I have been wanting to do more hiking in the winter. I don’t know why I usually don’t. I guess it being cold, and the days so short, and the fear of it just being deep snow always made it too intimidating. Now that I have done a couple I can honestly say don’t let that stop you! So far I have found 2 good trails that are popular enough that the snow is packed down for easy hiking. I have also decided it never hurts to try. If the trail is not traversable, you can always turn around and try something else. Of course, make sure you have good hiking boots with good traction and a hiking pole to help keep your balance (or as we learned to use as a brake when you start sliding).
I chose this trail because we have done it before so I knew what we were getting into. It is nearby, I remember it being mostly full sun, and I thought it was high up enough that it would get us out of the nasty inversion. I didn’t think it was popular enough to be packed down, but luckily I was wrong on that.
This is another one of those wind your way through neighborhood roads to find the trailhead. To get here take US 89 in NSL to Eagle Ridge Dr. Go up the hill and turn right on Eagle Point Dr. Turn left on Sky Crest Ln. and you will find a nice community park. The trailhead is up past the picnic tables.
The park from the parking lot. The trailhead is strait back, next to that sign.
Nice packed down snow.
The pipeline scar appears to be filling in a little more. Hopefully come summertime it won’t be such an eyesore.
Ok the first section is shaded unfortunately, so it was a bit cold. Eventually you pop up over the ridge and it is much better.
Oh cool. They have added a bench. The trail splits here and you can keep following down along the canyon bottom, or start climbing the ridge. We opted for the ridge.
Hooray we are up above the funk! Ben Lomond Peak kind of looks like it is floating.
Another bench. I guess this is the “Lookout” the signs refer to. I never did figure it out last time.
Steep section here.
There is another trail split here. You can keep hiking up towards that peak, or go out along a ridge and take in the views. We decided to head out to the ridge.
It’s really quite beautiful if you choose to ignore the fact that it is smog.
Salt Lake County.
It might just be where I am relative to the position of the sun, but it really looks like the smog is much, much worse in Salt Lake County.
Which this panoramic also shows.
The weird layered landscape causes little snow stripes.
The Salt Lake Valley. And I am not certain, but that looks like Kennecott filled in with smog as well. Ew.
A good fire pit. We should come camp up here sometime.
We decided to return and hike up to the peak today. It doesn’t look too far.
Of course I didn’t realize there was a small side canyon to climb down and back up.
Ok it is a little steeper than I thought it would be.
Nice snowy hill.
More snow and fog.
Every time we got to what I thought was the peak, we see a short flat section followed by more up. Ok, it is not a close as I thought it was.
Nice patch of trees.
And more up. The sky is actually blue when you get up above the smog!
There was a pole at just about every spot I thought was the peak. I told myself I would stop at the next one no matter what as we were getting tired. Yup, still not the peak.
Just some more pictures showing just how bad the inversion is. Under that blanket is a whole valley filled with cities.
You can just make out a plane rising out of it. Alright time to start heading back.
Pretty sure these are bunny tracks.
The peak on the other side of the canyon. I still want to go up and explore that cave.
Looking out towards Ogden.
Scrub oak and snow.
According to my pedometer it was about .7 miles from where we turned back to the trailhead so we still had a little ways to go to get to City Creek Ridge. Meh, maybe next time.
Little patches of autumn under the snow.
So we did about 2.5 - 3 miles today including exploring the lower ridge. Not bad for a wintertime hike.
Now that I have done this trail in spring and winter, I think winter is the better time to come. Most of the trail is in the sun which keeps you warmer, the snow is well packed and you get pretty views. (Better without an inversion, but I like the inversion shots as well). I haven't done much winter hiking so I don’t know how fair I can be rating it, but I really enjoyed it and will bump it up from a 7 in the spring to an 8 in the winter.
As for difficulty well again, I haven't done much winter hiking so I don’t have a lot to compare it to. But, I will say for the most part it was fine. There are a few really steep spots that were tough coming down and that was before we tried to go up to the peak. Going that way there were quite a few more steep sections. I guess I will go with a DR4.