July 8, 2023. 4.5 miles official BST. Trailforks hike log
Today’s hike was a bit shorter as we (almost) finished Weber County. Although this county has less total shoreline length than the other 5 (or 6) counties the BST will pass through, it is the only one that is largely complete (with a bit left at the very northern and southern end). In my opinion, this community has clearly produced the best overall trail of any of them, thanks in large part to the Trails Foundation of Northern Utah. If only they could pass some of their secret sauce on to the rest of us…
This segment, which we would call the “Ben Lomond Segment” if we adopted my idea of naming each after the mountain it traverses the base of, was a lot of fun. It felt different than the rest of the county, for several reasons:
- It crosses a sloping alluvial fan rather than a flat bench. These were also caused by stream sediment during the Ice Age, but smaller streams that don’t have enough power to carry their sediment all the way into the lake dump it as soon as they exit their canyon. As the sediment piles up, it forms a broad sloping fan above the lake shore rather than a flat delta at the lake shore. In fact, there is a place here in North Ogden with a steep scarp where the lake waves eroded into the alluvial fan from the bottom. It’s actually very similar to Alpine in Utah County.
- It follows a powerline corridor, which made it easier to get permission from a single land owner (Rocky Mountain Power). This makes the trail feel a little more like some of the segments in Utah County.
- It is probably the best example of a “Version 1” and “Version 2” BST anywhere along its length. When the trail was originally designated (2008, I think), they just used the existing access/fire break road along the powerline. Fairly easy to get a lot of miles, but it is a double-track road with almost no shade, that is excessively steep in places. So several years later (2012?), they constructed a whole new singletrack route along the same corridor, which weaves in and out of the clearing to give some shade in the oaks, and has several switchbacks to reduce the climbing grade.
We hiked a little of both versions; overall, the new one is a great improvement, especially while climbing. Going downhill, though, it was certainly easier to use the straight road. I’m happy that they have kept both open. The views of the whole Weber Valley were awesome. Now, on to Box Elder County, where there is a lot of work still to be done to just get the BST started!