Hiking Davis County’s Holbrook Canyon Trail

(Dave Vance courtesy photo)
Holbrook Canyon
Story by Scott Hess
Special to the Standard-Examiner
June 6, 2012
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Holbrook Canyon is one of the most beautiful hikes in Northern Utah. From the parking lot area, the trail immediately drops down to Holbrook Creek, and closely follows the creek up the mountain. You will be surrounded by dense scrub oak, and hear the sounds of running water with dogs and children splashing near the trailhead on warm days.

The trail stays close to the creek with multiple creek crossings to test your balance. The crossings consist of foot bridges, logs and some rock hopping. If your boots are waterproof you can just wade your way across. The best times of year to hike this trail are spring and fall but consider the multiple creek crossings and avoid this trail in a high run-off season.

At nearly one mile, the trail leaves the creek and provides a wonderful view of the canyon. You will see a great variety of vegetation along the trail from sunflowers to wild carrots and yellow lilies. Various striking rock formations coexist with magnificent pine trees.

The views do not last long, as the trail quickly resumes its location near the creek. Large growing ferns and dense scrub oak are highlights of this trail. The hike gains elevation as you near the top of the ridge. Growth is dense in the upper sections of the trail during late summer and fall, but the trail is clearly marked and easy to follow. The hike to the ridge is rewarded with a beautiful view of Davis County from Skyline Drive on the top of the mountain.

This trail is friendly to hikers, bikers and dog walkers. For the adventure-seeking downhill bike rider, this trail presents a serious challenge. The trail is very steep to ride up on a mountain bike, but it is a popular descent for those who are not afraid to get a little wet and gain some serious speed.

To access the top of the ridge, take a high clearance vehicle north to the Bountiful “B” on the mountain. Follow Skyline Drive to the top of the mountain to the point where the road splits. Follow the road south around the backside of the mountain, where you will pass a sign for Tuttle Loop. Continue past the gas pipeline, and the road will crest in an open meadow. Traveling south across the meadow you will see a sign in the middle of the field. From there follow the trail west down into Holbrook Canyon. Be careful and alert to watch for hikers as you make your hair-raising descent.

As a rule of thumb, take plenty of water and always be on the lookout for rattlesnakes. The sounds of the flowing creek and chirps of the many bird species make the journey a delight to the ears. The alpenglow in the upper sections of the trail makes for an enjoyable and relaxing evening hike. An easy pace on this moderate hike will take just over three hours to complete.

Directions: Take the Bountiful 400 North Exit from I-15. Head east and follow 400 North all the way around. The road will gain elevation as you travel east, and will sweep around the Bountiful LDS Temple becoming Bountiful Boulevard. Just past the Temple on the left (east) side of Bountiful Boulevard, you will see the trailhead with a parking lot and sign. Bathrooms are located at the trailhead.

Scott Hess is a member of the Davis County Planning Department. Take a Hike is coordinated by the Ogden Trails Network. It appears monthly in Xplore and weekly online at www.xploreutah.net.


  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Hike time: 2-4 hours up and back
  • Distance: 8 miles round trip
  • Elevation gain: 1,090 feet
  • Trailhead restrooms: Yes
  • Dogs allowed: Yes
  • Bikes allowed: Yes, but very steep on the way up
  • Kid friendly: Yes

For more information about Davis County Trails, visit http://daviscountyutah.gov/trails/

Scott Hess


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The Ogden Nature Center is located at 966 W. 12th St. in Ogden. For more information, visit www.ogdennaturecenter.org or call 801-621-7595.