||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
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
|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
||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
|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.
||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
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
While much of Foothill is low scrub, there are some
||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
Typical dry hillside on Blue Ribbon. It's not a bad
||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
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.
||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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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..."):
area file Rainbow-to-Beus
BST track only
Topo map for viewing or printing: View
Lodging, camping, shops: Links to Ogden area resources
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