“A beautiful trail along creek to the ridge line.”
— David DeBry
Features: Fall Colors — River/Creek — Views
Much of this trail is not runnable, especially after the third river crossing, unless you are in excellent shape.
From the trailhead in Fruit Heights, you'll begin a strenuous climb in the canyon for approximately 2.5 miles. Be warned that you'll cross the creek 3 times but only get your feet wet at the second crossing in early summer. After ~2.5 miles you begin a steep ascent up out of the canyon on the north side. You can see the radar towers from this and multiple points, but don't be deceived...they are still far away.
Continue along a ridge, then bank right, and then up the side of the ridge through a beautiful fern forest. After this point you come out to the exposed mountainside where you have still about 1.5 miles to go. The last 3/4 mile is straight up and the locals call it "dead man's march." You'll top out on the road, which doubles as part of the Great Western Trail at this point. If you like, you can run ~1 mile south to the radar towers, but the road is the end of the actual Bair Canyon Trail.
Once you reach the top, you might have cause to celebrate, but the hike/run down is very painful on the quads because of the steepness. You may be sore for days, but don't let any of this stop you.
The trail is beautiful, in the shade much of the time, and you won't see many people after the third and last river crossing. There are many small waterfalls and great views out into the valley. As a side note, this trail is also beautiful in the winter because the snow gets deep and not many people visit.
Note: The switchbacks at the top of the trail have grown over and it is just straight up at the end.
Flora & Fauna
Have seen moose and elk tracks, but not many animals.