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Eagle Rise Trail System at Mantua

The Eagle Rise Trail System is narrow singletrack on the slopes of the mountain east of Mantua Reservoir. Eagle Rise has a Main Loop with side rides: a lariat to Little Knoll and North 600 at the north end, and a jump line and Ridge Trail loop at the southeast corner. You'll need to get onto the Mantua Dike Trail to bike to Eagle Rise. The ride I describe below is 9.4 miles with 900 vertical feet of climbing (it misses two of the newer side-rides).

View west from the North 600 loop, looking at Little Knoll in center left. Original review ride on May 24, 2012 by Bruce, accompanied by fellow senior bikers Joel and Gene. Updated for new trails in 2016 and 2020.

Mantua is located about three miles east of Brigham City, just off the combined US-89 and 91 at an elevation of 5150 feet. The lake is beautifully surrounded by mountains. It offers fishing, boating, and camping. There's also a gravel/pavement route around the lake -- called the Dike Trail -- for beginning riders and children.

The Eagle Rise trails are located on Mantua City land, built and maintained by volunteers under the coordination of local Jack Leavitt.

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

The Eagle 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. 

Other loops are accessed from the main loop and include the Ridge Trail, The Knoll, and North 600. All loops are designed to be done clockwise. There's also a jump-line trail called Phillip's Playground with access from the upper side of the main Eagle Rise loop.

On the Upper North 600 loop.

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). My description uses 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 Eagle Rise

From the southeast trailhead of the dike trail (see below), ride east 0.3 miles and turn right to the singletrack. Navigate through a field then climb two turns up the mountain. At mile 0.2, fork left for the lower side of the loop to ride it clockwise. (Save the right side for a fun return from the loop.

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

Assuming you turned left, at mile 0.4 of the singletrack (0.7 from the trailhead), the trail splits again. And once again, go left to enter the Eagle Rise Main Loop clockwise. The right fork is a shorter return route from the loop. This ride description follows the " clockwise" recommendation for ALL loops in the Eagle Rise area. 

Crossing a meadow of arrowleaf balsamroot. The yellow flowers on the lower mountain, balsamroot, bloom in early May. Higher up, mules ear flowers (similar blossoms but different leaves) blooms in early June. 


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?

Knoll Trail (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 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. I think the lower trail climbs better.

Looking west at the top of the knoll.

Upper leg of the Main Loop southbound
After returning to the trail fork, go uphill onto the higher half of the Eagle Rise main loop. The trail will turn south, running parallel to the lower side of the loop below you. At first, you'll be riding through grass.

About 0.1 miles after turning south, you'll reach a bench and repair stand (see photo). If you're finishing the loop, keep straight. Or go uphill left to do the lariat North 600 loop to add 2.3 miles and 400 vertical feet of climbing to your ride. See below.

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

The trail will continue to climb gently as it traverses the slope heading south. 0.4 miles after the North 600 trail fork, you'll reach the climbing trail for access to Phillip's Playground (a DH jump-line trail, see below for information).

You'll begin to hit the edge of the juniper forest as you gain altitude. 1/4 mile past the entry to Phillip's you'll reach a 4-way. Left is your entry to the Ridge Trail loop, straight is the exit from the loop, and right is the return path toward the trailhead.

Here's the kiosk at the junction of North 600 with the northern uphill Eagle Rise loop. We're looking east.

Ridge Trail  (southern uphill 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 for trailhead return
The main loop now descends down the mountain. The terrain here is mostly grass and sage.

After around 1/10th mile, you'll reach a trail fork. On the right is a shorter slightly steeper return back to the main loop. Use this if you're planning to loop around again. A bit over 0.3 miles from the Ridge Trail, you'll rejoin the outgoing Main Loop.

The left fork is a lovely winding descent back to the lower connector trail. At the fork, left goes to the trailhead, right climbs back up to the Eagle Rise loop.

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.

North 600  (lariat loop with optional upper loop)
North 600 is a lariat loop extending north from the northern upper side of the Eagle Rise Main Loop. See the map below. There's a lower loop that's easier intermediate, with a more-technical upper loop sitting on top of the lower loop. Again, the loops are designed to be done in the clockwise direction.

Crossing a meadow of sage and balsamroot on North 600.

The lower loop follows an old dirt road for much of its path. So mostly it's quite tame. Only the last 1/4 mile is narrow winding trail. The lariat using only the lower loop is 1.6 miles round trip with around 100 vertical feet of climbing.

Final descent on the lower loop. In the mid-photo, you can see the lariat stem coming from Eagle Rise.

The fork onto the upper loop comes at mile 0.8 from the kiosk. Fork uphill to the left to enter the upper loop. It will be 0.9 miles (bypassing 0.2 miles of the lower loop) before you rejoin the lower loop. The upper loop requires solid upper-intermediate, preferably expert, skills.

There's some oak and maple on the upper loop, and even a shady bench.

The upper loop climbs 250 vertical feet. You'll climb through 7 turns before a gently-uphill traverse southbound, reaching the loop's highest point in 1/2 mile from the lower loop. That's an average 10% rate of climb.

Breaking out of the trees to cross a small meadow of balsamroot on the upper loop.

The trail then drops through tight turns in the trees. These turns tend to be tight, a tad steep, and loose. There are trees right at the trailside, so muffing a turn will cost you. Because of these tricky turns on the descending side, I'm rating the upper loop for advanced riders.

Steep tight 180 in moon dust. And it's early May. Intermediate riders will struggle a bit on the downhill turns.

Phillip's Playground  (jump line with access trail off upper main loop)
Phillip's Playground is a jump-line DH trail for expert riders. It's still being worked on at this time, but is open for riding WHEN NO TRAILWORK IS BEING DONE.

The climbing trail to the top of Phillip's is on the upper side of the Eagle Rise Main Loop trail, designed to be entered when heading southbound. (Clockwise is the recommended riding direction for all loops!)

Entry to Phillip's Playground climbing trail on the upper (southbound) side of the Eagle Rise loop.

The climb to the top of Phillip's Playground is 0.3 miles and a bit over 125 vertical feet of climbing. At the top, a sign reminds you that this route is for expert riders only.

The climb. Not bad unless you're on a heavy DH bike.

In May 2020, the turns have been nicely done, with high berms built for speed. Only a few of the jumps are completed.

First jump. Note big (right), medium (middle), and small (left) which doubles as a scouting line.

It's recommended that you take a scouting run before you hit the jumps. For this purpose, there are bypass lines that let you keep speed (so you don't block a jumper) while you eyeball the features.

Some of the completed features have big, medium, and little options. 

Phillip Barker, the author of Phillip's Playground, launches off a jump on the trail he's building.

The trail crosses the upper side of the Eagle Rise Main Loop on the way down. There's a good sight line if a crossing rider is going southbound (clockwise) around the Main Loop. But if someone is going northbound on the Main Loop (not the recommended direction), it could get ugly. So there's a stop sign for riders dropping Phillip's Playground.

Cross-over on upper Eagle Rise.

The trail then continues down to the lower side of the Eagle Rise Main Loop, where you'll hook a hard right turn (so you're going clockwise, northbound on the  lower side of the Main Loop). Loop around on Eagle Rise Main Loop to get back to Phillip's climbing trail.

Typical turn. Wide, highly banked, and built for speed.

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, Eagle 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 Eagle 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 Eagle Rise loop   Multi-track area file   GPX track dike only 
Maps for printing:
    High-Resolution Topo (2016)    2020 Official Trails PDF 
Lodging, camping, shops:   Links to Logan area resources

Copyright 2012 Mad Scientist Software Inc
last updated 2020