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Powder Mountain Brim Trail

The Brim Trail was the first of a planned system of trails at Powder Mountain. (Newer additions include Brittain's Ribbon and Woody's World and the Doctor's Dozen and Sunrise trails.) The Brim singletrack loop is six miles long. The riding season is late June through September.  Note that (as of 2021) there is still ongoing construction in the trailhead area. 

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 2021.

The Brim trailhead altitude is 8600 feet, with 300 feet of elevation loss on the downslope to the south end of the loop. The slopes on the singletrack are gradual enough that, despite the elevation, the ride is easy aerobically. The trail is well-built and is a great ride for all ability levels.

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

Most riders will choose to drive directly to the Brim trailhead. More adventurous riders will link to Brim from other area trails, such as Doctor's Dozen or Paper Airplane and Baggage Claim.

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

In 2021, the trailhead has ample parking and is well-marked. The trail is the singletrack between the big boulders on the west (downhill) side. Note that a second trail, about 50 feet to the right (north) is Baggage Claim. While it does link to Brim via a connector lower on the mountain, this trail is NOT Brim.

The return route -- or the outgoing track for a clockwise ride -- 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.

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

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.

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.

At mile 0.1 of the loop when riding counterclockwise, keep straight (uphill and to the left) as the connector trail from Paper Airplane joins the Brim Loop. 

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. (This is how you handle damp areas.)

You'll reach trail fork at mile 7.9 of the ride below. To the right is the Doctor's Dozen trail, which circles the mountain before descending to Hidden Lake. 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.

 The Brim Loop...

 If the above video does not appear on your browser/device, you can watch it on YouTube by clicking here.

Brim Trailhead:  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 uphill on Powder Ridge Road. Keep straight and level as a road forks away to the right and another forks left uphill to Hidden Lake Lodge parking. Follow the road for one mile as it traverses a wide canyon and ends at the Brim Trailhead.

No water or bathroom at trailhead.

Riding resources:
Single-page printable riding guide
GPS track files (right-click and select "Save as..."):
     Area multi-track file
Topo map in new window to save or print:  View map
Lodging, camping, shops:   Links to Ogden area resources

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