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Eagles Rise Trail at Mantua

The Eagles Rise Trail is narrow singletrack on the slopes of the mountain east of Mantua Reservoir. There's a main loop with side rides: a lariat to Little Knoll at the north end and a Ridge Trail loop at the southeast corner of the main loop. You'll need to get onto the Mantua Dike Trail to bike to Eagles Rise. The ride I describe below is 9.4 miles with 900 vertical feet of climbing.

View south from Little Knoll. Review ride on May 24, 2012 by Bruce, accompanied by fellow senior bikers Joel and Gene. Updated for new trails July 23, 2016.

Mantua is located about three miles east of Brigham City, just off the combined US-89 and 91 at an altitude of 5150 feet. The lake is beautifully surrounded by mountains. It offers fishing, boating, and camping. Because Eagles Rise is a short trail, experienced riders may want to combine their cycling with other activities at Mantua.

Looking west from paved parking stall on the southeast trailhead, which is closest to the Eagles Rise trail.

The Eagles Rise Main Loop is 2.5 miles with 400 vertical feet of total climbing, done at a gradual slope when riding clockwise. This Main Loop is popular with beginning riders.

From the closest (southeast) trailhead, you'll ride 0.3 miles of the Mantua Dike Trail to reach it, for a minimum ride of 3.1 miles. Most riders will want to continue around the reservoir on the dike trail for a 6.8 mile trip (7.8 if you ride the viewpoint trail). For a dike-plus-dirt-loop ride, you can start at any of three trailheads (see below). I'd suggest the southeast TH.

As you reach the southeast dike trailhead (whether by car or by bike), head for the gate, then follow a narrow curved path through the boulders to the right of the gate.

Main Loop Eagles Rise
From the southeast trailhead of the dike trail (see below), ride east 0.3 miles and turn right to the singletrack. Navigate around a couple of fields then climb a couple of turns up the mountain. At mile 0.4 of the singletrack (0.7 from the trailhead), the trail splits. These are the two sides of the loop. We rode clockwise by taking the lower trail. You can ride either way.

Looking east as Eagles Rise forks off the dike trail. The sign says "No Horses" which guarantees a smoother trail as bike tires buff out the surface.

At mile 1.4 from the southeast TH parking, the loop turns 180 degrees to the right uphill to begin the return trip. At this spot, the trail to Little Knoll forks to the left. You'll be able to see it traversing the hillside, heading to the west. To visit Little Knoll before completing the Main Loop, go left.

Gene Poncelet heads north on the lower half of the loop. Nice views, eh?

Little Knoll lariat loop
The Little Knoll trail winds around the hill and up over the top of the knoll, where there are 360-degree views. It's worth the trip.

As you leave the main loop the trail rapidly splits, but will rejoin in 1/10 mile as you approach the saddle downhill. Take either fork; the trail on the downhill side will be better for climbing back. At the saddle itself, go to the left to enter the Knoll Loop. It's designed to ride clockwise.

Joel Quinn rides the brand-new trail-cut toward Little Knoll.

After reaching the top of the hill, the trail will drop lower on the hill and begin descending parallel to your uphill course.

Stay uphill and right at the trail fork on the north slope. The trail to the left simply drops steeply down to the Dike Trail.

On the way back from the loop portion of the Little Knoll trail, take either trail fork. Remember, the lower trail climbs better.

Looking west at the top of the knoll.

Upper leg of the Main Loop
After returning to the trail fork, go uphill onto the higher half of the Eagles Rise main loop. At first, you'll be riding straight south through grass. Keep straight as the (still under-construction as of July 2016) North 600 trail forks uphill left.

The trail will continue to climb gently as it traverses the slope heading south. You'll begin to hit the edge of the juniper forest as you gain altitude.

Joel cruises through blooming balsamroot on the upper half of the loop.

The Ridge Trail loop
On the southeast corner of the main loop, you'll reach the fork to the Ridge Trail. This is a loop ride that climbs high on the mountain southeast of the lake.

Turn left uphill, then keep turning left to enter the loop clockwise. (It rides much better in this direction!) You'll climb through several long switchbacks as the trail climbs 350 vertical feet over one mile to 5750 feet altitude.

Entry to the Ridge Trail loop, as seen from the apex of the Main Loop's southeast corner.

On the north-facing slope, there will be some groves of maple. I found temperatures here cool even in July. The riding is fairly easy, with wide climbing turns and mostly-smooth trail surface. Catch a few views as you go up, because there isn't a wide "lookout spot" at the top.

The Rocky Mountain leans against a tree as the trail skirts some rock outcrops on the way up the Ridge.

Just after you pass the ride's highest point, you'll reach a trail fork. You've done your 900 vertical feet of overall climbing now. The downhill will be a lot more techy than what you've done so far. Decide how much tech you want. Neither option is easy, unless you want to turn around and go back the same trail you climbed.

On the day of my most recent ride there was a trail guide-post, embedded in brand-new cement, at this trail fork on the ridge. It indicated blue-square for the left fork and black-diamond for the right . Don't believe it. (Unless somebody's either changed the sign or worked over that very-techy "easier" trail by the time you ride.) 

Just before the ride's highest point, we're looking north at the top of Little Knoll.

The right fork has one steep tight turn and a couple of rock rollovers, then a long skinny traverse on the side-slope before it rejoins the left fork. Sure, expert-level riding, I guess.

The left fork (supposedly easier) zips through a series of tight turns that I found difficult and claustrophobic, then rolls around a long turn to a very tough-to-ride sequence of dipping twisting rock squeezes. Black diamond and a half.

The trails will rejoin in about 1/4 mile. The trail descends fairly quickly, dropping 350 feet in just 1/2 mile. When you hit the entry where you climbed into the Ridge Trail loop, turn left onto the Main Loop.

Looking down the left fork at a series of quick very tight turns.

And back on the Main Loop
The main loop now descends further down the mountain through a series of wide turns. The terrain here is mostly grass and sage.

A bit over 0.3 miles from the fork to the Ridge Trail, you'll rejoin the outgoing Main Loop. Turn left and southbound, unless your objective is to do another lap.

View north as US 89/91 climbs toward Black Peak.

You'll be back at the Dike Trail after 5.2 miles of singletrack. If you continue from this point to complete one full circuit of the lake on the Dike Trail, your ride will be 9.4 miles. With the same total vertical.

Looking toward the reservoir from the stem of the Main Loop, about 1/4 mile from the Dike Trail.

Bottom line:
Very nice trails, surprisingly cool summer riding for the elevation. Pretty views of the Mantua area and surrounding hills. The main loop is suitable for beginners; the knoll for intermediates; and the ridge loop for experienced upper-intermediates or experts.

Old truck with a tree growing up through the truckbed.

Riding notes, Eagles Rise w Knoll, Ridge, plus Dike:
0.0   From the southeast Dike Trail TH, 
        ride around gate through rock chute
        N41 29.811 W111 55.552
0.3   R on Eagles Rise N41 29.923 W111 55.342
0.7   Keep L at fork N41 30.023 W111 55.124
1.4   L on Little Knoll trail N41 30.472 W111 55.140
        Go either way at fork a few feet later
        (trails rejoin in 1/10 mile)
1.6   L at fork on saddle N41 30.373 W111 55.374
1.9   Top of hill 
2.2   Keep R uphill N41 30.389 W111 55.417
2.3   Back at fork, keep L N41 30.373 W111 55.374
2.4   Option. Lower trail climbs easier
        N41 30.429 W111 55.230
2.5   Rejoin, keep L to rejoin Main Loop
        N41 30.473 W111 55.142
2.6   Straight (L = North 600) 
        N41 30.390 W111 55.082
3.2   L uphill, L to enter Ridge loop
        N41 29.968 W111 54.902
4.2   Roll over top, Options for DH
        R = hard, L = harder and techy
        N41 29.807 W111 54.912
4.4   Trails rejoin, descend N41 29.792 W111 55.046
4.7   L onto Main Loop N41 29.966 W111 54.902
5.0   L on stem of loop N41 30.023 W111 55.124
5.5   R on Dike Trail, go around lake
9.4    Back at trailhead
Getting there:
Exit I-15 at the first Brigham City exit (to Logan and US-91). Head east toward the mountains, and keep straight as you cross the main road into Brigham City and join US-89 heading up Sardine Canyon. From the freeway, drive 4.5 miles to the second Mantua (600 North) exit. Turn right, then right again on main street. The first trailhead (TH#1) is immediately on your left. As you pass the boat launch (TH#2), turn left and climb onto the dike N41 29.999 W111 56.522. Now drive 0.9 miles to the east and park in the paved parking area of TH#3 (N41 29.793 W111 55.562). A new trailhead is located on the northeast corner of the lake TH#4 (N41 30.653 W111 55.509), reached by taking the first road to the east driving north from the northwest TH.

Camping:  Mountain View campground, SE corner of lake
Water: Boat launch
Bathrooms: All four trailheads.

Riding resources for this trail:
Single-page riding guide
GPS track files and route (right-click and "Save as..."):
    GPX Eagles Rise loop   Multi-track area file   GPX track dike only 
Maps for printing:
    High-Resolution Topo    Official Area Trails PDF
Lodging, camping, shops:   Links to Logan area resources

Copyright 2012 Mad Scientist Software Inc
updated 2016