Monday, December 26, 2016

The Ogden BST Christmas Tree

Along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail in Ogden between 27th street and 29th street is a fantastically decorated Christmas Tree. I don’t know who does it, but I know this is at least the 7th year in a row it has been done. I also do not know how long it stays up, but figure December is a good bet. I don’t normally seek out trail side Christmas trees, rather I stumble upon them, but this one seemed nice and has a great view. Plus, I thought it was the perfect short hike to squeeze in before our last Holiday party of the year.

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Quick Details:

Length: About 8/10 of a mile. 1.6 round trip.
Difficulty: DR3
Elevation Gain: About 350 ft
Restroom: No. Closest one I am aware of is at the nearby 29th st trailhead.
Dogs? Yes! Please clean up after your furry friend.
Other Info: If it’s not obvious, this is a seasonal thing.

To get here, take i15 to the 31st street exit. Head east towards the mountains. Somewhere along the way (I think we used Harrison), scooch north 4 blocks to 27th street. Follow that east until you cannot continue any further. Approximately 1899 east. Park.


Looking into Taylor Canyon from the trailhead.

So, not really being familiar with this particular trailhead I wasn’t sure what to do. I just knew the tree was South of here, so that is the way we went. It will still get you there, but you actually want to go north (it curves back around). I added a short extra distance that we didn’t have to do.


Looking down 27th st. We just had a storm bring in about a foot of snow on Christmas Eve, and the inversion has built back up already. Ick.


Mount Ogden.


I was a little worried that with the fresh snow we wouldn’t have a path to follow. Luckily this is apparently a popular trail.


I took quite a few pictures of the mountains. They look great with fresh snow.


If you do go this way, take the left fork here. That will get you back to the main trail quicker.

Including our unnecessary detour because there were still some nice shots. This is the nature of finding ‘Easter eggs’ without a lot of information. Sometimes it includes some.. exploring.


The cliffs on the other side of Taylor Canyon.


Looking north towards Ben Lomond.


Less footprints here, definitely more work climbing up.


A shot of the inversion building up.

Ogden BST



Well this trail I followed took us to what appears to be a water tank or something, and is a dead end. Crap. Oddly enough, the detour only added 2 to 3/10 of a mile, but it was tough addition!


Looking into Ogden Valley again.


Nice lighting on the cliffs.


Some kind of animal tracks. Fun benefit of winter hiking.


We followed an obviously heavily trafficked trail back up, hoping it would get us back to the BST trail.


Oh good. Okay, we are back on track now.


The mountains just look incredible.


And the valley below does as well.


Sunset lighting up the ice crystals on the trees.


And we reached another crossroad. Looking at where I was wanting to get to, the Scenic Route seemed right, so, we decided to take that. At this point, we’re still kind of winging it.


At least it is heavily traveled and packed down.


A well defined path.


And into the trees. I liked how the sun was filtering through.



Snowy mountains.


Crossing into TR Guest Ranch property. I didn’t realize it extended this far north. You cross into it on the Waterfall Canyon Trail as well. I really appreciate that they continue to leave it open to the public to hike, even with the problems they have had in Waterfall Canyon.


Tree tunnel.


View of the valley below.



I am really enjoying the snow covered trees.


And we finally found it! Hooray!


Holy crap, it even has lights!


With Ben Lomond in the background.


Fun with reflections.

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With the incredible view below. This is my favorite trail side Christmas Tree yet!

Well, we finally found our intended destination. We got a little lost and confused along the way, but we found it. I am really happy we did! But, it was getting late and it was time to head back.

In case you want to continue, it looks like it will take another mile and some change to continue down to the 29th st trailhead.


The valley below.


The slope really seemed steeper than the picture shows. I guess I was just a little extra nervous with the snow, but I guess it isn’t that bad.


Back down to the trail split. We decided to follow the main trail back. These trail signs are great! I noticed quite a few interesting sounding places I did not know about before.


I noticed a line of red on the horizon.


Another tree tunnel.


And from the other end.


Little bridge.


More snowy woods.


Sunset red streak.


More helpful signs.


And back down to the trailhead, and the route we should have taken. My fault, I knew it was south, but we did eventually find it, and we didn’t seem to add too much extra. This is what can happen with unfamiliar trails, particularly in winter. Always be careful, and vigilant. Luckily this is still in the valley so GPS was working to help us figure out where we needed to be.

Anyway, like I said, I don’t normally seek out the Christmas trees, we tend to just find them on trails like Mueller Park, and the Quail Trail. But, this was a fun adventure and the tree was fantastically decorated and offered a spectacular view! The trail system is a bit convoluted and confusing, and I will remove one squirrel for that. otherwise it was a great Christmas/winter hike!

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As for difficulty, even with the snow it wasn’t too bad. I am going with a DR3.

Dogs are allowed! Please clean up after your furry friends.

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