If you like to ski and live in the Ogden, UT area, you’ve likely heard of people skiing the “back side of Ben Lomond”. Since taking my AIARE 1 class, this has been on the list of areas to check out. However, when doing research on where to go, we were having trouble finding any clear directions, so, here it is!
*This is just the route we took, on a day when avalanche danger was low. Make sure to check the avalanche forecast and weather before heading out*
Where to park:
North Fork Park, Ben Lomond Trailhead. You can see the location here.
Where to go:
The route will start off on a service road, where you’ll quickly connect up to the nordic trail. When you reach the first Y in the road, turn left, turn right. On the left you’ll see a turn off, this will take you to the Mule Trail. (In my Strava route below, you’ll see we made the mistake of turning left here and had to loop back around.) Continue past this turnoff, following signs towards Ben Lomond. About ¼ mile down the road, you’ll see the turn off on the left. There will be a bathroom on the right. If you reach the bathroom, you’ve missed the turnoff.
Once you reach the skin track, it’s pretty well defined. Follow this along for another 1.5 or so, and you’ll reach the dead tree area. There will be a weather station on the right side of the skin track. We transitioned, and headed back down in the general direction of where we came from. We skied down a few pitch on the south side of the skin track, and one on the north side of the skin track, then pretty much followed the skin track all the way back down to the nordic center. Next time, we will definitely plan on staying out a bit longer. But this was a perfect first introduction to the zone.
This trail is overall pretty mellow, with 2300 feet of gain over 3 miles (I had to borrow data from a friend after pausing and not resuming my watch!) . I only had to put up my risers one time, for a few hundred feet of climbing.