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Powder Mountain Brim Trail

The Brim Trail is the first of a planned system of trails at Powder Mountain. (Newer additions include Brittain's Ribbon and Hidden Lake.) The Brim singletrack is six miles long, with connecting road bringing our suggested ride to 10.1 miles. Note that (as of June 2016) there is ongoing construction in the trailhead area.  Parking may not be available at the trailhead itself -- so my suggested ride starts at the lodge parking. The riding season is late June through September. The trail is well-built and is a great ride for all ability levels. 

Looking north as we skirt a huge meadow of mules ear blossoms. Review and photos June 30, 2015 by Bruce. Updated topo map for other area trails 2016.

The trailhead altitude is 8600 feet, with 300 feet of elevation loss on the downslope to the south end of the loop. (500 of the total 900 vertical feet of climbing on the ride below will be on the road returning to the upper parking lot at Powder Mountain at 9000 feet elevation.) The slopes on the singletrack are gradual enough that, despite the elevation, the ride is easy aerobically.

Just before entering the singletrack, we're looking west. You can see a bit of Eden below the North Ogden Divide.

If construction does not prevent parking right at the loop trailhead, you can drive directly to the trail.

For the ride below, park in the upper Powder Mountain lot. On the bike, coast back to the last fork in the road about 100 yards downhill from the parking lot entry. Make a hard left to reverse direction and head east. As the road turns to gravel, pedal along the future roadway. 

This is what you're looking for:  the entry to the Brim singletrack.

At mile 1.7, the green sign on your right marks the Brim Trail. The return route is the doubletrack at 90 degrees to your left, not the doubletrack straight ahead. First-timers should take the singletrack counterclockwise to avoid getting lost.

This is one of the most scenic trails in Utah. It's the perfect mix of alpine meadows, groves of aspen and fir, and distant views. Just one gorgeous epic spectacle of scenery after another. You may find yourself stopping so often, it will get annoying. Beautiful scenery, interfering with your bike ride.

Early in the counterclockwise loop, we're passing through a stand of aspen.

For wildflower fans, I'd give the meadows of Powder Mountain a top ranking among Utah's bike trails, if you can catch it at the right time. In late June to early July, it's real eye candy. Lots of flower-filled meadows in front of distant mountains.

In the valley below us is Pineview Reservoir, with Mount Ogden on the right-hand skyline. 

A quick look at some of the more common flowers found at trailside:

Lupine Colorado Columbine
Mountain Paintbrush Daisy
Phlox Sticky Geranium
Wasatch Penstemmon Mules Ear
The trail is easily done by experienced beginner riders. The flow of the trail is smooth. Turns are generous in radius and well-bermed. The few bumpy spots are short enough that beginning riders can cruise on through. In fact, these areas of rock-slab armored trail will be a highlight for young riders.

Instead of traditional switchbacks, the few tight turns on this trail are nicely bermed with a turning radius that's comfortable both for beginners and high-speed hammerheads -- uphill or downhill.

About 80% of the trail is in open meadow with clay-like soil. Avoid riding here when the soil is damp. This trail is closed to horses, so you won't have to contend with the chatter of post-hole hoof prints. But there were a few petrified rut spots where early-season riders found the dirt not quite ready for their tires.

Typical trail segment, wandering through meadows and groves of trees.

As a concession to more advanced riders, there are frequent A/B splits. An easy line flows through, while the alternative line lets you launch off a bump or bang over a series of rocks.

Here's an A/B line. The ride-around is on the left. My bike is sitting at the apex of an up-and-over composed of rock slabs. But even the "stunts" are mellow and easily done by any intermediate rider.

As you near the south end of the loop riding counterclockwise, you'll run into a trail fork in fir forest. Keep right for the longer loop. The left fork is shorter and steeper (although still fairly mellow by Wasatch Mountain standards), and a tad more techy with roots and rocks.

Approaching the quartzite-strewn slopes of the south end.

At the south end of the loop you'll enter an area of quartzite boulders. Many form slabs, which in a few spots have been laid horizontally to form a trail base.

This is the steepest pitch of the whole trail -- actually pretty tame. You can ride the outside lane for a bit of bumpy fun, or cling to the inside on the smooth dirt.

As you head back northbound, you'll cross the biggest mules ear meadow you've ever seen. Then the trail contours along the slope on the east side of the ridge as it slowly climbs northbound.

Fun spot in the middle of the meadow, as we get to bang over the rock slabs.

You'll reach trail fork (unmarked in 2016) at mile 7.9 of the ride below. To the right is the Hidden Lake trail. If you're only doing the Brim loop, keep left. When the trail ends 100 feet later on dirt road, keep straight (right) and northbound. This dirt road will take you back to the spot where you entered the singletrack. Just keep straight at all forks in the road.

Almost done with the loop and looking east toward the Uintah Mountains.

Riding guide, counterclockwise lariat from lodge:
0.0   From lodge N41 22.194 W111 45.881
        South across parking lot.
        R and down broad road you drove in on.
        N41 22.110 W111 45.866
0.1   Hard L onto paved road
        N41 22.105 W111 45.995
0.2   Under overpass, follow traverse of new roadway
1.7   R onto ST N41 21.633 W111 44.679
2.8   Cross dirt road N41 21.294 W111 45.590
4.8   Keep R (L = shortcut)
        N41 20.707 W111 44.275
6.2   Keep R (L = shortcut returns)
        Cross dirt road N41 20.626 W111 43.953
7.9   Fork L (R = Hidden Lake Lodge trail)
        Keep R onto dirt road
        N41 21.430 W111 44.340
8.3   R onto roadway N41 21.641 W111 44.657
        Retrace path to parking
10.1 Back at car
For a monster (18 mile) ride that starts with Brittain's Ribbon and Hidden Lake before looping Brim, see the Brittain's Ribbon trail page.
Getting there:  From I-15, take Exit 347 to Ogden Canyon. Drive 7 miles up Highway 39 and turn left across the Pine View dam onto Highway 158. Four miles later as you pass the gas station in Eden, keep straight at the stop sign. Drive steep uphill 7 more miles to Powder Mountain. Pass the lower lifts on your left as you follow a turn in the road. Now take the next road on your right, Powder Ridge Road. (If you reach the main parking lot on the ridgeline, you missed the turn.) Drive 1.2 miles on Powder Ridge Road, then fork left uphill to the upper lodge parking.

For now, here's how you find the trail from the lodge parking:  On your bike, backtrack down to the fork in the road. Turn hard left to reverse direction. Follow the road east, then south, staying generally straight on what seems to be the main road. As you reach pavement's end (2016), veer slightly right to a doubletrack, then look to your right for the green round sign on a post, 1.7 miles from the lodge.

Riding resources:
Single-page printable riding guide
GPS track files (right-click and select "Save as..."):
     2015 lariat loop (10.1 miles)
     Area multi-track file
High-res topo map for printing:  View map
Lodging, camping, shops:   Links to Ogden area resources


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