|The Great Western Trail Page 2
90 percent of the Utah portion of the Great Western Trail will be completed
using existing roads and trails. The trail enters the state from the
north near Beaver Mountain on the Wasatch-Cache National Forest and
continues south through the Uinta, Manti-LaSal, Fishlake, and Dixie
National Forests. It crosses BLM land before exiting into Arizona.
To assist travelers, the entire trail will be signed using the Great
Western Trail symbol. The Utah section will include a covered wagon
symbolizing the pioneer spirit.
The state of Utah is divided into 10 travel regions. The Great Western
Trail crosses through six of these regions.
Traveling south along the Great Western Trail you will enter Utah
and the Wasatch-Cache National Forest near the head of Logan Canyon
and travel along the east side of Logan River dropping into the Blacksmith
Fork drainage. Interesting side trips might include visits to historic
Tony Grove Ranger Station or visits to the ever popular Ricks Springs.
You may want to visit the grave site of renegade bear, Old Ephraim.
Fishermen using the trail may want to try their luck in the Blacksmith
Fork drainage as they head toward Hyrum where the trail turns south
toward the small towns of Paradise and Avon.
GOLDEN SPIKE EMPIRE
The trail follows road #162 into Weber County, crosses the North
Fork of Ogden River and then turns west towards Ben Lomond Peak. Trail
users will enjoy beautiful vistas of the Great Salt Lake and Salt Lake
Valley as they follow the Skyline Trail to Ogden Canyon. The route then
passes Snow Basin ski area on past Mt. Ogden heading down Beus Canyon
Heading south along Highway 89, the trail turns east near Hill Air
Force Base and climbs to the top of the Wasatch Range past Francis Peak.
It follows the crest of the range past the historic Davis County Watershed
and into City Creek.
GREAT SALT LAKE COUNTRY
Going south, the trail crosses the historic Mormon Pioneer and Pony
Express Trails and then passes under the freeway (1-80) at the Lambs
Canyon interchange. The trail then heads up Lambs Canyon into Mill Canyon
and onto the crest of the Wasatch Range again. Trail users should note
that restrictions regarding animals (pets) along this section are in
effect because of the watershed requirements of Salt Lake City.
The Uinta National Forest section of the Great Western Trail is 65
miles long. Beginning at Sunset Peak east of Lone Peak Wilderness, adjacent
to Wasatch Mountain State Park, the trail parallels an area rich in
mining history. The trail continues south, joining the Ridge Trail adjacent
to Mt. Timpanogos Wilderness. Access to this wilderness will provide
the traveler with an opportunity to view waterfalls, glacial cirques,
rugged terrain, and wildflowers.
The trail continues south through the South Fork of Provo Canyon
and east down Strawberry Ridge, displaying some of the most rugged country
on the forest. Strawberry Reservoir, part of the massive Central Utah
Project, can be viewed in its entirety from this section of the trail.
Watch for wildlife such as mountain goats, elk, moose, bears, deer,
and many small animals and birds along the route. The trail follows
the Tie Fork Drainage to Spanish Fork Canyon, and then continues onto
the Manti-LaSal National Forest.
This 85-mile section of the trail across the Manti-LaSal National
Forest follows Skyline Drive from the small town of Tucker to the Sanpete
and Sevier county line. Along this scenic route, you will be able to
enjoy fishing in adjacent streams and lakes. The 11,000 foot trail offers
a birds-eye view of the area including the unique desert landscape in
the valley to the east. Several parallel trails are being planned for
foot, horse, or mountain bike travel.
Highlights along this section include: camping and fishing in the
Gooseberry-Fairview Reservoir area; a side trip to Joes Valley Reservoir
for camping and fishing; camping and fishing at Ferron Reservoir; a
short side trip to Grove of Aspen Giants Scenic Area.
This section of trail on the Fishlake National Forest starts at the
White Rim offering spectacular views of Salina Canyon to the south.
From there the trail heads southwest through aspen stands and meadows,
past 10,986 foot Musinea Peak, along Dead Horse Ridge around Bull Valley
Mountain and past Steves Mountain, eventually crossing I-70 near the
Gooseberry Interchange. Trail users then head southeast on a combination
of trails and roads passing such interesting places as UM Plateau, Windstorm
Peak, Willies Flat Reservoir, and Floating Island Lake. You may want
to stay overnight at the Elkhorn Campground located adjacent to the
Users along this section of the trail will enjoy the picturesque
stands of aspen and conifer interspersed with meadows, opportunities
to enjoy periods of solitude, and spectacular vistas of the San Rafael
Swell, Henry Mountains, LaSal Mountains, Burr Desert, and Waterpocket
The trail continues south past Thousand Lake Mountain and the towering
cliffs of Hells Hole into Red Rock Desert. It follows Sand Creek into
Torrey where trail users will be able to buy supplies at the small general
Trail users wanting more information about the trail across the Dixie
National Forest may want to stop at the Teasdale Ranger Station three
miles away. The trail heads south out of Torrey along the county road
onto the forest and up Fish Creek drainage to Boulder Top. The walk
across the top will be the highest point on the trail in Utah with some
elevations above 11,000 feet.
The trail leaves the top at Bowns Point and heads southwest through
stands of aspen and open meadows with some stands of ponderosa pine.
Fishing opportunities abound in lakes and streams near the trail. Camping
is available at Blue Spruce, Posey Lake, Barker Reservoir, and Pine
The trail travels along John's Valley Road to Ruby's Inn and then
into the East Fork of the Sevier River Drainage where it leaves the
forest at Crawford Pass. This section of the trail offers interesting
side trips to Bryce Canyon National Park. In fact, you may want to hike
an alternate route down Podunk Creek through Bryce Canyon National Park.
Remember that animals are not permitted in the park.
The trail heads south on BLM administered land, down Meadow Canyon
to the Deer Springs Ranch eventually reaching Deer Spring Wash. Trail
users will enjoy the change of climate and vegetation as the trail enters
a more arid part of the state. Stands of juniper stand out against the
backdrop of Navajo sandstone common to the area.
The trail continues south into Kitchen Corral Wash crossing Highway
89 into Kaibab Wash where the Utah trail reaches one of its lowest points,
at approximately 4,800 feet. Turning southwest, the trail enters Arizona
near Pine Hollow Canyon.