||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
||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
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
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
||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
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
Looking uphill as we approach White
||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
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
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%
|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.