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Hiking Utah
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(Jessica Miller | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Coldwater Canyon trail in the Ogden Canyon in Ogden, Utah. March 18, 2014.
Utah Hike of the Week: Coldwater Canyon

Getting there •From Salt Lake City, take Interstate 15 to the 344 exit at 12th Street. Turn right at the exit, continue on 12th Street heading east. The street will turn into Canyon Road. Continue up Canyon Road for about a mile and a half, until you reach a turn-off and a small parking lot on the right of the road just before the Smokey Bear sign.

Directions •The Coldwater Canyon trail begins just east of an old limestone kiln next to the parking lot. You will begin on the main trail, which will eventually split into the Coldwater Canyon Trail and the longer Indian trail that ends at the 22nd Street trailhead.

At a glance

Coldwater Canyon

Hiking time Less than 2 hours

Round trip miles 3.6 miles

Elevation gain 1,262 feet

Difficulty Moderate

Trail head restrooms No

Dogs allowed Yes

Bikes allowed Yes

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The trail begins with a steep incline that will put hikers above the traffic and noise of the road in the Ogden Canyon. Hikers will then meet a number of uphill switchbacks. (While the entire trail is a gradual uphill, these first few hills are the most challenging.)

After the uphill climb, the trail dips down to a heavily forested area — still a little dead and dry during a hike in late March, but the area does blossom into more of a green, lush landscape as the weather warms up. Hikers will also pass a number of makeshift camping sites, including remnants of a Civilian Conservation Corp camp. Hikers will cross two bridges, and just before the third bridge, the trail will split to the left. Follow the trail to the left in order to continue to Coldwater Canyon Trail, or cross the bridge for a longer hike on the Indian trail.

The trail follows alongside Coldwater Creek, and continues a gradual uphill climb winding through more brush and trees. Ogden City’s website indicates that the trail ends near an old sawmill at the base of the mountain, but we were unable to find where the trail definitively ends because the trail became lost in the snow pack during our March hike. Other hikers who reached the end later in the season have also reported that the trail becomes overgrown and seemingly fades away.

Because of the lack of destination, and the constant uphill climb, this is not the best hiking trail that Ogden Canyon has to offer. But, in mid-summer, it is an excellent escape to cooler temperatures and shade.

Jessica Miller



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