Location: Wasatch-Cache National Forest
Length, One-Way: 5.6 miles
Trail Type: Out and Back
Minimum Elevation: 5100 feet
Maximum Elevation: 9320 feet
Best Season: Spring to Fall
The Beus Canyon Trail is a change of pace from the norm. The trail begins with a moderate two-mile hike which changes into a steep, difficult climb from the foothills east of Ogden to the ridge south of Mount Ogden. This is a full day hike. The trail leaves the trailhead parking towards the mountain. This lower part of the trail climbs to the mouth of Beus Canyon where it intersects with the Bonneville Shoreline Trail going north to Weber State University. The trail continues along Beus Creek until it reaches a small meadow where the canyon forks. This meadow is locally known as Fern Valley for obvious reasons. From here the trail continues on the south fork of the stream until it begins the climb to the ridge between Beus Canyon and Birch Canyon to the south. The trail continues to climb at a steep pitch of 15-percent. It stays in the dry, hot oakbrush hillsides until it reaches timberline. Then the trail goes north into the head of Beus Creek. Piles of rock, commonly called rock cairns, mark a route to the saddle south of Mount Ogden with it’s prominent radio tower. At this saddle you can follow the summer access road into Snowbasin Ski Area. If you enjoy spectacular views, this is the hike for you. The area has outstanding geologic formations and a bounty of wildflowers throughout the spring and summer season. The local Shoshone Tribe utilized edible plants as well as roots found along this trail. Some of the harvests of the season were dog-tooth violets, Indian potato, wild onions and camas. The tool used for harvesting roots is a pointed stick called a “Poton”. These Native Americans were referred to by the white pioneers as “root diggers”.
The trail is near the head of both Malans Basin and Taylor Canyon when it reaches Mount Ogden. Taylor Canyon is the first canyon south of Ogden Canyon so named for John Taylor who built a lime kiln at its mouth. The lower portion of both canyons is privately owned as well as very difficult terrain and we don’t recommend you enter either of these canyons.
Hiking through the dry scrub oak (Gamble Oak) will give you the opportunity to see a variety of birds such as the house finch, rufous-sided towhee, scrub jay, white-crowned sparrow and an occasional hawk or falcon hunting the mountainside. Watch out for rattlesnakes!
This trail presents many difficult obstacles which may sometimes be impossible to pass on a mountain bike. Walking your bike will sometimes be a must. The trail is not designed for children or novice riders. Only experienced riders should try this trail.
Access is east on 4600 S Street until the road curves south near microwave towers. Look for the signs.
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