Repairing or upgrading your bike! Look for items on UMB site Discussion board for bike fanatics! Visit the UMB store!
Css Menu Javascript by v4.3.0
Southern Ogden Foothill Trails
Foothill, Par Course, Ogden Bobsled, Blue Ribbon
Waterfall Canyon, Bonneville Shoreline, and more

This page covers the Ogden foothill trails between Beus Canyon and Taylor Canyon. (Official trails only -- you'll note a wealth of "social trails" as you zoom in the satellite view.) The trails range in difficulty from very short-and-easy Par Course Loop to the long and tough Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST).

Bruce cranks along the Foothill Bike Trail. Photos and trail reviews July 10, 2019. Some trail tracks from 2010.

The area is a west-facing dry hillside interrupted by sharply-cut canyons. The trails pass through zones of grass, sage brush, and gambel oak. Trail elevation ranges from 4700 feet at the trailheads to 5700 feet on the upper BST. The usual riding season is May through November.

View south on the upper half of the Par Course loop. Typical low oak scrub terrain.

There are some trails in the area that are hiking-only, as well as one-way trails for bikes. The tangle of trails at the 36th South trailhead is particularly confusing to newcomers. And while there are a lot of signs, there is often more than one common name for an individual trail, and trails are signed based on the trail name (such as Foothill Bike Trail), and the route (such as Gib's Loop), and the destination of the trail (Waterfall Canyon). I've based my trail names on the posts along the trails themselves.

On the Strong Canyon Trail just uphill from 36th, we're looking at a plethora of signs, but nothing that says the bike isn't supposed to be here. If you continue, you'll find yourself on a hiking path.

The Bonneville Shoreline from Beus to Rainbow Gardens is long and interesting enough to be a destination trail for out-of-towners. Most of the trails discussed on this page will only attract local riders. For Ogden-area beginners, I'd recommend Mt Ogden, Foothill, and Par Course as starting trails in this area.

You'll need to stop occasionally to read the small print on trail signs. The use of both route names and trail names can be confusing.

The best trailhead for access to the BST is 29th Street. Trails are plainly signed, and the navigation uphill to the connectors is simple. (The northbound and southbound connectors form an arc alongside the BST and are sometimes called the "lower BST." See the topo map.) 29th Street also offers unconfusing access to the north end of the Foothill Bike Trail.

Looking into the 29th Street kiosk from the parking lot.

The 36th Street trailhead is smallish, and uphill navigation is complex. This trailhead connects to the south end of Foothill and the north end of Par Course. It's the main access point for the Mt Ogden trail. (The Mt Ogden trail can also be picked up at its north end at Marquardt Park on Taylor Avenue.)

As 36th South turns right, it becomes Skyline Drive. The Skyline Drive trailhead has quick access to the south end of Par Course.

This is the way uphill from 36th.

The north end of Beus Drive has roadside parking with quick access to the BST. The right fork is a connector that quickly joins the BST, while the doubletrack left fork is a BST alternate that passes the top of the Ogden Bobsled.

The Beus Canyon trailhead is on 4600 South just off Skyline Drive. It offers a fairly steep and rugged climb uphill to the BST. (Skyline Drive offers a bail-out "loop route" to get back to this trailhead.) Beus Canyon is not a good trailhead for accessing the other foothill trails.

High on the hill, northbound on the BST.

Foothill Bike Trail
The Foothill Bike Trail is an easy ride both aerobically and technically. On the north, it starts at the 29th Street trailhead. (Note that both Foothill and the hiking path lower on the hill are called Gib's Loop. Gib's is a route, not an individual trail.) The hiking trail runs just below Foothill all the way between 29th and 36th.

On the south, Foothill is reached by (1) heading north on the Par Course Loop to its end, then turning uphill on the cindered doubletrack, (2) going uphill from the 36th Street trailhead and finding the uphill doubletrack.

Crossing the creek on the lower alternate Foothill Bike Trail. If you want to go to the BST, you'll need to get onto the real trail further uphill.

Foothill is 1.1 miles long, with around 150 feet of overall climbing when done between the 36th and 29th street trailheads.

Navigation from 36th Street can be a bit troublesome. (It's very easy to wind up on a hiking-only trail, without any sign telling you otherwise.) But if you get on the broad doubletrack as soon as you reach it, then keep heading straight uphill on the DT, you won't go wrong. Go past two singletrack connectors to the Par Course on your right, pass the entry to Strong's Canyon trail on your left, then go past the Foothill Alternate trail on your left. Then turn left across the bridge on the real Foothill.

While much of Foothill is low scrub, there are some shady areas.

You'll need to get on the Foothill Bike Trail (the real Foothill, not the alternate) to climb up to the BST. After you've climbed from 36th Street and turned north on the singletrack Foothill Bike Trail, you'll quickly come upon the Blue Ribbon Uphill Bike Trail on your right. The trail fork is halfway between the bridge and the spot where the Alternate Foothill rejoins.

Foothill is a good choice for beginning riders, but there are some parts that younger children won't be able to ride.

Blue Ribbon Uphill Bike Trail (one-way uphill)
The Blue Ribbon trail climbs from the Foothill Bike Trail to the Bonneville Shoreline (BST). As stated above, you'll need to get on the Foothill Bike Trail (not the lower alternate) to ride Blue Ribbon.

At the trail fork for the Blue Ribbon, looking up toward Malans Peak.

The combination of Foothill and Blue Ribbon is a relatively pleasant way of getting uphill. You'll need to find another way back downhill, as this trail is one-way uphill only. From 29th Street, a nice easy experienced-beginner loop is Foothill to Blue Ribbon, then BST north to the Waterfall Canyon BST Connector, then catching the link to 29th Street downhill.

Typical dry hillside on Blue Ribbon. It's not a bad climb.

Blue Ribbon is 1/2 mile long with 200 feet of elevation gain. The path is narrow dirt singletrack winding through dry grass and short gambel oak. The climb would rate strong beginner to early-intermediate in difficulty.

The trail is narrow, with closely-encroaching roots and tree trunks. It works well when heading uphill, but it's too tight to be a downhill.

Par Course Loop Trail
The Par Course Loop is a narrow loop just uphill from Skyline Drive above Weber State. The outgoing and returning sides of the loop are just a few feet apart in the oak brush. The Par Course Loop is 0.8 miles around, with only trivial elevation change. It can be done either direction.

Par Course can be found by heading uphill from the 36th Street trailhead and taking the first southbound trail you find, or by heading north from the Skyline Drive trailhead.

Much of the trail lies on the power line corridor in a dense grove of scrub oak.

The loop has numbered exercise stations, which will likely be of more interest to hikers than mountain bike riders. The stations are numbered in a clockwise direction. Particularly on weekend mornings, expect quite a few fellow trail users on foot. Some spots on the trail have thick brush, making passing difficult. And exercisers may suddenly step into the trail without seeing you.

At an exercise station. I posed the bike for the picture. Too busy riding to exercise.

A portion of the Par Course loop is also part of the Weber State University (WSU) Discovery Loop. The WSU loop is a route, not a trail. And it's labeled 
"hiking only" even when the route joins an obvious bike trail, -- such as Par Course and the lower alternate BST. Confusing not only for you, but also for the hikers you'll encounter.

 View north at Malans Peak and Lewis Peak.

Just past the south end of the Par Course Loop, the Ogden Bobsled comes down into the Skyline Drive trailhead. Par Course, particularly the uphill limb of the loop, is used by high-speed riders who are looping up Blue Ribbon to the BST to drop back down Bobsled.

A rare -- and short -- tougher spot on the trail, where you'll need to wind around between the rocks.

Ogden Bobsled Trail (one-way downhill)
The Ogden Bobsled trail is a steep, high-speed plunge down a ravine. The trail is for experts and upper-intermediate riders. It drops 300 vertical feet in 0.4 miles, ending at the Skyline Drive trailhead. 

Bobsled starts on an alternate path of the BST just north of Beus Drive. To get there when riding southbound, keep to the right about 1/10th mile after crossing the creek in Strong Canyon. Here the main BST becomes a narrower singletrack, while the alternate is wide and fairly straight. The Bobsled is marked by a little trail post.

Coming into a turn on Bobsled.

Bobsled is known by other names, including "Death Rut." The high-speed sections have highly-banked turns with trenching and chunky loose stuff at the bottom. So if you can't ride fast, you may not be riding for long.

Just before Bobsled hits the trailhead, it intersects a connector trail between the Par Course Loop and Skyline Drive. A right turn here will start you on the path back uphill.

Top of Bobsled, on an alternate line of the BST.

Popular looping routes are (1) north on Par Course, Foothill to Blue Ribbon, BST south to the top of Bobsled, and (2) city streets Skyline to Country Hills to Lakeview to Beus Drive and up to the alternate BST.

Hitting the turn high. No, the camera is not tilted. That's the trail -- no room at the bottom. In fact, the bottom of a turn is often filed with chunks and erosion trenches.

Mt Ogden and Taylor Trails
The Mt Ogden trail runs from the 36th Street trailhead to Marquardt Park on Taylor Avenue. It's a very easy 0.8 miles long, and is half service road and half singletrack. It serves primarily as a way for locals to ride to the 36th Street trails. There's little reason anyone else would want to ride it.

That service road is the Mt Ogden trail. It gets better, but there's only 0.4 miles of singletrack.

The north end of the Mt Ogden trail is found at the south side of the parking area for Marquardt Park on Taylor Avenue. Start on the asphalt path, then grab a primitive singletrack along the creek. You'll skirt the north side of the park. As you leave the park southbound, the trail becomes more "trail like."

A spur off the north end of Mt Ogden goes to Taylor Avenue at the south side of the Marquardt Park. It ends at the sidewalk on the south edge of the park.

The trail fork. Both sides go to the park, arriving on opposite sides.

Bonneville Shoreline Trail and Connectors
The Ogden Bonneville Shoreline Trail is discussed on another page. The BST from Rainbow Gardens to Beus Canyon is 6.6 miles, and it's usually done as an out-and-back or a one-way "drop-off and pickup." But there are options for small loops and shorter out-and-back forays. This page will focus on the connecting trails and how the BST can be used with the lower foothill trails.

Heading toward the creek crossing in Strong's Canyon on the BST.

From the 29th Street trailhead, a well-marked singletrack climbs 1/4 mile up to the Waterfall Canyon trail, also called the "BST access trail" or "lower BST." The BST access trail forms an arc below the BST, so from the top of the singletrack, you can go either north or south to climb to the BST.

Straight ahead is the connector to the BST. The singletrack to the right goes down to the 29th Street trailhead.

Both northbound and southbound, the access trail is a broad and uninteresting grunt climb. It can get a little hot on a summer's day. Southbound, you'll reach the BST just north of the creek in Waterfall Canyon. From the trailhead, it's 0.7 miles and 400 vertical feet.

The BST access trail, AKA lower BST, northbound from 29th with Ben Lomond Peak in the distance.

Once you reach the BST, the trail narrows to singletrack and you'll find some shade. If you're heading south, you'll first hit Waterfall Canyon, then Strong Canyon.

You can drop off the BST at the Ogden Bobsled, Beus Drive, or the Beus Trailhead. To descend Bobsled, keep right onto the doubletrack alternate to the singletrack BST just after descending from Strong Canyon. It will take you to the top of Bobsled.

The bridge for the BST in Waterfall Canyon.

If you pass by the Bobsled option, your next exit is Beus Drive. A short connector drops down to the street. After that, the trail narrows and climbs another 500 vertical feet. It's a rough 2.1 miles to the Beus Canyon trailhead, which is why relatively few riders go this way. If you don't want to do a road return, it's a tough 1000-vertical climb back uphill.

The canyons along the BST tend to be rough and steep; the hillsides between relatively smooth cruising.

Popular BST loops are (1) Foothill from 29th then up Blue Ribbon, BST north to Waterfall and down the connector to the TH, (2) up Waterfall to the BST, south to Bobsled and back via Par Course and Foothill.

Heading south from Waterfall Canyon on the BST.

Getting there, beginner-level trails:

Par Course:  From Harrison Blvd in Ogden, take 36th South and follow it around to the right until it becomes Skyline Drive. About 1/4  mile after the right turn, find the parking on your left. The trail at the north end of parking goes directly to the Par Course loop.
Alternate:  On 36th South, turn left into the 36th South trailhead just as 36th begins to turn right. (This parking area is small and will usually be full on weekends.) Start uphill on singletrack at the kiosk (not the broad dirt road signed as Mt Ogden trail). 0.2 miles uphill, turn into the singletrack on your right. You'll reach the loop fork in 1/10th mile.

Foothill Bike Trail:  From Harrison Blvd in Ogden, take 30th South around the school, then go north a block to 29th South. Continue east to the trailhead on the edge of town. At the far south side of the trailhead parking, go through the kiosk area and take the middle trail. (To the right is the hiking-only trail, while 90 degrees left is the climbing trail to the Waterfall Canyon BST alternate and then up to the BST.)
Alternate: From the 36th South trailhead, climb uphill and get onto the wide cindered path when you find it. Keep going until you reach the Foothill Bike Trail.

Getting there, BST access:   

Go to Harrison Blvd in Ogden. It's the key to all trailheads. (From the north, take the 12th Street exit off I-15 and drive towards Ogden Canyon. From the south, get off I-15 in Farmington on US-89 and head north. A couple of miles after you pass under I-84, turn right onto Harrison Blvd, just as US-89 turns westward to enter Ogden.)

Rainbow Gardens:  At the north end of Harrison, turn east toward the mountains. Take Highway 39 to Valley Drive at the mouth of the canyon. Immediately leave Valley Drive to Rainbow Gardens. Go to the southwest corner of the parking area to find the BST.

22nd South TH:  From Harrison, take 22nd south to the edge of town and enter the trailhead. Trails climb north and southeast from this trailhead to the BST.

29th South TH:  From Harrison Blvd in Ogden, take 30th South around the school, then go north a block to 29th South. Continue east to the trailhead on the edge of town. At the far south side of the trailhead parking, go through the kiosk area and turn left on the singletrack heading east.

36th South TH:  From Harrison, turn east onto 36th South. Turn left into the 36th South trailhead just as 36th begins to turn right. (This parking area is small and will usually be full on weekends.) The Foothill Bike trail will take you to Blue Ribbon for your climb up to the BST.

Skyline TH:  This trailhead has additional parking. Pass by the 36th South trailhead and go 1/4 mile south on Skyline Drive. Turn left into parking. Take either limb of the Par Course Trail north to Foothill and climb up to Blue Ribbon.

Beus Drive:  On Skyline Drive just south of Weber State, you'll come to a round-about. Exit eastbound on Country Hills Drive, then turn right onto Lakeview Drive. At Beus Drive, turn left and climb to the end of the road. The BST alternate trail starts at the end of the road. Take either fork northbound.

Beus TH:  From Harrison, take 46th South eastbound. Just after crossing Skyline Drive, find the trailhead on your left.


Riding resources for this trail:
GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
       Multi-track area file    Rainbow-to-Beus BST track only
  Topo map for viewing or printing:   View Ogden topo
  Lodging, camping, shops:    Links to Ogden area resources

Copyright 2019
Division of Mad Scientist Software Inc