The best things about this course are the views. During the first 6 miles you have spectacular views of Ogden Valley. Looking to the east you'll see the sunrise on James Peak and Powder Mountain Ski area. Once you hit the saddle you have a killer ridge line trail with views south to Salt Lake City and north to Cache Valley
This run does not disappoint in any way. Unless you are expecting something lame. In that case you'll be disappointed.
The race generally starts just outside the south gate of North Fork Park in Liberty. After a short run up the road you'll see a sign for the corrals. Run past the corrals and look for the Ben Lomond Trail
trailhead just to the west of the corrals.
The Ben Lomond Trail
is almost exactly 6 miles to the ridge. You'll almost always see at least 1 moose on this trail. It passes through scrub oak, quakies, and pines. You hit the ridge right at what is referred to as "The Saddle". This is also Aid Station 1 if you are participating in the race.
At The Saddle, intersect the Skyline Trail
which is also part of the Great Western Trail. From this intersection you head south east on the Skyline Trail
toward the North Ogden Divide. It is a fun fast downhill. Once you hit the final switchbacks before the road, the ground looses up and is rather rocky and loose. Try to stay on you feet. It hurts when you go down.
You cross a road just over 12.5 miles into the run. There is a paved parking area located at the summit. A number of trail intersect here including the Skyline Trail
and the Pioneer Trail.
From the parking lot you start to climb again. You continue on the Skyline Trail
or what is referred to as the Southern Skyline Trail
. It is a grind! At about 14.6 miles you come to an intersection where you can turn left (east) or continue climbing up the trail. Don't take the turn. The route climbs to the highest point you can see on the ridge. There are a number of overlooks and offshoot trails, stay on the mail trail.
Once you reach the high point of the ridge, you start downhill for a short while before you take a slight right (west), dropping behind the ridge to the west side of the range. From there you'll come to another intersection. This intersection is referred to as the "Lewis Peak Saddle". You'll have the option of continuing south, which will take you to Lewis Peak, or taking a right, nearly 170 degree, turn back to the east. Turn east and head downhill. Sometimes there is a sign here and sometimes not.
Now you are on the downhill and it is awesome! The descent is about 7.5 miles of really cool singletrack. All the while, you'll enjoy looking at beautiful Ogden Valley and Pineview reservoir.
A the bottom of the Skyline Trail
you'll see a parking lot. This lot is for the Windsurfer Beach. At the north end of the lot where the vehicles enter there is another trailhead. It is the Pineview Trail.
The Pineview Trail skirts along the shoreline. Follow this trail as it crosses the boat ramp and continues north. It comes up the the highway just before the Yacht Club entrance. Continue past the Yacht club down a dirt road. This is the "Old Road" that was used before the level of the lake was raised.
At the end of the dirt road there is a sign and some boulders. You'll want to continue through them and take an immediate left hand turn (west). You are now on the North Arm Trail.
Follow this to the trailhead. From here you are officially done with the singletrack. If racing, you have just about 1 mile on the paved path down the home stretch. The finish line is at a beautiful old red brick church that is now called the Hearthside Reception Center.