Due to the long drive from Kansas, I was completely tired the evening I arrived in Ogden, Utah so I partially unpacked, ate, watched some tube and was asleep early. The next morning, I woke up rested and ready to explore Ogden. I called my brother and he was planning to unpack and rest for the day, so I grabbed my backpack, some snacks and water and went to explore the streets of downtown Ogden. No better way to learn a city than to walk the streets, but looking up I was itching to get to my first mountain hike.
During my walk through the streets, I discovered a really cool place that Trey and I will have to check out soon. It’s called Salomon Center which is an indoor adventure center filled with exciting things to do like rock climbing, sky diving and body boarding as well as other fun things like bowling and video games. Check out my quick video of the area:
I probably spent about 2 hours wandering the downtown streets, checking out some of the shops, grabbing some lunch and of course I did some people watching. It was a Friday afternoon and the sidewalks had a lot of foot traffic which allowed me to see just what the Utahans looked like. Interestingly, they are sort of split here on how to refer to natives of Utah. Is it Utahns or Utahans? I’m going with Utahans since I see this most when doing a Google search. Well, even with all the walking around and interesting things I saw in the downtown area, I was still amazed at these mountains all around me.
My First Mountain Hike, what the heck?
Out of nowhere, I decided to head towards the mountains. This is my first full day in Ogden and I was about to take a 2 mile walk, slightly uphill to the base of the Wasatch mountains. The walk wasn’t too bad. It was like setting a treadmill at a 5 incline, set the speed at 3 mph and walk for 2 miles. Not a big deal for me. Like I said, I was completely new to the area, so I just started walking down 24th street since it led straight to the mountains along with most every street. The city is pretty well laid out in North-South and East-West streets. The East-West street are mainly numbers and the North-South streets are names like Washington and Grant. When I arrived at the end of 24th street, I came up on a fence and had to choose North or South. Well, I pulled out my iPhone and opened up maps and zoomed in really close and saw a possible trail to the North a few blocks away so North it was.
As I came up on 22nd Street, I saw a parking area and a brown sign that indicated hiking was this way and it was. I had no intentions of hiking today. I was just exploring and curious as to how the trail-heads worked around here. Here is my first trail hiking picture: (Click the picture to open it in new tab in a bigger format on this and all my pictures)
The sign showed what street the trail entrance was on, the fact that you could bike or hike and that horses were not allowed. When I read the information on the trail, it said the trail was about 5 miles long and would take about 4 hours to complete. Hmm…It’s about 1 pm and I have nothing planned, so what the heck, let’s do this. Before heading out, I checked my backpack and saw that I still had 2 breakfast bars and 2 full waters so I figured that would be fine and I was off on my first Mountain Trail Hike.
How about a little background on this particular hike? When starting out in the parking lot on 22nd street, you begin the adventure at an elevation of about 4750 feet and the highest point of the trail is at the emergency shelter at an elevation of 6100 feet or about a 1350 foot climb, then the trail descends back down the mountain to the Ogden Canyon Road for a total of about 5 miles. Check out the elevation map below:
It took me a while to remember that my iPhone could take video as well as pictures, so here are a few of the pictures I took on the way up the Mountain.
There were spots along the way where the path was very narrow and if you weren’t paying attention, you could easily slip and fall for a while.
Oh, hey, I remembered I had a video camera on my iPhone so let the goofiness ensue. Here is actually my second video on the mountain. The first one wasn’t any good. At this point, I have already passed the highest point and I’m on my way down.
Next up, I come upon a rock slide and take it easy getting across.
In this next video, I decide to get the camera in my personal space and give you my view of the mountain as I walk down the path.
I brought a homemade tri-pod with me in my backpack thinking maybe there would be a picture taking opportunity and no one around to take the picture. So, here I have my iPhone set up on my tri-pod. To me, it looks like some video trickery with a green screen and a fake background but pay attention to the bushes. I’m really up in the mountains. Ha!
Occasionally while hiking the trail, I would run into an obstacle that I needed to maneuver around. They were not especially difficult but it added some excitement to the trail as nature changes and so does the trail. See the video below:
Not being from these parts, I never really thought about camping anywhere but on the top of a mountain, but as I learned in these next two videos, if you find a clear flat spot, you’ve got a campsite.
Along the way down the mountain to Ogden Canyon Road, I crossed a few bridges and below is the video of me coming up on my first bridge and crossing it.
I didn’t see much wildlife while on this hike except for one snake that crossed the path (slow camera trigger so no pic) and what appeared to me to be a skunk. In these next two videos, I am just being goofy and I spot a skunk and have to hurry up and flip my phone around to get the skunk on camera. It was funny and I was excited to see something moving that I hadn’t scared away.
As I’m continuing to descend down the hiking trail, I come across another campsite and find a slab of a previously existing structure and I am somewhat surprised that this slab has stairs heading down. What the heck was this? I don’t know but it was a cool discovery.
I’m now getting close to the end of the trail and about to come out to the road but I still have some different terrain to tackle like this man-made zig zag down the mountain. See below:
Shortly after the zig zag, I came out on the road and realized that I was a long way from the start. Again, this was my first hike, with little planning and I just arrived in Utah the day before. The one thing I did have though was my iPhone and great signal strength. From this point, I had to either go back the 5 miles I just came from, walk down Ogden Canyon Road back into town or wimp out and call Trey to come pick me up. Seeing that is was only 5:30 pm and it didn’t get dark until around 9 pm, I decided to walk back to downtown and grab some dinner and a cold beer.
On my way though the canyon, I took a couple pictures but I was mainly focused on not getting hit by cars and trucks as there wasn’t much room to move in some spots.
I found this small cave that normally I might have investigated but since I was already exhausted, I figured I would save it for another day.
After a very long but adventurous day, I finally made it back into town and stopped for dinner and that beer at Iggy’s Sports Grill. On my way, I called Trey and had him meet me there so we could have dinner together and I could tell him about my day. He was probably thinking, this guy is crazy!
I slept, rested, unpacked and organized the following day. One trail conquered and many more to go.
Below, you will find my comment area. Please feel free to leave a comment whether positive, negative, constructive or maybe you have a funny, strange or cool story that relates. Comment away, thanks. Troy