In 1922, a group of Weber College students made the steep hike up Mount Ogden. Now, Weber State University students are continuing the tradition.
On Oct. 1, three days from the anniversary of when the first hike was done 94 years ago, WSU students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members will climb Mount Ogden to celebrate Homecoming Week.
“We try to carry on the tradition of being outside with fellow Wildcats,” said Mike Henderson, WSU Outdoor Program assistant coordinator. “It’s a different way to get out and show your school spirit without necessarily going to the standard pep rally or football game.”
During the inaugural hike, a group of nearly 350 people reached the summit of the mountain and erected a 20-foot steel flagpole. Since then, an annual hike to that same spot has been held intermittently. It was officially reestablished as a tradition in 1987.
This year’s participants can choose from three trails: The Taylor Canyon trail is 10.2 miles round trip from the trailhead on 27th Street, the Beus Canyon trail is 12 miles round trip from the trailhead on 46th Street and the Snowbasin trail is 8 miles round trip starting from the main parking lot.
Outdoor Program employees will guide the hike from the Snowbasin route. Free bus transportation to Snowbasin will leave from University Village at 7:15 a.m. and the Browning Center at 7:35 a.m.
Mount Ogden is the third-highest summit in Weber County, and the hike from Snowbasin boasts a 3,400-foot elevation gain. Even so, Daniel Turner, the Outdoor Program coordinator, said the hike is suitable for experienced climbers and novice hikers alike.
“I would encourage people of any skill level to join one of our guided hiking groups,” Turner said. “Show up with appropriate footwear, water and some snacks, and you’ll certainly be successful in hiking with a group.”
Bradie Jones, recent graduate from the University of Utah, hiked Mount Ogden while getting her associate degree at WSU.
“The trail is amazing,” Jones said. “You get this view of the magnificent valley below, and you can see Weber State and all the buildings.”
Jones said the hike is strenuous but doable.
“It’s definitely an awesome experience, especially if you’re a first-time mountaineer,” she said. “On the Wasatch front especially, Mount Ogden is a one-of-a-kind mountain to be climbed. If you’re going to climb one, you might as well climb Mount Ogden.”
A traditional hike program will take place on the saddle of the mountain at noon. WSU President Chuck Wight will deliver a speech, and participants will have the chance to win free prizes, like Snowbasin lift tickets and sleeping pads.
After the hike, participants at Snowbasin can ride the gondola back down the mountain. Buses will leave Snowbasin and return to campus at 4 p.m.
“This is one of the ways we can get people out into the resources that we have,” Henderson said. “For us at the Outdoor Program, that’s what we like to do. We get psyched about getting other people psyched about being outside.”