Eyrie Peak (8136), sitting astride the South Skyline Trail is Utah’s 86th peak of prominence and it is also rated as Utah’s 1,320th highest peak. Despite it being a peak of prominence, Eyrie is rarely attempted as a primary destination and, instead, is usually bagged on the way to Lewis Peak. The hike is a non-technical ~6.5 mile (rountrip) hike through forest switchbacks and along a traverse. Eyrie’s summit offers great views of Pineview Reservoir to the east, Ben Lomond and Willard Peaks to the north, Mt. Ogden to the south and Ogden City to the west.
Name wise, the peak is listed as “8136” on USGS maps and seems to be known as “Eyrie Peak” informally.
When To Climb
Eyrie is good anytime of the year and each season brings a completely different flavor. There are no significant obstacles except vertical rise to overcome, so you don’t have to worry about any special equipment for most of the year. Your only required skill is endurance. During the summer, the trail gets above the heat with the first two miles of the trail shaded and the rest of the trip is pleasantly breezy. Spring may be muddy with remnant snow patches—the wildflowers also come out in force if you missed them at lower altitudes. The snow is mostly melted by May
Your trip to the summit in the winter depends on whether you are first up the hill; first up on snowshoes can be hard and you might find yourself breaking trail for three miles…it’s pretty exhausting! On the other hand, Ogden is prone to temperature inversion smog and the hike puts you high above it with breathtaking blue skies. The views of the surrounding mountains are really something to see. Snowshoes
are near mandatory for most of the winter.
The North Ogden Divide South Skyline Route
to Eyrie is rarely crowded but it is multi-use by hikers, bikers, joggers, horsemen and dirt bikers.
The South Skyline Trail from the North Ogden Divide Trailhead is the nearest approach to Eyrie Peak and is ~3.5 miles from trailhead to summit. The first 2 miles is a series up switchbacks up the side of the mountain through the forest. The trail is well marked and maintained. Once the switchbacks reach the traverse, the trail runs North/South and continues on the South Skyline Trail. At ~2.5 there is a cross road marked with signs where trails from Pineview join the South Skyline Trail. Continue South on the traverse up the deceptively steep 8110. Cross hills 8110 and 8086 (about .5 miles) until you the trail you see a rock cairn at the Eyrie’s saddle base. The trail splits to either continue on to Lewis Peak or up 100 yards to Eyrie’s Summit. Go up the steep last 100 yards to the summit and enjoy the view!
If you are pressing toward Lewis Peak, simply continue down the Eyrie’s south slope and rejoin the South Skyline trail. Lewis Peak is ~2 more miles on the trail.
For distance hikers, the South Skyline Trail is part of the Great Western Trail which is marked by the occasional blue blazes (either painted on the ground or on trees). These blazes are few and aren’t very reliable. From Pineview Reservoir, the Great Western reaches the South Skyline Trail traverse heads north and becomes the North Skyline Trail (to Ben Lomond) at the North Ogden Divide Trailhead.
From Lists of John
UT Peaks Rank: 1,320
UT Peaks of Prominence Rank: 86
Quad: North Ogden
Coords : 41.2867°N, 111.8952°W
Hike Length: 3.5 miles one way
Hike Time: 3-4 hours (slow hiker)
Trailhead to Summit Vertical: 1956 feet (~600 per mile)
Difficulty: YDS 1 all the way
There are very few hazards summiting 8136. The hike is YDS 1 all the way on maintained trail with no significant obstacles to climb, ford, or scale. The mega-fauna is shy and there is very little sign that they inhabit the area at all. Bugs are negligible.
The biggest safety considerations are the weather, wind and other trail users.
Since about half the hike is on an exposed traverse, it gets windy and cold. Many summiteers are fooled by the mild temperatures and lack of wind at the trailhead and expose themselves to brutally cold 40-mile an hour winter winds atop the traverse. In addition, lack of water resupply on the trail means you have to carry what you want to drink. While it doesn’t get too terribly hot atop the traverse (see wind statement), it does get sunny--wear sunscreen.
The Skyline Trail is a unique, multi-use trail. The occasional motorcycles on the trail are easy to avoid because you can hear them as they approach. The biggest danger is an inadvertent collision with a mountain bike on the switchback portion of the hike. The route is steep and sometimes the bikers either lose control or get overly enthusiastic during their descents.
The closest approach is the North Ogden Divide Trailhead is located at 41.320268,-111.899164
From I-15, Take exit 344 (the 12th Street exit). Drive East on 12th Street for 2 miles. Turn North onto Washington and drive toward Ben Lomond for about 3.5 miles. Turn right onto 3100N and continue up N. Ogden Canyon Road. The North Ogden Divide Trailhead will be on the top (about 3 miles) on your right. It’s big, you can’t miss it!
The trailhead doesn't have a water source but it does have an outhouse style bathroom facility. There is parking for about 30 vehicles and can accommodate horse/motor cycle trailers. The Info Kiosk has a poster map of the area and safety info. There is a monument with general historical info about the trail and the area.
There isn’t a readily available water resupply point on the anywhere on South Skyline Trail route, so you need to bring your own.
There is an alternate trailhead near Pineview reservoir, on Highway 158 at Windsurfer Beach, that doubles the length of the hike and is popular with mountain bikers.
Red Tape and Camping
Red tape is minimal as you are on forest service land in the Wasatch National Forest for the whole hike. Be careful with any fires and abide by USFS regulations. Dogs and horses are allowed on the trails.
ATVs and motorcycles also may be used on Skyline Trail but be sure to check out restrictions (e.g. like using the trails only when they are dry). Mountain biking is allowed.
There aren’t any formal camping sites in the general area, although there are plenty of spots for primitive camping. Use established fire rings whenever possible and practice “leave no trace” camping. Lack of water in the area could prove to be a limiting factor.
Flora and FaunaEyrie peak and the surrounding area is loaded with wildlife including moose, deer, elk, mountain goats, rabbits, squirrels, and the like. Predators in area include coyotes, fox, bobcat and mountain lion. Like everywhere else in Utah, watch out for rattlesnakes.
The area has the usual Utah complement of Gambel Oak, Sage, Canyon Maple, White Fir and some pretty darn cool wildflowers in the spring.