Monday, July 21, 2014

North Ogden, Coldwater Canyon

Here's another little known trail accessible from the Equestrian Park in North Ogden. Take a look at the other North Ogden trails for other options accessible from the Equestrian park.

Bonneville Shoreline

Pioneer Trail

Called Coldwater Canyon by the locals. (not to be confused with the Coldwater Canyon near Ogden Canyon.) Not marked at all.  This is a watershed canyon for some of North Ogden.
  It is steep, short and quite rocky, but has evergreens, ferns, poison ivy, stinging nettle and occasionally water features. 
The locals often hike here to "camp".  Higher up, it is National Forest.  And if followed through to the very top, would reach Lewis Peak. (though not easily) 
 The access passes through private land, so be considerate and close the gate at each pass through.
We ride this canyon maybe once every two years.  It's worth seeing once, but there are so many other places to ride.  I mostly just provided this post to inform people of what is up there.  It is one way to access the Bonneville Shoreline trail that crosses near the top.  (I have been told that the Bonneville trail access going south from Coldwater becomes extremely narrow and steep in spots.  My daughter runs this trail and says she wouldn't even take a bike on it, let alone a horse.)
The view riding up the road to reach the access.

Trail length up and back from arena= about 2.4 miles.  Minimum altitude=4,652 ft, maximum altitude=about 5,500 ft depending on how far up you go; Trail conditions=25% tight packed gravel road, 15% dirt and 60% rocks.

(Click on any photo for enlarged images.)

Turn "south" here.  This is private land and the owners have horses near.

Looking back at the equestrian park from the road.

Access gate...please be sure and close it after passing through.

Not sure what these buildings are for at the mouth of the canyon, but something to do with water treatment.

This tree was down in the trail.  The detour is to the right.

One of the water crossings with a little water actually in it.

Not a very clear photo, but it is showing some of the poison ivy that is abundant along the trail.  Beware, if taking a potty break!

The view from where there is a very rocky dry stream bed crossing.  On this ride, I didn't go further.  The Shoreline trail access crossing is about a hundred yards above this point.

Stinging nettle in the dry stream bed.  Beware again!

Often we venture up further past the rocky stream bed.  It is very pretty, but the trail becomes inaccessible for horses after about 1/4 mile. But, you can go either north or south on the Shoreline trail.  

Heading back down.

Showing one of the many "caps" on the springs.  All of the springs are "capped" with this particular one letting some water out.  In the left used to be a little meadow where we horse camped about 12 years ago.  Now, instead of grass, there is just houndstongue. (full of burrs). We have ridden up here in the past to gather elderberries, but since have found better sources.

Coming down the canyon with a view of the hillside full of gray rocks/gravel.

Approaching the first dry stream bed crossing.  If there weren't caps on the springs, this would be flowing year round.

Sunset at 8:45 pm on July 19, 2014.  Taken from the mouth of the canyon looking west.

View of North Ogden from the mouth of canyon.


  1. nice pics, thanks. I grew up in North Ogden and used to go hiking up Coldwater canyon. I drove up there the other day to enjoy my lunch break by the city water treatment sheds, and the land owner drove up in his backhoe said if I wasn't in my car, he would have called the police and I would have found a ticket on my windshield because "it's city property" and I had to cross his private property to get there. Honestly, didn't know that, thought it was a public road. Just trying to access and enjoy my National Forest land and the view. No harm done, the gate was open. How do I get there easily without trespassing? That's the problem: landlocked public lands with no easy access, I feel like a criminal just enjoying nature.

    1. Good questions. Not sure how to answer you. Most of the time, both of those gates are closed. We have never driven a car up there, only hiked or on horse back. Have never encountered a land owner.