Mountain biking in Utah is amazing no matter what trail you are riding. Most of us have our go-tos that live up to our expectations but lack in the adventure category.
Keeping that in mind, the next time you squirt a little lube on your chain, close your eyes and recall the excitement you get from exploring an unfamiliar trail. Each berm, pedal stroke and feature urges you to pedal a little harder and lean a further into the trail's unknown.
If you haven't ridden any of the new trails that Powder Mountain has been soulfully building over the last couple of years you are missing out. A huge kudos to PowMow's trail development and maintance team, which is uniquely only comprised of mountain employees. The thought and effort the team has put into their trail network shines brightly. From the lively rock hits every ˜100 yards to the 25-yard long section of rock-work on the Brimm trail which bridges over a spring seep.
If you aren't familiar with the Ogden Valley geography, Snowbasin is located just across the valley from Powder Mountain and Nordic Valley is just to the north. While riding the western edge of the Brimm trail there are several opportunities to gaze across to Snowbasin's massive ridgeline and the glassy waters of Pineview Reservoir.
A day biking at Powder Mountain isn't complete until you've ridden on the metal wing that is incorporated into their Paper Airplane trail. This 20x60ft sculpture was originally on display down in the valley before it was relocated into the trail. The trail brings riders up to a very manageable transition, encouraging riders to wall-ride the lower wing. We spent some time lapping the sculpture in both directions and they are both fun.
As we burned through our morning coffee and bagel reserves, grabbing a bite was on the mind. We were all a little remiss that we chose to ride mid-week, as the Hidden Lake Cantina serves the best tacos in town, snacks, and ice cold beer, but only Friday - Sunday.
Since we missed out on tacos, we decided to go for the next best thing, breakfast burritos. Located at the four-way intersection in Eden, just to the north of the Valley Market, is a small little establishment that serves breakfast burritos all day called Pats Food Shack. We excitedly ordered up their spicy Dynamite burritos for a little endorphin & hunger satisfaction before heading to our second stop, Nordic Valley.
Powder Mountain GTK
On clear days you can see four different states from the Hidden Lake Cantina deck (Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado)
The Hidden Lake lodge not only offers the best street tacos in town but a full line-up of mountain bike rentals Friday - Sunday.
Outpost Spirits is located just above the Wolf Creek golf course and is 1 of 2 state liquor stores in the state to sell cold beer (high point), champagne and wine.
Located just a couple of miles north of the four-way intersection in Eden sits one of the smaller Utah resorts, Nordic Valley.
Since we were on a mission to hit three resorts in a day, we kept the visit somewhat short and sent the Green Mile trail. Despite the name, it isn't a beginners trail. Green Mile descends over 900 feet in just under a mile with the upper section taking riders through a shaded tunnel of oaks and other deciduous growth. If we had a little more time the flow and tech promised by their Fezzari trail, a black diamond, would have been next on our list.
Nordic Valley GTK
While the Nordic Valley climbs are demanding, on weekends you can get all-day lift access to the top for only $15.
With two of the three resorts checked off our list, we knew we had time… time to swing into the oldest bar in Utah established in 1879. Located just a few miles south of Eden in downtown Huntsville, the Shooting Star Saloon is a staple stop year round. While a grilled knockwurst sandwiched by two beef patties adorned with melted cheese (the Shooting Star Burger) might not be a calorie counter's preferred solution, it was spot on for our tired group.
Shooting Star GTK
They only accept cash.
If you are not famished, opt for the Junior Shooting Star Burger.
With full bellies and dusty faces, taking a dip in cold water sounded like the perfect way to keep on our schedule. Any other day we have rolled down the street and enjoyed the sandy beaches of Pineview Reservoir. But we were in search of an icy cold plunge, and only 10 miles up UT-39 was our solution, the Causey Reservoir. It only took five minutes of floating in the frigid waters before we were scampering back into the rig and headed towards our last stop, Snowbasin.
The excitement was high as we were realizing our plan to close out our feat by catching the sunset out of Snowbasin.
We arrived at the trailhead just as the sun started to cast shadows across the peak of Mountain Ogden, urging us to hustle up and click in. We hastily gathered our gear. While Rocko was zipping up his camera gear the rest of distributed and checked our bike light for the anticipated dark decent.
In lieu of it being mid-week, we chose the Sardine Peak trail for its premier sunset views over the Great Salt Lake and it's amazing views back towards Snowbasin.
The Sardine Peak trail starts out with a short double-track section before it forks onto single track. We chose to travel clockwise, and our tired legs were pleasantly surprised by the first 800' of climbing that meandered us up through some great shaded dirt, as we headed toward the Overlook spur.
The view from the Overlook trail is nothing less than spectacular. After a couple of big smiles and high-fives, we happily cracked a few warm celebratory beers as we watched the sun dip down behind the Oquirrh Mountain range.
After soaking it all in, we set off for the remaining six miles for our car. There was still a couple-hundred vertical feet left to climb, and a few more overlooks to appreciate. Coasting downhill, chatting and dodging stray bats offered us all an appreciable amount of time to reflect on the epic day.
Saturday and Sunday Snowbasin offers lift-served mountain bike riding on the Needles Gondola which takes riders up the mountain.
June 10 - September 30 Snowbasin hosts a free Blues, Brews, and BBQ festival that is family and canine friendly.
If you'd rather slow it down, there are some great homes & condos available in the Ogden Valley.
Contentprovided by Ski Utah