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North Ogden Bonneville Shoreline Trail

The Bonneville Shoreline Trail is a series of trails along the slope of the Wasatch Mountains where the old shoreline of Lake Bonneville met the hills. Sections of trail are found from Brigham City to Payson. This section is 10.5 miles from Ogden Canyon to North Ogden Canyon. See the main Ogden BST page for southbound BST information from Ogden Canyon, and the Pleasant View BST page for northbound from the North Ogden Divide Road.

Looking up at the mountains, an unfinished marker post will guide riders past a connector trail. Original review 2006. Photos and updated ride descriptions by Bruce on April 25, 2012 for south of the Nature Center and June 9, 2015 for the new trailcut north through Coldwater Canyon.

The main trail connections are to the BST northbound (Pleasant View) and southbound (Ogden), and to the North Ogden Divide (via Parallel Canyon Rd aka Old North Ogden Pioneer Rd) trailhead for Northern Skyline and Lewis Peak trails. There are several connectors to trailheads and neighborhood roads along Harrison Blvd, which becomes North Mountain Road. See big topo map.

The Paved Ogden River Trail passes under highway 39 directly to the trailhead. This invites pavement-plus-dirt loops for the locals. If you work south of the Rainbow Gardens parking, you'll find the southbound Ogden BST.

Originally, I considered this trail advanced technical because of steep hillsides with narrow trail plus gnarly rock gardens on the singletrack north of North Jumpoff. With some reworking of these older sections in 2015, I can now recommend the ride for intermediate riders. You can skip some of the more technical trail by taking the lower trail northbound from the Nature Center, see below.

Stronger riders can do the entire thing out-and-back, or one-way with a road return. Most riders will do either the northern or southern half, so this page will be split into two parts: south and north.

Just getting started. We're climbing north away from the trailhead.

Part 1:  Southern Half, Ogden Canyon to Ogden Nature Center trailhead
From the south end, the ride begins at a new paved parking area on the north side of Highway 39, right across from Rainbow Gardens. There's a bathroom at the trailhead. The trail is on the eastern end of the pavement. It immediately begins seriously climbing the hill.

As we rise on the mountain, we spot dirt jumps in the old gravel pit.

Keep right at the first fork 1/2 mile up the mountain. The left fork takes you to a subdivision road above the gravel pit. Climb on up.

The terrain has a mix of rough granite, gneiss, and quartzite. These rocks are Precambrian -- some of the oldest rocks in Utah.

It's a bit of a smoggy day. We're looking northwest across the wildlife refuge at the northern end of the Great Salt Lake. 

As you reach the gravel road, turn left to find the continuing singletrack on the uphill side. (If you want a look up Ogden Canyon, pedal south on the gravel road as it turns around into the canyon. Then clamber up the cement stairs to the viewpoint. Return to the trail crossing to continue your ride.)

The canal road provides another riding option. It's an easy cruise northbound. After about 1/3 mile, there's a gated fence between two rock outcrops. This gate is sometimes locked. Real bikers do NOT ride the canal doubletrack.

We're about to get into some crunchy rough rock, as we pass outcrops of granite intruding under the quartzite.

The trail will climb up and over a ridge, with plenty of views over the Ogden Valley. When wind clears out the valley smog, you can see a long way out over the western desert. For the ride from Ogden Canyon to the Nature Center, altitude gain is 500 feet, with about 800 vertical feet of total climbing each way.

A rider climbs up and over the ridge at the southern half's high point.

The next connector trail is at mile 1.4, just as the trail turns into a small canyon. Keep uphill and to the right. There will be bailouts to the canal road and to subdivisions below it periodically along the trail.

Arrowleaf balsamroot blooms in the April sunshine. Balsamroot looks a lot like the mule's ear you see at upper altitude. But balsamroot has only flower per stem and the leaves are large, arrow-shaped and fuzzy. Mule's ear has branched blossoms and spear-shaped shiny smaller darker leaves.

The trail descends back to the level of the canal before climbing away from it again. Keep generally to the right and uphill as you pass the Douglas Trail and Polk Trail.

The trail is pretty well marked for the first four miles. Here the Superfly rests against a marker for a subdivision connector trail.

The next connectors will be South Jumpoff and North Jumpoff, which will join lower in Jumpoff Canyon and connect to a subdivision trailhead. Beyond North Jumpoff, the trail gets significantly more technical, with some bumpy rock gardens and tight derailleur-killing squeezes.

After coming around Jumpoff Canyon, we see Ben Lomond in the north. Our destination is the broad area at the base of the mountain, where we can continue on the BST past North Ogden Canyon.

Intermediate riders can make a loop around the Jumpoff Trails (North then climbing back up on South) to head back. Or you can drop down to the Nature Center for a road return. If you're headed northbound, you can take the nature either descend to just east of the Nature Center parking and take a northbound trail for a less-techy ride. But as of 2015, the challenging tech rock just north of the Nature Center connector has been blown up and beaten down to an intermediate level.

If you're planning a road return from the Nature Center, it's 3.5 miles back via North Mountain Road (Harrison Blvd) then Highway 39.

Ahhh... I really miss those truly nasty sections of bike-breaking quartzite. This is nothing.

Northbound riders who want to skip the big climb around Coldwater Canyon can bail onto the canal road at mile 4.7, which will take you to North Mountain Road just south of the Pit (Coldwater Canyon) trailhead. (At this point, if you're not "done" you can climb up and finish the BST northbound, or bushwhack 1/2 mile through some complex trails to the Divide road TH, or head west a bit on 2750 North until you reach a northbound 1050 East which will take you to 3100 North -- the Divide road.).

Heading back southbound, Mount Ogden sits on the skyline.

Riding notes, Ogden Canyon to Nature Center:
0.0   Trail at east end of parking area
        N41 14.211 W111 55.682
0.5   Fork R (L = to subdivision)
        N41 14.530 W111 55.712
0.7   L across dirt road to ST, head north
        N41 14.419 W111 55.575
1.4   Keep R uphill (L = down to canal DT)
        N41 14.943 W111 55.822
2.1   Intersect canal route, keep R and uphill on ST
        N41 15.318 W111 56.088
2.2   Keep R (L = to Douglas TH)
        N41 15.389 W111 56.149
2.9   Keep R (L = Polk)
        N41 15.838 W111 56.574
3.2   Keep R (L = South Jumpoff)
        N41 15.998 W111 56.595
3.7   Straight (L = North Jumpoff)
        N41 16.370 W111 56.698
4.0   Keep R uphill (L = Telephone Tr)
        N41 16.584 W111 56.841
4.2   Fork L = to Nature Ctr
        N41 16.702 W111 56.847
        (Keep R if doing entire BST, 
        Nature Center trail reconnects at 4.7.
        Keep uphill on ST there.)
4.3   Keep working downhill and westbound
4.4   Nature Center Trailhead on Harrison/North Mountain Road
Part 2:  Northern Half, North Ogden Canyon (Divide) Road to Ogden Nature Center trailhead

The trail starts on the south (downhill) side of the North Ogden Canyon (Divide) Road. There's parking space for 5 to 6 vehicles but no other trailhead stuff. (Across the street and a bit uphill is the northbound BST.) Drop downhill, keeping straight as you pass the connector to the Old Pioneer trail. The trail will descend a bit as it heads east into North Ogden Canyon, before crossing the broad trail in the bottom of the canyon. This trail is known as Parallel Road, North Ogden Divide Trail, and Old North Ogden Pioneer Road. (If you want a mean climb, head uphill on this trail. It ends at the Northern Skyline and Southern Skyline trail parking.

View from around mile 0.8, as we've crossed the broad trail heading from the Pit trailhead up to the top of the pass. These photos June 9, 2015. 

The trail will climb gently as it heads back to the west out of North Ogden Canyon. As it rounds the corner to turn southbound above the valley, there's a trail fork (unmarked June 2015). Keep left and uphill for the BST.

The right fork is a connector that descends 1.1 miles to the Pit trailhead. It's also known as the Coldwater Canyon trail. Locals use this trailhead to access the BST. (By parking along the Divide road, you marked yourself as a tourist. How embarrassing.) A loop from Pit trailhead to the Nature Center with a road return (see below) is already a favorite.

View showing the layout of the area around the Pit trailhead. If you need a bathroom, it's just inside the fence of the Equestrian Park, 1/10th mile south on North Mountain Road.

Kudos to the trail crews for their work on the turns. Switchbacks are well-placed with plenty of turning radius and beautiful berm. I really liked this northern section of trail and the Pit Trailhead connector.

Typical bermed turn.

The trail continues to climb southbound. As the trail gains altitude, it runs into an occasional rock outcrop requiring a steeper pitch. Feather the pedals to get the legs rested, then spin up some velocity and attack.

If you aren't able to clean these first few pitches, you'll be hating life when you reach the south side of Coldwater Canyon.

The Superfly rests against a rock after zooming up a short pitch.

The reaches a temporary high point of elevation (5650 feet, 1000 higher than the Pit trailhead) as it turns east into Coldwater Canyon. Take a minute to look around and recover. The trail just before the viewpoint has a tough sustained pitch, but it's very do-able. You're at mile 2 from the Divide Road.

View west at the turn into Coldwater Canyon.

After a smooth long descent (with an occasional roller) the trail veers back to the west on the fir-covered southern side of Coldwater.

View to the east up Coldwater Canyon. Nice.

The trail now enters a fir forest on north-facing slope as you climb to the southwest on the southern side of Coldwater Canyon. At first, it's a mellow climb. You've got 200 vertical feet to climb in the next 1/2 mile. Doesn't sound tough, but save some leg because there are some steep spots coming up.

Beginning the climb out of Coldwater.

As the trail reaches areas of rock and small cliffs while traversing the steep hillside, the trailbuilders were forced to make some tough pitches. In these spots the tread is a bit narrower. Most can be cleaned by strong riders with appropriate gearing if the trail surface is packed. But will be painful. I failed on three spots, once because of loose surface and twice because the legs wouldn't do it.

If you're heading northbound, instead of southbound per this narrative, there's one brutal loose pitch just outside the canyon. I couldn't clean it (uphill). But the south-to-north route is good otherwise. So if a few 50 foot hike-a-bikes will ruin your day, ride south-to-north and you'll have only one.

A sample pitch near the top as we head southbound, about 60 feet of 15-20% slope but firm tread.

The trail now begins the work of descending from 5750 feet elevation. There will be one series of S turns that are buffed nicely and should be easy even for early-intermediate riders.

More of those beautiful swooping turns. Ben Lomond is hiding behind the dead tree in the background.

The trail now descends through long straight sections to get back to the actual historic Bonneville shoreline zone. When the trail hits the older sections, there will be the occasional rock outcrop and narrower spots where the vegetation has grown in. In spots the 2015 trailwork has substituted new broad trail for tricky tight tree-dodging.

Heading southbound, with quite a bit of descending to go.

At mile 5.8, you'll reach a bulldozed area. Keep to the left and uphill on singletrack. At this spot, the Nature Center trail joins the open area from the south on the downhill side, and doubletrack goes north along the canal.

You'll reach the turnoff to the Ogden Nature Center at mile 6.3 from the Divide Road. Just drop downhill and westbound to North Mountain Road. A road return will be 2.4 miles to the Pit trailhead.

And by the way, a road return for the entire 10.5-mile North Ogden BST (Divide Road to Ogden Canyon Road) will be 6.8 miles.

Old narrow trail meets a new trailcut as it hits the trees.

Miscellany:  Shortcut dirt routes between the Pit TH and Divide Road
Some riders shortcut via dirt between the Pit (Coldwater) trailhead and the Divide road. It's easy to get lost here. I'll help you (get lost). It's a bit over half a mile.
West route -- may not be available in the future, as home development is starting in the orchard this route crosses. Near the entry into the Pit parking, north side, find ST eastbound. Go R on DT then at forks go L, then R (turns back southeast). Hard L on DT then veer R on ST. Hard R on DT again eastbound uphill (narrows) then hard L on ST to climb to road.
East route. Go around gate and cross creek eastbound on Sunrise. At the fork in the doubletrack, go L on the broad Parallel Road trail. Keep L where a smaller trail cuts R uphill. As the trail turns east, fork L to continue north. Keep straight 1/10 mile, then veer R on ST. At the two-track, make a hard R. At the BST, fork hard L and climb to the road.

What was formerly an incredible boulder-bang is now yo mama's cruise.

Riding Notes, Pit (Coldwater) TH to Nature Center, road return:
0.0   Ride around gate at east end, cross creek
        N41 18.596 W111 56.089
0.1   Keep R at DT fork N41 18.595 W111 55.997
        then fork R onto ST N41 18.589 W111 55.975
1.1   Fork hard R onto BST and climb
        N41 18.636 W111 55.715
2.1   Temporary high, turn into canyon
2.6   Cross creek and follow trail back west
        N41 17.903 W111 55.225
3.3   Exit canyon, high spot of ride
5.2   Keep straight (old trail on R)
        N41 17.453 W111 56.360
5.3   Straight (R = steep down to canal DT)
        N41 17.408 W111 56.393
5.9   Keep L and uphill on ST
        N41 17.067 W111 56.648
        (Nature Ctr and canal DT below)
6.4   Fork R to Nature Ctr N41 16.736 W111 56.836
        (Stay on main broad trail,
         westbound and downhill)
        Keep R (L = back up to BST)
        N41 16.685 W111 56.871
6.5   Keep L (R = Nature Trail) 
        N41 16.720 W111 56.877
6.7   R on paved North Canyon Rd
        N41 16.689 W111 56.997
9.1   R into TH and parking
Getting there, trailheads listed north to south:
North Ogden Canyon (Divide) Road TH: 
Exit I-15 eastbound at the 2700 North (Highway 134) exit. Continue to 1050 East and turn left. At 3000 North, turn right toward the North Ogden Divide. After leaving the homes behind, climb about 1/3 mile uphill to a parking area on the right side of the road N41 18.926 W111 55.908 right where the big power line crosses the road. The BST is about 100 feet uphill from parking on the left (opposite) side of the road. (Note:  the trail that drops southeast from the road connects to the North Ogden Divide trail -- which climbs east up to the Northern Skyline trailhead.)

Pit (Coldwater Canyon) Trailhead:  If northbound, stay on Harrison Blvd until it becomes North Canyon Road. At 4.8 miles, you'll reach a T intersection on 2750 North. Turn right and park. Take the broad trail (Sunrise) east, keeping straight (right) at the fork, then veer R on ST. Climb 1.1 miles to the BST.
From the north, take the 2700 (Highway 134) exit and just keep going east. The road will narrow and veer a bit south to become 2600. At the T intersection on North Mountain Road, turn left and go just over 1/10 mile north then at the T of 2750 North turn right and park.

Nature Center Trailhead:  Northbound on Harrison Blvd, go to mile 2.6 from Highway 39 and turn right into the paved parking. Keep R at the first trail fork and climb 0.3 miles on the main path to the BST, ignoring some old connector trails.
Southbound, take 2700 N (becomes 2600) to the T intersection of North Canyon Road. From here, drive 2 miles south and turn left into the trailhead.

Jumpoff Trailhead:  At Highway 39 (12th street), go north on Harrison Blvd. Just past 400 North, 1.8 miles from 39, turn right into a small parking area and find the Jumpoff Canyon trail eastbound. The trail will split. Take either one to reach the BST 0.7 miles from the trailhead.

Rainbow Gardens (Ogden Canyon Road) TH:  From the north, take the 12th Street exit off I-15 and drive towards Ogden Canyon on Highway 39. Just before you'll enter the canyon, as you see Rainbow Gardens on your right, turn left into a small paved parking area with a bathroom.
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.) Drive north a few miles on Harrison until you reach highway 39 for Ogden Canyon. Turn right and drive about 1/4 mile to the paved parking area on your left, just before entering the canyon. The trail starts at the eastern end of the parking lot.

In North Ogden Canyon, the BST connects to the Pleasant View BST just across and uphill on the Divide road. The North Ogden Divide Trail aka Parallel or Old Pioneer just downhill from the Divide road TH (see multi-track GPS file) connects to the Southern Skyline and Northern Skyline trails. At the south end, it connects under the road to the paved Ogden River Trail and the Ogden BST.

Bathrooms and water:  Equestrian Park just south of the Pit (Coldwater) trailhead; Nature Center; Ogden Canyon (Highway 39) trailhead.

Riding resources for this trail:
One-page trail guides for printing
     SOUTH, Ogden Canyon TH to Nature Ctr
     NORTH, Coldwater (Pit) to Nature Ctr
GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
     GPX track BST Ogden Canyon to Divide Road
     North Pit TH to Nature Ctr    North Divide Road to Nature Ctr
     Multi-track including connector trails 
Large-format topo map:     North Ogden BST (2015)
Lodging, camping, shops:    Links to Ogden area resources

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Updated 2012 and 2015