. When you hit the entry where you climbed into the Ridge Trail loop, turn left onto the Main Loop.
Looking down the left fork at a series
of quick very tight turns.
And back on the Main Loop for trailhead return
The main loop now descends down the mountain. The terrain here is mostly grass and sage.
After around 1/10th mile, you'll reach a trail fork. On the right is a
shorter slightly steeper return back to the main loop. Use this if you're
planning to loop around again. A bit over 0.3 miles from the Ridge Trail, you'll rejoin
the outgoing Main Loop.
The left fork is a lovely winding descent back to the lower connector
trail. At the fork, left goes to the trailhead, right climbs back up to
the Eagle Rise loop.
View north as US 89/91
climbs toward Black Peak.
You'll be back at the Dike Trail after 5.2 miles of
singletrack. If you continue from this point to complete one full circuit
of the lake on the Dike Trail, your ride will be 9.4 miles. With the same
Looking toward the reservoir from the
stem of the Main Loop, about 1/4 mile from the Dike Trail.
North 600 (lariat loop with
optional upper loop)
||North 600 is a lariat loop extending north from the northern
upper side of the Eagle Rise Main Loop. See the map below. There's a lower
loop that's easier intermediate, with a more-technical upper loop sitting
on top of the lower loop. Again, the loops are designed to be done in the
Crossing a meadow of sage and balsamroot on North
|The lower loop follows an old dirt road for much of its
path. So mostly it's quite tame. Only the last 1/4 mile is narrow
winding trail. The lariat using only the lower loop is 1.6 miles round trip with
vertical feet of climbing.
Final descent on the lower loop. In the mid-photo,
you can see the lariat stem coming from Eagle Rise.
||The fork onto the upper loop comes at mile 0.8 from the
kiosk. Fork uphill to the left to enter the upper loop. It will be 0.9
miles (bypassing 0.2 miles of the lower loop) before you rejoin the lower
loop. The upper loop requires solid upper-intermediate, preferably expert,
There's some oak and maple on the upper loop, and
even a shady bench.
|The upper loop climbs 250 vertical feet. You'll climb
through 7 turns before a gently-uphill traverse southbound, reaching the
loop's highest point in 1/2 mile from the lower loop. That's an average
10% rate of climb.
Breaking out of the trees to cross a small meadow of
balsamroot on the upper loop.
||The trail then drops through tight turns in the trees. These
turns tend to be tight, a tad steep, and loose. There are trees right at
the trailside, so muffing a turn will cost you. Because of these tricky
turns on the descending side, I'm rating the upper loop for advanced
Steep tight 180 in moon dust. And it's early May.
Intermediate riders will struggle a bit on the downhill turns.
Phillip's Playground (jump
line with access trail off upper main loop)
||Phillip's Playground is a jump-line DH trail for expert
riders. It's still being worked on at this time, but is open for riding WHEN
NO TRAILWORK IS BEING DONE.
The climbing trail to the top of Phillip's is on the upper side of the Eagle
Rise Main Loop trail, designed to be entered when heading southbound.
(Clockwise is the recommended riding direction for all loops!)
Entry to Phillip's Playground climbing trail on the
upper (southbound) side of the Eagle Rise loop.
|The climb to the top of Phillip's Playground is 0.3 miles
and a bit over 125 vertical feet of climbing. At the top, a sign reminds
you that this route is for expert riders only.
The climb. Not bad unless you're on a heavy DH bike.
||In May 2020, the turns have been nicely done, with high
berms built for speed. Only a few of the jumps are completed.
First jump. Note big (right), medium (middle), and
small (left) which doubles as a scouting line.
|It's recommended that you take a scouting run before you hit
the jumps. For this purpose, there are bypass lines that let you keep
speed (so you don't block a jumper) while you eyeball the features.
Some of the completed features have big, medium, and little
Phillip Barker, the author of Phillip's Playground,
launches off a jump on the trail he's building.
||The trail crosses the upper side of the Eagle Rise Main Loop
on the way down. There's a
good sight line if a crossing rider is going southbound (clockwise) around
the Main Loop. But if someone is going northbound on the Main Loop (not the
recommended direction), it could get ugly. So there's a stop sign for
riders dropping Phillip's Playground.
Cross-over on upper Eagle Rise.
|The trail then continues down to the lower side of the Eagle
Rise Main Loop, where
you'll hook a hard right turn (so you're going clockwise, northbound on
the lower side of the Main Loop).
Loop around on Eagle Rise Main Loop to get back to Phillip's climbing trail.
Typical turn. Wide, highly banked, and built for
Very nice trails, surprisingly cool summer riding for the elevation.
Pretty views of the Mantua area and surrounding hills. The main loop is
suitable for beginners; the knoll for intermediates; and the ridge loop
for experienced upper-intermediates or experts.
Old truck with a tree growing up
through the truckbed.
|Riding notes, Eagle Rise w Knoll, Ridge, plus
0.0 From the southeast Dike Trail TH,
ride around gate through rock chute
N41 29.811 W111 55.552
0.3 R on Eagle Rise N41 29.923 W111 55.342
0.7 Keep L at fork N41 30.023 W111 55.124
1.4 L on Little Knoll trail N41 30.472 W111 55.140
Go either way at fork a few
(trails rejoin in 1/10 mile)
1.6 L at fork on saddle N41 30.373 W111 55.374
1.9 Top of hill
2.2 Keep R uphill N41 30.389 W111 55.417
2.3 Back at fork, keep L N41 30.373 W111 55.374
2.4 Option. Lower trail climbs easier
N41 30.429 W111 55.230
|2.5 Rejoin, keep L to rejoin Main
N41 30.473 W111 55.142
2.6 Straight (L = North 600)
N41 30.390 W111 55.082
3.2 L uphill, L to enter Ridge loop
N41 29.968 W111 54.902
4.2 Roll over top, Options for DH
R = hard, L = harder and techy
N41 29.807 W111 54.912
4.4 Trails rejoin, descend N41 29.792 W111 55.046
4.7 L onto Main Loop N41 29.966 W111 54.902
5.0 L on stem of loop N41 30.023 W111 55.124
5.5 R on Dike Trail, go around lake
9.4 Back at trailhead
Exit I-15 at the first Brigham City exit (to Logan and US-91). Head east
toward the mountains, and keep straight as you cross the main road into
Brigham City and join US-89 heading up Sardine Canyon. From the freeway,
drive 4.5 miles to the second Mantua (600 North) exit. Turn right, then
right again on main street. The first trailhead (TH#1) is
immediately on your left. As you pass the boat launch (TH#2), turn
left and climb onto the dike N41 29.999 W111 56.522. Now drive 0.9 miles
to the east and park in the paved parking area of TH#3 (N41 29.793 W111 55.562).
A new trailhead is located on the northeast corner of the lake TH#4
(N41 30.653 W111 55.509), reached by taking the first road to the east
driving north from the northwest TH.
Camping: Mountain View campground, SE corner of
Water: Boat launch
Bathrooms: All four trailheads.