Ben Lonond Peak – (Skyline trail from North Ogden Divide)
Written By : Mark Peterson
Sometimes we need adventure, and not just standard adventure, but High adventure. After a crazy party, I committed to climb Ben Lomond Peak with my friend Dustin. The name “Ben Lomond” comes from early Scottish settlers. Someone said it resembled the mountain of the same name in their homeland of Scotland. At an Elevation of 9712 ft (2960m) it is one of the tallest peaks around Ogden, Utah.
We started the ride from North Ogden Divide trail head at an elevation of 6200ft (1890 m.) The climb up the first set of switch backs is brutal. Steep and loose, it is composed mostly of fist sized rocks. The wider tires on my Moonlander made this section much easier. Once we reached the first watershed point, the trail became tranquil, climbing gently for several miles through high alpine forest. There were several more switchbacks on tacky brown single track, and then we crested the ridge line. This is one of the most spectacular locations I have ever been.
The trail meanders along the Salt Lake Valley side of the ridge for 2-3 miles until it delivers you to the final set of switchbacks on the East slope of Ben Lomond Peak. This is where fatigue and the time spent in the saddle really show up. There are dozens of switchbacks still to come. Around 1/3rd of the way up the remaining winter snow presented a challenge. We switched to the East front ridge trail and followed it most of the rest of the way up to the peak. 200 yards below the peak, the snow once again dominated and forced a knee deep climb with our bikes on our backs. Mid season explorers will likely not have to deal with snow issues.
We summited 5+ hours after starting the ride, and it was worth every bit of effort that it took. There is something special about topping out after climbing non-stop for 3,512 ft (1070.46 m.) The view is breath taking and well worth the intense effort. After spending not nearly long enough at the Peak, we decided to head back down.
The decent is fast and loose. It should be approached with the expectation of uphill traffic, so slow it down a bit and look out for other trail users. Our decent was 45-50 minutes of fun-filled single track surrounded by wild flowers.
This is one of my personal favorite epic adventures. I hope you get to experience it some day.