Features: Birding — Fall Colors — River/Creek — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
The Skyline Trail is one of the most heavily used trails in the Ogden area. The northern portion is very popular among hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, and motorcyclists, especially on weekends and holidays.
Local flora and fauna highlight the route. The trail provides spectacular views of the Ogden area, from Willard to Antelope Island. It is an outstanding area to view wildflowers and fall colors. The area offers some of the world's oldest geologic formations. Willard and Ben Lomond Peaks are part of the Wasatch Fault, and many fault lines run through the area.
The shorelines of ancient Lake Bonneville can easily be seen from a distance. The higher bench is known as the Bonneville Terrace and the lower bench is called the Provo Terrace. If you are observant at the higher elevations, you may see mountain goats roaming from Willard Peak to Ben Lomond. These animals have been successfully re-introduced into their native habitat.
The west flank of Willard Peak was the site of an iron mine opened in 1873 by Israel Elliott Brown. The company was dissolved when the smelting furnace blew up. A few of the remains may still be seen. The 12 miles of the southern Skyline portion of the trail is heavily used on weekends and holidays but not during the week. A side trail leads to Lewis Peak which is lesser in stature compared to the rugged Ben Lomond Peak, but the climb is just as exhaustive.
During mid-summer, you'll want to get an early start as the trail's southern exposure and scant forest coverage can make for a warm climb. The trail begins with a steep incline and switchbacks take you from overlooks of Pineview Reservoir to Ogden Canyon's limestone formations.
About 2.0 miles from Pineview is a very short spur to the right and leads to Lookout Point. At mile 3.0 there are outstanding views of farm and ranch lands in Ogden Valley. The trail curves northeasterly into thick foliage offering some comforting shade. Near mile 5, the trail crosses between Goodall Canyon above Ogden Canyon and the head of Nordic Valley Ski Area.
The trail to Lewis Peak (8,031 feet) is 2.5 miles one-way from the Skyline Trail and is well worth the effort. Return back to the Pineview Trailhead or alternately follow the ridge north toward North Ogden Pass. It is 5.3 miles along the ridge line northward then down to North Ogden Pass. Park a vehicle at North Ogden Divide if you're not do not plan to hike 9.5 miles back to Pineview Trailhead.