Monday, October 28, 2013

North Ogden Pass, Pioneer Trail, Utah

There are many trails accessible from these two trailheads.  The first trailhead parking is at North Ogden Equestrian Park, 2675 North Mountain Road.  Refer to the map below for routes to access the trails. 
 We just rode the Pioneer trail up from the equestrian park, (October 29, 2014) and I must say that it has really deteriorated, especially in the last year.  Truckloads of golf ball to fist sized sharp rocks have been hauled in. (Presumably to keep the road from being too muddy to service the powerlines and water sources.) The rocks are terrible, all the way up. We used to be able to canter on soft stretches of the road.  No more.   
 And the burdock is way overgrown.  My horse got it all through her mane and tail and on the saddlebags and saddle blanket. And...the lower trail has a good share of stinging nettle and poison ivy. 
 Even the "pretty" part of the trail has deteriorated with much bike use and erosion. much as I hate to say it, we don't think we will be riding this trail again from the bottom.  We might do it from the "top" down to the bridge. 

(click on any photo to open enlarged images.)

Two different places to park for access to the North Ogden Divide Trails, Pioneer Trail, etc.
North Ogden Equestrian Park 

Photo courtesy of Ann Hyde

Half Moon Rock

Shows how rocky the trail is on the bottom half.

It is kinda pretty.

On the way up North Ogden Pass
Pioneer Trail at the bottom of North Ogden Canyon looking West

 Shots of riding on the Pioneer Trail, just west of the North Ogden pass Trailhead

 As it gets closer to the North Ogden Divide Trailhead, the trail narrows and winds through some   forest. 

The turn off to "Cowboy's Paradise". (although the "Paradise" part is somewhat questionable in November)

"Cowboy's Paradise"

Notice the elderberries in the foreground.  Still viable in November.
"Upper" part of the trail in late October

"Upper" part of the trail in late October

"Upper" part of the trail in late October

"Upper" part of the trail in late October

Going up the "Service Road" in November when the other part of the trail is too muddy and snowy.

Headed back down the Service Road.

Lovely shot of Ben Lomond just as the trail starts up the canyon.

An excellent place to park is at the top of North Ogden Divide.  Access to both sides of the Pioneer Trail. To Lewis Peak from the trail in the background. To the north from this trailhead, a trail goes up Ben Lomond and eventually over to the Ben Lomond trail head at North Fork.

This shows where the trail goes West from the North Ogden Divide trailhead. Recommended option is to park there, ride down the "pretty" parts of the trail, then ride back up and go down the east side.

The trail going East starts just behind this monument.

From the Divide East, the trail is dirt and some rocky.  Winds through stands of evergreens.  
Heading east on the Pioneer trail from the North Ogden Divide trailhead.

Important junction...No trespassing on the power line access to the left.  Keep to right trail.

Goes through some nice forested areas.

Out to Stoney Point.
Looking at Ogden Valley from Stoney Point in autumn

Looking at Ogden Valley from Stoney Point in summer.
One of my favorite parts of the trail.  There is always a cool breeze coming out of this little draw.

The trail continues towards Liberty and behind some homes.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

China Meadows, Uintas, Utah

View of Red Castle in the distance

It has been a while since we have camped and ridden here. (Since 2005) The base camp is China Meadows Horse Campground.  There is a horse corral and six equestrian campsites.  The corral is divided into pie shape with each wedge a separate space.   We certainly didn't ride all the trails that were available and some day we may go back.  It has lost its allure, since we have found closer places to camp and ride that are just as beautiful, if not more so with more and closer lake access.

(click on any photo for enlarged images.)

Satellite view of the horse campground showing the corral.

Corral for the horses.

Portion of Red Castle trail that we rode up to Lower Red Castle Lake.  This was a full day's ride, for us and estimate 20 miles round trip.

More information on the Red Castle trail


This was a ride in 2005.  We rode about 3/4 of the way to the lake, hauling a toddler with us.  He learned to nap in the saddle.

Just below Lower Red Castle Lake...Photo courtesy of Jon Tanner

Photo courtesy of Jon Tanner

Photo courtesy of Jon Tanner

Photo courtesy of Jon Tanner