Desert Southwest (CO,AZ,UT,NM), Trip Reports » Northern Utah Overnighter


For about the past 3 years I’ve been wanting to do a big traverse of the Wasatch Range from Mantua to SLC, ending at my house. Through looking at guide books, maps and what not I found a link-up that would stay on the spine of the range for as long as possible. Earlier this summer I said, “Fuck it, I’m doing it this year.”

Wed. night I rolled up to Mantua with my gf to spend the night in the car and start riding at dawn. Pistols at dawn. Before we were even done rolling out our bags we had a nice blast of light coming our way from a Box Elder Co. Sheriff’s Deputy. What he wanted is beyond me. He said when he’s bored he heads up to the area, so after he asked for our ID’s and took down our info “just in case” he left. Yeah, that was weird.

I sluggishly got to pedaling around 6am after a few hours of on and off sleep.
The first 10 or twelve miles is an uneventful dirt road climb. I think the gain is just shy of 4K

Within the first couple minutes of singletrack was a hike-a-bike. I was plesantly distracted by these guys, there would be several goat heard sightings for the next few miles.

A little more climbing and the ridge was reached, ahh.

Looking down on Willard Bay and I-15

Yes, please

The trail from Inspiration Point to Ben Lomond is just plain stupid awesome. Lomond waits patiently:

On the summit some Weber St. chicks asked me to take their pic. I asked if they could return the favor. If you look closely you can see them hiding as to not ruin the shot, so generous.

Oh and the downhill…

…it lasts forever

Some hiking had me back on the ridges of the Southern Skyline Trail

I figured that I would be kicking myself if I skipped the Lewis Peak spur. Glad I went for it. Ben Lomond Peak in the BG

On my way back from LP this little plain buzzed me 4 or 5 times. It was cool as hell.

After another screamin’ 7+ mile dh I took a swim in Pineview and got some water

I climbed up to the base of Snowbasin where the ride changes pace dramatically. To the best of my knowledge there is no way to drop down to Weber Canyon on dirt. Following that there is no good way to gain the ridge to the south without going all the way down to the valley to the vest.

The first pickup truck that approached me at the Green Pond TH I thumbed down. He drove me to Weber Canyon and was going in a different direction than I needed so he dropped me at a gas station. I literally walked from his truck to one a pump and had a ride down the interstate lined up. That was too easy.

The second ride gained me some good beta on how shitty the Kays Creek hike-a-bike would be. From everything I could tell from research and talking to this dude was that the hike would be long, hot, steep, overgrown, and full of rattlesnakes. Sure looks like there is some nice singletrack on top though. I decided to skip it. It just sucks that I had to go so far while being that low.

After I got dropped off I stopped off for coffee on my way to the Layton to Kaysille BST. I devoured a big muffin and 3 espresso shots. I also snagged a huge peanut butter bar/brownie thing for later. A nice break it was.

At least the rich have a good sense of style

I opted to climb the dirt road up Farmington Canyon. Maybe it would’ve been more fun if I were on a ATV, Trike, truck, honda crx, or was shooting guns at the side of a hill. Redneck paradise, and the climb was long and dusty.

I made it to camp in the dark and slept nicely. Took this shot from my sleeping bag this morning. Then, promptly went back to bed for a couple hours. I was in no real rush for day 2 knowing it would be far less strenuous than day one.

Day two started a lot like day one ended, with dirt road climbing.

On singletrack again, dropping in front of Grandview Peak.

The Sessions Mountains trail is cool. Not as amazing as the North Ogden stuff, but cool in a remote, you won’t see anyone for several hours sort of way.

I kept rolling on the Lookout Peak trail to Killyon Canyon and finally down Emigration to finish off the tour. The End

Comments (5)

Will NesseSeptember 6th, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Great ride report!

Many years ago I did much the same ride, starting in Mantua and going south on the Great Western Trail and environs. I loved the Ben Lomond, Lewis peak, and Snowbasin sections. However, we were not as wise as you and tried to find the mythical single track route to Weber canyon. From Snowbasin we rode up to the top of the ridge where you went down by car, and by sundown we were one-footing it down the west-facing slope off the ridge, down 3000′-4000′ over a rocky game trail into Ogden. The climb and the hideous overnight descent wrecked us and we never got to the Sessions mountains.

Congrats on the great ride and smart move on hitchhiking to Weber canyon!


Chad BSeptember 6th, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Great ride report and pictures!

sshepSeptember 6th, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Awesome. Makes me want to get out and ride.

ScottMSeptember 9th, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Awesome photos and report. You were wise to skip the climb out of Kaysville on the actual GWT. It’s the famed “Chinscraper” and is full of hike-a-bike. Beautiful section, but it would be hard with bikepacking gear. It was a little dicey making up the slope even with an unloaded bike.

I’m keen to see someone pull of a full Wasatch traverse, self-supported style. This report is good inspiration.

Big DaveAugust 23rd, 2011 at 7:46 pm

An REI employee pulled off a full traverse back in the late 90’s and I think he actually started up in Canada and came down through Idaho. I can’t remember his name but he was in his mid to late 30’s back then. He worked in the shop for a while, and was one of the first guys I knew that really used and abused a BOB trailer. Took him a couple of months or so from what I remember. Said he didn’t like the BOB because he wore it on his back more than he would have like to due to downed trees. He made a sweet pack setup for it because he had done half of the White Rim and hiked out at the southern end of the loop through wilderness. I think he did that trip 3 or 4 times. He did that once with a guy who owns a shop up near Seattle…also a former SLC REI shop employee. I could do some more research if someone would like me to in regards to these hazy facts.

That guy may have actually done the Grand Canyon…..starting on the North Rim and riding into the park….hiking the trail across….then riding back around to the North Rim….from what I remember.

That was all way back in the 90’s and I was too busy trying to feed myself while doing all those short ass IMC races.

But I am definitely, positively sure that he did a full Wasatch traverse.

In regards to this trip report, my wife and I did a big day ride that went up Emigration/Killyons and it seems we came down Farmington Canyon. I remember big ass trucks, and crapton of Texas wheelchairs, and lots of shooting….kind of like Reddington eh Scott? We took the road back through Farmington/Bountiful/North SL and back to our home near the Dan’s on Foothill. It took us just over 10 hours. We were killing it the whole time and even took turns trying to drop each other on the roads back to SL.

Riding up Farmington Canyon would definitely suck. I remember it being very exposed and dusty.

Great write up as it brought back some memories. I always liked making the trip up to Ben Loman.

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