Near the top of Ogden Canyon, just below Pineview Reservoir is a fantastic side canyon called Wheeler Canyon. You can make this a full loop trail by connecting to the Art Nord Trail, then to Ice Box Canyon for the return trip. Ice box Canyon lets back out in Wheeler Canyon so you don’t even need a shuttle. All three trails offer something different so it is kind of fun. Wheeler canyon is a deep rocky canyon with towering cliff walls. The Art Nord Trail goes through a high-top meadow with views of the surrounding peaks. And Ice Box Canyon is a thin forested canyon following Wheeler Creek. You can go the other way around, but I think that might be a little tougher, I think the way we did it is the way to go. Plus, then you are rewarded with Ice Box Canyon near the end.
Length: 5.6 Miles. 2 for Wheeler Canyon, 1.3 for Art Nord, 1.15 for Ice Box and then another 1.15 down Wheeler.
Difficulty: DR4. This one is seriously uphill.
Elevation Gain: About 1000 ft.
Restroom: Not at the Wheeler Creek TH, but there are 2 pit toilets at the Art Nord TH.
Dogs? Yes, leash required.
Other Info: Parts of Wheeler Canyon, and all of Art Nord Trail don’t offer a lot of protection from the sun.
To Get Here:
Drive up Ogden Canyon. Just before you reach Pineview Reservoir you will see a sign for Wheeler Creek on the right. You can also opt for the scenic route and go up Weber Canyon and towards Ogden Canyon, but that does mean you have to turn left in the small side road. That is what we opted to do today.
Mountains above Morgan. (DBP)
Pineview Reservoir. Lots of people having fun on it.
Pineview Dam from the TH.
There is a small parking lot right along the Ogden Canyon road, which is where we parked. I didn’t realize you could continue down the dirt road a little for closer parking. It only added about a tenth of a mile though, each way.
The trailhead. They still have signs about the aggressive moose from last winter. Not sure if it is still around, or if they just haven’t taken them down. Related article (external link). Basically a big moose charged several people on this trail
The Wheeler Canyon section is an old dirt road so it is wide, and fairly easy.
But wow, this is a pretty canyon!
Butterfly in some sage brush.
The cliff walls are amazing.
This canyon is really amazing. It kind of reminds me of Logan Canyon.
For the most part you are quite a ways above the creek, but there are some places that offer a view of it.
Where the creek crosses to the other side of the trail.
For the most part the trail has been in the shadow of the mountain. But there are definitely some sections in full sun. Where these are may vary depending on time of year and day.
Ice Box Canyon. We will be coming down that way.
Trail split sign.
The loop we did basically circumnavigates this unnamed peak.
Super pretty up here.
After the trail split the East Fork Wheeler Creek is dry, at least this late in the season. But this looks like it would be a nice waterfall when flowing.
It looks like the autumn colors are just getting started.
The creek cant have been dry for too long as there are a couple mossy pools.
Pretty purple flowers.
Lizard! There where actually tons of them along this section.
Looking back down.
Nearing the top and getting to the open meadows.
Nice little memorial to a inspirational man who left a great legacy. Keep an eye out for the shortcut after this sign.
Shortcut to the right. If you need to stop and use the restroom, go left. If you don’t need the restroom you can shave a good quarter mile or so off the main trail by going right.
Which will take you across this bridge.
We decided to make a quick trip to the restrooms. Luckily there is a connecting trail.
There is a nice little informational booth. This is within Snowbasin I believe.
A view of the meadow.
The Art Nord TH parking lot. Restrooms near the front of it. So, you can drive up here to do these trails, but that of course means you will return uphill. But there are some other trail options.
And now we will get started on the Art Nord Trail, which will connect us to Ice Box Canyon.
Back down to the bridge. There appears to be a little campsite here.
Dry creek bed.
That lower peak is the one we are working our way around.
Another view of the meadow.
Looking back down the canyon we came up.
Weird fuzzy red spider, at least I think it’s a spider.
The trail wiggles around and switches back a few times, enough that I almost questioned we had taken the right one, but nope. Wiggles aside, it is the right trail and eventually takes you back the right way.
Thinner trail through the tall grass.
The haze is pretty thick today but you can still see the towering peaks above. Lets see. using Snowbasin’s winter map: Strawberry Peak, Demoisy Peak, Needles, Mount Ogden, Allen Peak and No Name.
More of the meadow. This trail is pretty, but there is no shelter from the sun and it is a little miserable right now. I would probably enjoy it more on a cooler day.
On the downward slope.
Reaching bridge number 2. Also over a dry creek at the moment.
And right around the bend sits bridge number 3.
Into some forest.
3 way trail split. Happy to see we are still going the right way. The best part is coming up.
Looking down into Ice Box Canyon.
So why is it called Ice Box Canyon? Before hiking it, my theory was because it is near a ski resort it might be due to a chute name. After hiking it, I determined that cannot be the reason. My next theory was that is is such a narrow canyon, is very shaded, and the creek lowers the temperature significantly (which is a welcome relief today). I found the 2 most prominent theories 1 agrees with me, the other is due to the narrow canyon the snow pack is very deep here and in winter, snow shoe hikers hike over a deep layer of snow and ice. That is pretty cool.
Very steep rocky descent into the canyon.
Bridge number 4.
Also over a dry creek.This is the Middle Fork of Wheeler Creek.
After the grueling sun filled trail along the meadows, this shaded canyon not only feels amazing, but looks incredible!
Filled with tall blue spruces.
Wheeler Creek below. Eventually the trail heads down to it.
Super thick woods through here.
The lower switchback. A little iffy but not too bad.
Privet berries. Not edible, but kind of pretty.
Bridge number five.
The first one over running water.
It really is so much cooler down here it’s incredible.
The creek is pretty though.
This forest is incredible!
I am really enjoying the forest through here.
Nice little cascade.
The creek is so clear.
We saw a few signs that autumn is starting, but this kind of cements it. The season for leaf peepin is officially in gear!
A couple quick sections that I didn’t like, but again, not terrible.
The creek through the thick, thick woods.
Really cool looking cairn.
Wheeler creek again.
With the forest.
The final bridge before rejoining Wheeler Canyon.
View of the creek from it.
Quick little jaunt up before getting back to the dirt road.
View of the forest below.
And we have completely circumnavigated this peak. The only other time I can say we have done that for sure was on the Lofty Lake Loop.
View down canyon.
Pretty woods above.
Another view down.
Holy crap, look at the size of that wasp nest! And it blends in pretty well too.
Bumble bee with a fuzzy red butt.
So pretty up here.
Where the creek cross under the road.
The cliff walls above. Like I mentioned it really looks like Logan Canyon.
Some fun rock formations.
Looking out of the canyon..
Another view of the cliffs above.
View of the canyon again.
Some more autumn colors.
More fun rock formations.
More of the canyon.
There is a large cave below. I wonder if it is accessible.
Some of the cliff walls look like old lava flows, but I don’t know if that is the case.
The dirt road leading to the trail head.
The cave again.
And Pineview Dam again.
This trail was a little tougher, but absolutely incredible. Each section of it had it own personality. The Wheeler canyon was a nice wide old dirt road following along spectacular soaring cliffs. The Art Nord Trail was a pretty trail meandering through a meadow with great views of mountain peaks, and the Ice Box Canyon section was a stunning thick forested trail following a scenic creek. I heard this was a very busy trail, but even on this Holiday weekend we didn’t run into a lot of people, well, until the very end when a small herd of a biking team came up, but they were spaced out enough, and we could see them coming, so not a big issue. Plus, I love a good loop trail. You get to see more with usually less effort.
Wheeler canyon would get a 9.5 for me. Super pretty, wide packed trail. Only complaint is it is rocky.
Art Nord was very pretty, but dusty and no shelter from the sun. Would get about an 8.
Ice Box Canyon was the real gem. The canyon is extremely pretty and the creek keeps it super cool. That would make it a 10 for me, even with the tough spots.
Overall rating the entire loop a good 9.
As for difficulty. This trail was generally just up, until we hit the mid point. And there were certainly a few rough patches but overall, not too bad. Going with a DR4.
Dogs are allowed. Please remember to clean up after your furry friends.