||Powder Mountain Brim Trail
The Brim Trail is the first of a planned system of trails at Powder
Mountain. (Newer additions include Brittain's
Ribbon and Hidden Lake.) The Brim singletrack is six miles long, with connecting road bringing our suggested ride to 10.1 miles.
Note that (as of June 2016) there is ongoing construction in the trailhead
area. Parking may not be available at the trailhead itself -- so my
suggested ride starts at the lodge parking. The
riding season is late June through September. The trail is well-built and
is a great ride for all ability levels.
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 2016.
|The trailhead altitude is 8600 feet, with 300 feet of
elevation loss on the downslope to the south end of the loop. (500 of the
total 900 vertical feet of climbing on the ride below will be on the road returning to the upper
parking lot at Powder Mountain at 9000 feet elevation.) The slopes on the
singletrack are gradual enough that, despite the elevation, the ride is
Just before entering the singletrack,
we're looking west. You can see a bit of Eden below the North Ogden
If construction does not prevent parking right at the
loop trailhead, you can drive directly to the trail.
For the ride below, park in the upper Powder Mountain lot. On the
bike, coast back to the last fork in the road about 100 yards downhill
from the parking lot entry. Make a hard left to reverse direction and head
east. As the road turns to gravel, pedal along the future roadway.
This is what you're looking for:
the entry to the Brim singletrack.
|At mile 1.7, the green sign on your
right marks the Brim Trail. The return route 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.
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.
Early in the counterclockwise loop,
we're passing through a stand of aspen.
||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
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
|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
||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.
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
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.
|You'll reach trail fork (unmarked in 2016) at mile 7.9 of
the ride below. To the right is the Hidden Lake
trail. 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.
|Riding guide, counterclockwise lariat from
0.0 From lodge N41 22.194 W111 45.881
South across parking lot.
R and down broad road you drove
N41 22.110 W111 45.866
0.1 Hard L onto paved road
N41 22.105 W111 45.995
0.2 Under overpass, follow traverse of new roadway
1.7 R onto ST N41 21.633 W111 44.679
2.8 Cross dirt road N41 21.294 W111 45.590
|4.8 Keep R (L = shortcut)
N41 20.707 W111 44.275
6.2 Keep R (L = shortcut returns)
Cross dirt road N41 20.626 W111 43.953
7.9 Fork L (R = Hidden Lake Lodge trail)
Keep R onto dirt road
N41 21.430 W111 44.340
8.3 R onto roadway N41 21.641 W111 44.657
Retrace path to parking
10.1 Back at car
||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. 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 on Powder Ridge Road,
then fork left uphill to the upper lodge parking.
For now, here's how you
find the trail from the lodge parking: On your bike, backtrack down
to the fork in the road. Turn hard left to reverse direction. Follow the
road east, then south, staying generally straight on what seems to be the
main road. As you reach pavement's end (2016), veer slightly right to a
doubletrack, then look to your right for the green round sign on a post, 1.7 miles from the lodge.