Saturday, March 05, 2011

Strong Canyon Trail March 2011

I needed to get a little exercise today and yet still get some stuff done around the house.  My wife wasn't feel a hundred percent, but needed to get out.  We had seen some sort of construction happening on the bench of the mountain near what we think are water tanks and we have been curious about what it is.  We usually go up the 29th street trail head to go to waterfall canyon, but don't know many other trail heads in Ogden, Utah.  We decided to take a leisurely drive and explore.

We found two parks right next to each other, both touting that they had the 32nd street trail head.  One park was Mount Ogden Park and the other was Marquardt Park.  Both trails did not look like trails and were still a bit far from where we wanted to go.  Maybe the snow just had the trails obscured, but the trail head appeared to have a lot of brush blocking the way.

We finally got the 36th street and found a small parking lot and a trail head.  I looked on the trail map the forest service distributes and the trail head was there, but the trail was not named.  The signs said that it was Strong Canyon trail and the creek that runs next to it is Strong Creek.

It turned out that what is being built is a five million gallon water tank, which will replace the two existing tanks that together hold 2.5 million gallons.

The trail reminded me a lot of Waterfall Canyon and runs parallel to it.  It was much quicker to get to this stream than to get to the one in Waterfall Canyon, so if someone wants to get to a stream on a short hike this is a good one for you.  From what the signs and maps said, it appeared as though you could get to Waterfall Canyon by going up Strong Canyon and then cutting across Bonneville Shoreline trail.  It appeared that this might be shorter in distance and also a more pleasant hike to get to Waterfall Canyon than what hiking from the 29th Street trail head is.

As much as it reminded me of Waterfall Canyon trail, Strong Creek did feel like it had more natural debris in the water than the creak that goes up Waterfall Canyon.  It was just my perception.  I couldn’t say for sure without a side by side comparison.  Perhaps it is just the time of year and when the spring thaw comes it will float a lot of the clutter downstream and onto the banks.

It also reminded me a bit of what I have heard of Malan’s Basin with various pieces of old debris on the side of the creek opposite the trail.  There was what appeared to be an old rusting truck and a big, thick metal trailer or something.  There were also various grates and other metal devices that appeared to be there to route and measure the water.  I assume the devices were routing the water to the old water tanks and might be used for the new ones.

The trail had a canopy of what I think are called scrub oak trees.  I prefer pine trees, but it likely would make for a shady and pleasant hike in the heat of summer.

At the beginning of the trail there were some benches to sit on by the creek.  It also appeared that there use to be fitness sorts of things like chin up bars before the construction of the new water tanks began.  It would be nice for those to return after construction is complete, but I don’t know what the plans are.

We did not continue all the way up the trail, but I from what I have read it would be nice the entire way and end at Bonneville Shoreline trial.  I look forward to going to rest of the way someday.

I don’t know how it is in the summer, but even with snow covering the trail there were mosquitoes flying around at our knees.  I hope they aren’t bad in the summer.

There were some caves high above the canyon, but it was difficult to see there through the canopy.  My 11 year old boy was going on that he had seen a bear poke its head out of one of them.  I don’t think we have bears around Ogden, Utah, but who knows.

If you need a short scenic hike Strong Canyon along Strong Creek is a good one.  I saw that there is also a loop trail near this trail if you are looking for that sort of thing.  Those are always nice if you are looking to get in some exercise and yet stay close to the base of the mountain in case you need to get back quickly.

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