Wildflowers surround The Ramp hiking trail in Ogden, Utah. (Emily Crooks/ The Signpost)
Wildflowers surround The Ramp hiking trail in Ogden, Utah. (Emily Crooks/ The Signpost)

Waterfall Canyon is usually most hikers’ first stop in the Ogden area. It is a simple 35 minutes from the 29th Street parking lot with great views of the waterfall and a nice way to meet a lot of people all at once.

But once you’ve experienced Waterfall Canyon and caught the “hiking bug,” there is much more to explore. The trail system just behind Weber State University is a wonderful and unique feature of Northern Utah. The main system, the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, runs through several counties. If you are not in Weber County, simply search “trails” and your ZIP code, and you can find a wealth of trails.

The Ramp is one of several hikes worth discovering close to the Ogden campus. Here are key details to help you get started:

The Ramp

Trailhead: 22nd Street (take it east until it dead-ends at the trailhead parking lot)

Difficulty: Similar to a 32-minute Stairmaster, good shoes required.

Distance: Parking lot to peak: 2 miles

Time: Parking lot to peak: 35 minutes

Precautions: Watch for cacti on the sides of the trail. Take a half-gallon of water, especially if it’s your first hike in a while. Multiple interconnecting trails can cause confusion.

This is a beginner-level hike that most people don’t know about. Starting at the 22nd Street Trail parking lot, it is a fun but rewarding hike, comparable to Waterfall Canyon but with not nearly as many people.

Shortly after the trail starts and winds to the right, you’ll cross the first of three interconnecting trails. The trick  is to keep heading towards the mountain. It will zig-zag a little, but stay the course, and you will come to the final trail marker that says “The Ramp” on the lowest sign. From there, walk until you reach the side of the rock wall. The trail isn’t clearly marked here, but have a little faith, and stay on the path, and you’ll find yourself at the start of the trail.

There is a cactus to your left and on both sides of the trail going up to the top, so watch where you put your hands and feet.

About halfway up The Ramp, I ran into my first hiker. After a moment, I realized he was an old friend of mine from high school. Despite graduating from Ogden High School years ago, Tyler Porter was on The Ramp for his first time.

“I was just following the trails to see where it would take me,” Porter said. His advice was to “Pack water, a poncho, and if you pack it in, you must pack it out.”

After our chat, I continued to the top. The three-quarter-way mark is where it starts to get a little rough, but if you can charge through it, you’ll get a sense of accomplishment and a killer view as a reward.

I decided to have lunch at the top, and within a few moments, I heard a group of hikers coming from the other side of The Ramp that connects to the 27th Street Trailhead via Taylors Canyon, a technical and dangerous hike, due to the sweet grass that grows on that part of the trail that makes it slippery.

The two married couples—Barrett and Katlyn Wilson, recently moved from Tennessee, and Michael and Brooke Bock, visiting from Tennessee—were on their first hike in Utah. We shook hands and talked about other trails, had a group photo taken and they proceeded down The Ramp to finish their hike.

Enjoying the views, I noticed the clouds were getting dark, so I found a spot and rode out the storm. It was incredible to see the rain at the different elevations splashing off the rocks. It made the climb down interesting, but thanks to good shoes and a strong desire to return home, I made it to the parking lot with minimal slippage and zero injuries.

Through the summer, I’ll explore other trails and report back. I hope to see you there.

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