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Wheeler Creek Trail

The Wheeler Creek Trail is a popular trail close to Ogden. It's 5.3 miles long, with 1300 vertical of total climbing. The trail melts out in mid spring. It can be ridden by late April to early May, and in virtually any weather. The upper section becomes snow-free by early June.

View up the canyon on the lower portion of the trail. Original review and photos October 6, 1998 by Bruce Argyle. Latest update August 5, 2018.

Wheeler Creek runs from Ogden Canyon -- just below the Pineview dam on the south side of the road -- to the Ogden Canyon Overlook dirt road just north of Snowbasin.

The first section is easy for beginners; the upper trail is intermediate in technical requirement. The lower portion of the trail is also very popular with hikers and dogs, so wild downhilling is strongly discouraged.

Sample of the upper part of the Wheeler Creek trail as we gain elevation.

The trail can be reached from Ogden Canyon just below the Pineview dam, from the Art Nord trailhead on the old Snowbasin road, and from Snowbasin itself.

A bit of history:  The lower portion of the trail -- the part along Wheeler Creek in the canyon -- used to be called the Wheeler Trail. Meantime, the upper three miles was called the Maples Trail because it ended at the (now abandoned) Maples Campground. Grizzled old riders and locals may still use these names.

The Art Nord trailhead, as seen from the East Fork trail. Note the ratio of horse trailers to cyclists.


Most riders start from Ogden Canyon at the Wheeler Creek Trailhead. This first section has a different character from the rest of the trail because it follows an old road. So it's fairly straight and non-technical, with a steady uphill grade. It's 1.9 miles to the old Snowbasin Road and the Art Nord Trailhead. 

Approaching the Art Nord trailhead near the top of the first trail section of the Wheeler Creek Trail. Picture Oct. 6, 1998

View south near the junction with the Maples trail
Icebox Canyon option

There's one fork on the first section at mile 1.0 from parking. The singletrack to the right drops down to a bridge across the creek, then climbs up Icebox Canyon to rejoin the Wheeler Creek trail further uphill. Keep straight for the official ride.

Here's the fork for Icebox. The two routes go on opposite sides of the hill straight ahead.

Icebox Canyon is a fun singletrack for upper-intermediate or better riders. There are some steep spots, and a bit of loose rock near the top. There are also some sections with fairly large embedded boulders.

Icebox Canyon is filled with tall trees and is substantially cooler than Wheeler.

Icebox is 1 mile long. If you're climbing towards Snowbasin or Sardine Peak, Icebox replaces 2 miles of Wheeler Creek. Don't expect to "get away from the crowds" by taking this tougher trail. On weekends, there are many times more people and dogs on this narrow singletrack than on the main Wheeler Creek trail.

Most riders prefer to use Icebox as a downhill on their return trip.

Narrow bridge across the creek in Icebox Canyon.

As you're approaching the parking area of Art Nord, look for a singletrack dropping down into the gulley near the trail information kiosk. That's the continuing Wheeler Creek trail. (The trail straight ahead, just west of the gate across the road, is the East Fork trail.)

Looking toward Ogden Canyon on Wheeler, just downhill from Art Nord.

The second 3.6 miles is dirt singletrack through aspens, oak brush, and meadows. This section begins at the Art Nord Trailhead and ends on the doubletrack portion of the Ogden Canyon Overlook trail. There are some rocky loose sections at first, but if you hang on, the upper couple of miles are plush riding!

The area between the upper Icebox fork and Middle Fork is 100% fall-line trail, and over recent years it's become trenched. The bottom is filled with loose boulders. Needs a do-over with modern trail-construction guidelines.

As you pedal from east to west from the Art Nord trailhead, you'll reach a trail fork at mile 1.1 from Art Nord. This is the Icebox Canyon trail. Fork hard left uphill to continue on Wheeler Creek.

At mile 1.5, the Middle Fork trail forks uphill to the left. Keep straight. 

Bruce cranks through aspens on Wheeler Creek.

At mile 3.0 from Art Nord, the Sardine Peak trail forks to the right uphill. Keep straight if you're headed for the Green Pond loop or Snowbasin.

A meadow of mules ear flowers, now crisp from the summer sunshine. We're near the Middle Fork trail.

At mile 3.6, the singletrack ends on dirt road. To the left is the Ogden Canyon Overlook trail; to the right the doubletrack goes 0.6 miles to Snowbasin parking and access to the Snowbasin (Maples/Needles/Green Pond) singletrack.

Handlebar view of the western part of the trail.

In the years since this trail review was first published, several new trails have been cut in this area. You can now link the Wheeler Creek Trail to other trails to form awesome singletrack loops:

     Green Pond Loop.  12 miles, 1600 vertical. With Wheeler, 15 miles and 2100 vertical. Loops up through Snowbasin.
     East Fork Loop.  6 miles, 800 vertical. With Wheeler, 10 miles and 1300 vertical. Mid-altitude ride.
     Ogden Canyon Overlook.  5.4 miles, 900 vertical.
     Sardine Peak.  12 miles, 1900 vertical.

Almost to Snowbasin.

Getting there, Wheeler trailhead: From I-15, take the Ogden 12th Street exit (U-39). Continue east on U-39 to Ogden Canyon. 11 miles after leaving the freeway, you'll note a small road on the right just as the highway climbs up to the dam of Pineview Reservoir. The parking area is about 100 feet down the road.
Art Nord:  For Art Nord (recommended, bathrooms), keep straight (R) at the dam, then 2.7 miles later, turn R on U-226. Go another 3.6 miles and turn R into the Art Nord trailhead.
Snowbasin: From US-89, turn east to take I-84 up Weber Canyon. Take the Huntsville/Pineview exit and turn left under the freeway, then right to continue up the canyon. About a mile later, follow the signs to turn left towards Huntsville on U-167. At 6.8 miles after leaving I-84, turn left on U-226 and follow the road to the main resort. Go left to the big parking area. The dirt road behind the gate takes you to the trail.
Riding resources:
One-page printable guide
GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
     Wheeler Creek only   Lariat Wheeler-EastFork-Green Pond around to Icebox
     GPX area multi-track file  (several rides)
High-res area topo map for printing:   View map
Lodging, camping, shops:    Links to Ogden area resources

Copyright 1998 Mad Scientist Software Inc
Updated 2018