Before You Hit the Trails— 5 tips to Stay Safe and 4 Places to Go!

Friday, May 12, 2017 - 11:30am
Tami L. Johnson

Spring is one of the greatest times to get outdoors and dust off those hiking shoes! Everything is looking fresh and green, and the air smells clean. Plus, the best part is—there are dozens of easy, moderate, and difficult hiking trails nearby—depending on your skill level and your overall interest.

But first, here are 5 tips for staying safe on the trails:

1.Be Prepared!

Research where you are going first. Become familiar with the local roads, directions, and even wild life near the trail. Also, look into the climate, the flow of rivers (particularly in the spring season), and mountain ranges. Make it a habit of carrying a basic survival kit/first aid kit in your backpack.  Wear the proper clothing for the season. Of course, bring along plenty of FOOD! In addition, have handy, useful ways to start a fire.

2.Make Others Aware of your Destination

ALWAYS tell two or three people where you are intending to go. Also, let them know when you expect to return. This way, if you do not return within the time frame you mentioned, authorities can be quickly notified. Since this can be a matter of life or death, the sooner the emergency crews are told, the faster they can respond.

3.Take a friend/family member with you

Never go hiking solo.  Even with experienced hikers in the outdoors there are risks involved. Don’t take the risk.  It only takes one unlucky incident to happen.  It is always safer to go in two’s and three’s or even a big group.  Plus, it’s definitely more enjoyable to share the trail with others.

4. Carry Enough Water

Drink plenty of water as you are hiking and make sure you bring along enough as well. The recommended amount of water per person is 3 liters. This includes all hikes—even the short, easy ones.  A good idea is to also have extra water in your vehicle when you return. Most importantly is to make sure you’re fully hydrated BEFORE you start hiking. Know the signs of dehydration and frequently stop to hydrate. Also, consider bringing options to purify water in case you run out.

5.Wear Comfortable Footwear

Wear supportive, closed footwear and comfortable socks. Hiking boots are best.  If you do not have boots, wear comfortable shoes with thick soles.  Make sure to take an extra pair of socks as well--especially if you are going on a longer hike. 

Of course, there are several other tips to keep you safe while hiking but these are simply some basics. 

Now, here are some fun places to explore the mountains in Ogden:

*Malan’s Peak

This peak’s summit offers views of both the Valley and Great Salt Lake. Somewhat steep but easy to find. 

Start: Near the east end of 29th Street in Ogden

Distance: 5.5mile loop

Difficulty: Moderate


*Birdsong Trail

Start: Located along the east bench in Ogden.  Trailheads for Birdsong are in the northwest corner of Rainbow Gardens parking lot and another is at Fillmore Avenue and 20th Street. You’ll be sure to see several springs and a variety of birds on this trail.

Distance: About 1 mile round trip

Difficulty: Easy


*Rainbow Trail

Start: Rainbow Gardens parking lot just East of 12th Street. The trail briefly overlaps with the Bonneville Shoreline Trail before moving up the mountain. Very good trail for beginners.

Distance: about 2 miles round trip

Difficulty: Moderate


*Ben Lomond Peak

This mountain face is well-known in Ogden standing at 9,712 ft. It is the highest peak overlooking the area. It requires a full day of hiking but many have said it is well worth it.  Hikers can see as far as the Idaho border and Salt Lake City.

Start: a trailhead for Ben Lomond Peak can be found at North Fork Park near Liberty.  The sign for the trailhead is found near the horse corrals at the end of the park.

Distance: 15.2 miles round trip.

Difficulty: Hard