Utah has more than its fair share of great trails and beautiful camping spots. Having major cities at the base of mountain ranges means you don’t have to go far from home to find challenging hikes, quiet wilderness areas, and stunning views. Downtown Ogden may not make you feel like you are getting back to nature, but if you go a few blocks east you’ll hit dozens of trail-heads. Here are five Ogden hikes that are not far from the city center, but can make you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere.
This trail is steep (you’ll climb over 2,000 vertical feet), which makes for a more difficult hike but also keeps the number of hikers down if you prefer solitude. This five-mile round-trip hike ends in a valley carpeted with wildflowers. It also connects to the Taylor Canyon trail at the end, so you can make a loop instead if you prefer. Begin at the 22nd Street Trailhead and follow the Indian Trail for the first half mile. Watch the uphill side of the trail for painted rocks indicating the beginning of Hidden Valley Trail (it’s easy to miss).
Strongs Canyon Trail
The Strongs Canyon Trail is one of several that branch off from the 36th Street Trailhead. You can turn off the trail to get to Waterfall Canyon or Beus Canyon, but Strongs is a great hike on its own with beautiful views of the river. It is also not as highly-trafficked as the others. My husband and I hiked it on a beautiful weeknight last week and saw only two other people, neither of whom stuck to the Strongs Canyon Trail. Be prepared; this year’s heavy snow-pack has turned some parts of the trail into small rocky streams. I stepped carefully and kept my shoes dry without too much effort.
Ben Lomond Peak
This trail is definitely for more experienced hikers, but the payoff is awesome. Perhaps the only thing more impressive than the mountain itself is the view you get from the summit. The hike is over 15 miles round-trip, so plan accordingly. You can reach the Ben Lomond Trailhead from North Fork Park, near Liberty. You can also reach the summit via the North Skyline Trail, though this route tends to have more bikers, so keep that in mind.
If you enjoy bouldering, you will want to check out Castle Rock, which can be reached by hiking south along Shoreline Trail from 22nd Street. When I asked my father-in-law (an Ogden native) about his favorite hikes in the area, this one was high on the list. He says if you want to climb the rock, head around to the southwest corner to find some hand and footholds.
Malan’s Peak (and Basin)
This hike is about five miles round-trip and offers great views overlooking Ogden. The trail is shady until you get closer to the top, but it has constant uphill climbs in the second half, so be prepared for a workout. If you decide to camp, make the effort to go the extra half mile or so to Malan’s Basin, which was once home to a nineteenth-century hotel. Bring plenty of water; it gets hot quickly once you’re out of the shade.