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Brittain's Ribbon  (and Paper Airplane Point)
at Powder Mountain

Brittain's Ribbon runs parallel to the road to the upper Powder Mountain ski lodge. It's 1.8 miles long with excellent riding either as a climbing or downhill trail. It can be combined with other Powder Mountain trails such as Brim and Hidden Lake for a longer ride. The starting altitude is 8200 feet with a top of 8800, which gives this trail a riding season of mid June through September.

View southeast, with a bit of Pineview Reservoir sneaking into view. Photos and ride review June 27, 2016 by Bruce.

Brittain's Ribbon makes a good climbing trail, either as a stand-alone out-and-back or as a climb-intensive start to a large lariat loop that includes Brim and Hidden Lake. The entry to the trail is on the right, 1/10 mile up the road to the upper lodge. There's a bit of roadside parking downhill from the trail. Or you drive east another 100 yards to the end of the main road, then park near the lower lodge and backtrack.

View as we enter the bottom of Brittain's Ribbon as it leaves the Powder Ridge Road.

The four sets of switchbacks make the grade more tolerable as you gain 600 vertical feet. The trail has been constructed with rollers that give your climbing legs a bit of change-up, check downhill speeds, and reduce trail erosion. I found the surface butter smooth.

Climbing through rollers on a straight-away section.

Although the trail is almost 100% forest-covered, there will be an occasional break in the trees that give nice views. To the west is Eden and the Ogden Valley, with Lewis Peak on the opposite side. Mount Ogden lies southwest and Ben Lomond to the northwest.

View southwest to Mount Ogden.

The trees are mostly aspen with occasional fir. Chokecherry, fern, and currant fill the understory. The shade (and the elevation) keep things fairly cool even on this sun-facing slope.

Taking a break.

There are two trail forks. When climbing, you'll hit the first one at mile 1.2 from the pavement at the apex of a switchback. Turn right. Going straight takes you about 40 feet to the upper lodge road.

Almost all of the trail lies in dense forest. Once in a while, it breaks out.

The next trail fork is the Paper Airplane Point trail, on your right. To continue uphill, stay left.

The trail to Paper Airplane Point goes somewhat downhill 0.3 miles, where you'll find a giant steel "paper airplane." Worth doing. The trail is being extended further. But on the day of my ride a trail crew was digging with a mini-excavator just past the airplane, so my track goes only to the point.

The "paper airplane" lies on its side down the ridge. In 2016, the trail beyond the airplane is still under construction and is subject to closure. See the little white spot near the nose of the airplane? That's a trail worker, for size comparison.

As you reach the top (mile 1.8, or 2.5 if you went to the airplane), the trail will end on paved road next to a guardrail. If you go left uphill, you'll be at the lodge road in about 60 feet, even though it might not be obvious from where you stand. This can take you to the Hidden Lake trail, which you can find next to the lift at the far end of the lodge parking area. See the trail page.

And here's a closer look at that Paper Airplane, courtesy of Brad Smith.

If your objective is to get to the Brim trail as fast as you can (without taking the Hidden Lake trail to get there), turn right. Follow the paved road to a T intersection, then go right under the underpass. Stay on what appears to be the main road, generally straight, as it arcs around gently toward the south. It will be 1.8 miles of pavement to the Brim trailhead.

Another look over at Mount Ogden from higher on the mountain.

As a downhill, the major challenge of Brittain's Ribbon is simply FINDING it. There's a plan for a connector from the lodge. But at the time of my ride (June 2016) you wouldn't find the upper end of Brittain's Ribbon unless you'd ridden it uphill (and remembered right where you left it).

From the lodge parking, coast down the gravel entry road. Keep straight as you hit the pavement, retracing a tiny bit of the drive uphill. At the first opportunity, turn left downhill. About 60 feet later, find the trail just past the end of the guardrail. See the photo.

Little Rocky rests against the guardrail. The worn spot is the top of Brittain's Ribbon.

You won't have enough time to cast your eyes sideways for any views on the way down. The trail is fast and furious, with constant little turns and bumps. It's well-constructed and a lot of fun to ride. Very much worth the climb.

Looking west at Eden, you can see the North Ogden Divide Road, and the Great Salt Lake in the distance.

Bottom line:
Very nice plush trail with some pretty scenery. I recommend adding it to a big lariat ride that includes the other Powder Mountain trails. Otherwise, as Inigo Montoya says, "over too quickly."

Nicely done.

Note about the ride below:  The Powder Mountain trail system is still a work in progress. The trail alignments and connections will evolve.
Riding notes, lariat w Airplane spur, Hidden Lake, and Brim:
0.0   Intersection Highway 158 with Powder Ridge
        Pedal uphill up Powder Ridge Road
0.15 R on Brittain's Ribbon
        N41 22.648 W111 46.876
1.3   Fork R (L = to road)
        N41 22.379 W111 46.266
1.6   R on Paper Airplane
        N41 22.198 W111 46.211
1.8   At point, turn around
        N41 22.090 W111 46.440
2.1   R to continue Brittain's
2.5   L uphill on road
        N41 22.067 W111 46.140
2.55 R on Powder Ridge Rd
        N41 22.101 W111 46.152
2.7   L uphill on gravel
        N41 22.085 W111 46.008
3.0   Far end of parking N41 22.181 W111 45.856
        DT north, turning east (right) downhill
3.2   Keep L (R = parking on paved road)
        N41 22.141 W111 45.623
3.4   Pass lift to ST (don't follow lift path)
        N41 22.218 W111 45.436
        Hidden Lake trail
3.6   Keep straight (R = up to lift path)
        N41 22.265 W111 45.344
4.5   Cross DT (R on DT = bailout route)
        N41 22.367 W111 44.419
6.0   Hard R N41 21.424 W111 44.335
        Go 100 ft to DT and keep R
        N41 21.424 W111 44.335
6.4   Cross DT to ST (Brim Trail)
        N41 21.635 W111 44.678
9.5   Keep L (R = Brim Cut)
        N41 20.707 W111 44.275
10.7 Cross DT as Brim Cut rejoins on L
12.5 Keep R to Hidden Lake trail
        N41 20.628 W111 43.949
        Now retrace outbound route
16.3 Keep straight (skip Paper Airplane)
        N41 22.198 W111 46.211
17.8 Back at Hwy 158-Powder Ridge intersection
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. The next road on your right is Powder Ridge Road. The bottom of the trail is 1/10th mile up the road, on your right.
There's a bit of parking on the shoulder of Powder Ridge Road, presumeably legal. Pedal uphill until you see the trail on your right.
To start from the main lodge parking, keep straight on Highway 158 for 100 yards. Park at the main lodge and backtrack to Powder Ridge Road and pedal uphill to the trail.
To start from the top, drive up Powder Ridge Road. Go 1.2 miles uphill then fork left uphill on gravel road to reach to the upper lodge parking. To find the trail, backtrack on your bike to the paved road and continue 1/10th mile downhill. Turn left on paved road and find the trail on your right at the bottom of the guardrail.

Riding resources:
Single-page printable riding guide
GPS track files (right-click and select "Save as..."):
     Brittain's Ribbon track only  Big lariat ride as above (18 miles!)
     Area multi-track file
High-res topo map for printing:  View map
Lodging, camping, shops:   Links to Ogden area resources