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White Rock Trail
Loop via Perry Canyon

The White Rock trail climbs the hillside above Perry and Willard (just south of Brigham City). It forks off the Perry Canyon trail 1.4 miles up the hill, and rejoins it at mile 6. I recommend it for advanced climbers or strong intermediates.

View of White Rock from uphill. Sorry, smoggy day. That's Willard Bay, with the Promontory Mountains sticking up above the smog on the right. Photos and ride description October 20, 2011.

The White Rock trail can be an alternate climbing or descending route on the way to Grizzly Peak. This is a monster climb of 4300 vertical feet -- from 4500 base to 8700 at the top -- and will be just over 9 miles each way if you turn around at the peak itself.

Google Earth view of the lariat loop ride. Thanks to Gene Poncelet for scouting this route!

For those who don't have the time or the leg to get all the way uphill, may I recommend a lariat loop with the climb up White Rock and descent down Perry Canyon. This ride stops at an altitude of 6500 feet, but total climbing will be 2200 vertical feet because you'll lose some elevation as you traverse south from Perry Canyon on White Rock.

Here's where the trail starts. That's the Geneva Rock quarry on the left.

For now (fall 2011), I strongly recommend the counter-clockwise direction. The last 150 yards of the White Rock trail as it approaches the Grizzly Peak trail hasn't been dug out yet. There's a track that's easy to follow, but you won't see it from the Grizzly Peak trail and you'll get lost. (If you're riding with GPS tracking, be my guest to go clockwise.)

Handlebar view as we enter Perry Canyon. Most of the trees are maple, with a smattering of gambel oak here and there.

Which brings me to Stan Thompson. I met Stan and his four excited dogs as he was hard at work at his hobby -- building trail. With his mountain bike at trailside, Stan was digging out the last 1/10 mile of the White Rock trail. Now in his late 70's, he's the force behind the Grizzly Peak and White Rock trails, building many miles of these terrific trails. If you run into him, say thanks!

Up a little higher on the Perry Canyon trail, we're looking up the canyon as smog billows over the ridge. 

The ride starts just off US-89 about two miles south of Brigham City in Perry. As you approach the gate of the Geneva Rock quarry, turn right through a gate in a high chain-link fence. Immediately park on the edge of the catch basin. Spot the trail heading east past the grizzly statue, towards the mountains.

The "trail sign" at the fork where White Rock turns right off the Grizzly Peak trail.

At the first opportunity, turn right and go across the creek. Then stay on the south (right) side of the creek. At mile 0.4, fork right uphill. As the trail hits doubletrack, spot the trail across the gravel road continuing up the canyon. If you cross the creek again, or if you descend a significant amount, you're lost. In general, say right and uphill.

Beginning the traverse around the mountain through groves of scrub maple. We're heading west on White Rock.

At mile 1.4, the White Rock trail forks off the Grizzly Peak trail at the apex of a left turn. You'll see a large limb looming above the turn, with arrows pointing left to Grizzly Peak and right to White Rock. Take the less-traveled trail to the right.

I borrowed this photo from Gene Poncelet to show the view of Brigham City and the Wasatch Front mountains to the north. Taken in early October, on a clean-lung day.

You'll lose a bit of that hard-won altitude as the trail drops back to the level of the old Lake Bonneville shoreline. The trail will head west out to the face of the mountain, then traverse south to the next canyon.

We're traversing the mountain face, heading south. The Willard Bay dike on the Great Salt Lake disappears into the smoky air.

Follow the trail east into the flat canyon mouth. Ignore any trails heading south. (These join the dirt road lower on the mountain.) Hope you enjoyed your restful cruise. It's time to get serious about climbing.

We've turn east into the small valley to the south of Perry Canyon. You can see the actual White Rock in the upper middle of the photo. Grizzly Peak is the mountain on the left skyline.

As it reaches the slope at around mile 3.1, the trail will begin to zigzag uphill, crossing a tiny creek a dozen times. There was one bog area of about 100 feet where the trail had captured the water flow.

A tiny creek trickles through the fallen leaves as we climb through the maple forest.

The trail will continue its zigzag course uphill through 44 switchbacks. Many of the turns are tight and steep, so get forward, spin up your speed, and hit them like you mean it. You'll gain 1300 vertical feet in the next 2.4 miles. (According to my GPS, if not my legs, the climb is equally steep whether you go uphill on Grizzly or White Rock. You simply get a little rest before resuming the climb if you take the White Rock route.)

Looking uphill as we approach White Rock.

The trail follows a broad ridge uphill. It breaks in and out of little groves of maple, but overall spends little time in deep forest. So unlike the climb across the hill in Perry Canyon, the views just keep coming.

The hillside is often steep, with over 45 degrees of slope. The trail switchbacks on these areas require some skill. We're looking northwest over Perry.

The trail finishes with a long northbound traverse to the ridgeline above Perry Canyon, where it will join the Grizzly Peak trail. You should be at exactly mile 6.0 of the ride. From here, go right uphill to hit the peak, or left downhill for the loop ride.

A lazier turn (switchback number 36) above White Rock.

Navigation note 2011: After you leave the well-dug trail, your path will join a steep and straight trail that goes east-west along the ridge. This is a horse route. If you're planning to head uphill, DON'T fork to the right here. Keep straight another 60 feet. The trail will turn a bit left toward the rock outcrop down the ridge to the west, which is also NOT where you want to go. Watch the open area to your right. When you spot a trail parallel to the one you're riding on, about 20 feet away, cross over to it. You're now on the Grizzly Peak trail.

Some turns are marked with numbers. Not miles. Number of switchbacks done.

If you turn right to go uphill, the Grizzly Peak trail will enter deep forest. If you're on a grunt-steep straight climb on open ridgeline, you're on the horse trail! It will be 4.2 miles and 2100 vertical to Grizzly Peak; 5.7 miles to the Inspiration Basin gravel road.

Heading through another maple grove as we continue uphill.

The climb via White Rock to the Inspiration Basin road (from which you can head to Ben Lomond Peak or down to Mantua) is 10.2 miles with 4400 vertical feet of climbing. That's another 4 miles and 2100 vertical from your current spot. It's a monster ride that requires fresh legs.
The loop ride is only 2200 feet of climbing on a total ride of 9.7 miles.

Finally we're on the long traverse approaching the Grizzly Peak trail. It's been a stiff climb with over 10% average slope.

If you turn left downhill for the loop ride, you'll zoom through lots of tight turns, dropping 1300 vertical feet over 2.3 miles before reaching the first trail fork. There are tight turns, a few duck-unders and tight squeezes between trees. From the Grizzly-White Rock trail fork, it will be another 1.4 miles back to the car.

The Grizzly Peak trail. Nice.

Riding notes, counterclockwise loop:
0.0   East on ST from catch basin
        N41 27.346 W112 01.940
0.4   R uphill, immediate L and cross DT
        N41 27.394 W112 01.549
1.4   Fork R onto White Rock trail
        N41 27.031 W112 00.973
1.7   Cross DT N41 27.137 W112 01.212
2.9   Veer left (east) into valley
6.0   Horse trail N41 26.483 W112 00.432
        Keep straight and northbound
        Find Grizzly Peak trail N41 26.501 W112 00.465
        Fork L northeast, begin descent
8.3   Original trail fork, hard R
        N41 27.031 W112 00.973
9.7   Back at parking
Getting there:  From I-15, take exit 357 (Perry-Willard) and turn right toward the mountains. Drive 0.6 miles and turn left (north) on US-89. 2.2 miles later, turn right on 3000 South. Drive 0.2 miles and turn right through the big chain-link gate to a small gravel parking area on the edge of a catch basin. (Don't go straight into Geneva Rock!) The trailhead is on the left (east) side of the small parking area, at the bear statue. N41 27.346 W112 01.940
From Brigham City: At the intersection of 1100 South (heading east from the freeway exit) and US-89, turn right (south) and drive 2.3 miles, turning left on 3000 South.
Riding resources for this trail:
Single-page riding guide
GPS track file (right-click and "Save as..."):
     GPX course, loop ride    GPX White Rock to Grizzly Peak
     GPX Perry to Grizzly Peak trail     Area track files
High-res topo for printing:  View
Lodging, camping, shops:
       Links to Ogden area resources

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