Steep Hidden Valley offers nice reward at trail’s end

(Courtesy photo)
Colorful trail
Story by Marshall Konzen
Special to the Standard-Examiner
December 7, 2012
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The Hidden Valley Trail above Ogden’s 22nd Street rewards the hardy hiker with spectacular views of the Wasatch Mountains. While not for everyone, it’s a great escape from the more crowded trails below.

The trail starts from some rock steps on the Indian Trail. Start at the 22nd Street trailhead and go up Indian Trail. After hiking about 10 to 15 minutes, you’ll see the steps on the right.

The hike can be broken down into four legs: the first is the short jaunt from the trailhead to the steps themselves and the second is from the steps to an overlook directly above the 22nd Street trailhead.

When you get to the overlook, bear left along the newer trail. The older one is now nothing more than a washout and very steep. As this third leg of the trail ascends, there is a new trail cut in that has a better gradual ascent – it requires you to make a hairpin left turn.

However, as of November that new section was still not quite completed, so continue straight up the old trail that continues south along the mountain. There are several very steep sections on this leg but they go by quickly if you keep a steady pace.

At the top of the next overlook — now about in line with 23rd Street — is the start of the fourth leg. You have just left the steepest part of the hike behind you. This last section goes back into the mountains.

As you begin to lose sight of the valley, you’ll get to an area that can be called “the gate.” It looks like an entryway into something. When standing just below that area just before sun-up — there’s a little cold-sink there — it is certainly a nice, cool break on a warm summer morning.

About a five minute hike from there you’ll see the Hidden Valley through the trees on the left. Hidden Valley is not your destination, but is among the many points of interest along the way.

Take the trail for another 15 to 20 minutes, and you’ll end up looking down into the back end of Taylor’s Canyon and up at Mount Ogden. There are plans to connect this section of the trail to the east end of Taylor’s, but that hasn’t happened yet.

Total time one way is anywhere from one hour and 10 minutes to one hour and 45 minutes depending on your endurance.

If you are looking for a hike whose early demands end up with a nice reward at the finish, the Hidden Valley Trail is for you. Enjoy the level walk for the last few minutes and the great view of the peaks it provides.

Take a Hike is coordinated by the Ogden Trails Network. It appears monthly in Xplore (as space allows) and online at www.xploreutah.net. The Ogden Trails Network is now on Facebook. Share your favorite hikes and photos there.

Trail facts

  • Degree of difficulty: Moderate to difficult
  • Elevation gain: 2,000 feet
  • Restrooms: None
  • Kid friendly: No, due to steep areas of trail
  • Pets: Once on the Hidden Valley Trail you are outside the city limits, so no restrictions

Marshall Konzen

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OGDEN NATURE CENTER

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.

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