Great Western Trail to Layton PeakYou can make a loop hike using this trail for the ascent, bag Layton and Thurston peaks, then descend via the community trail. The Great Western trail route is a very nice trail obviously designed by the Forest Service -- complete with switchbacks. The trail is much easier than Community trail since at one time it was actually cut into the hillside; it's not so loose and full of gullies. You also get to walk through a nice forest with tall trees, and visit an obvious camping area.
Getting ThereStart at the Fernwood trail access (same as Community Trail).
Route DescriptionStarting from the Fernwood trail head, go north on the Bonneville Shoreline trail. At 1.18 miles, the trail will split. Go right on the Great Western trail. The trail will switchback for a while, and then you will enter a thick forest. From the bottom of the mountain, you would never imagine a forest (with trees of this height) exists on the side of this mountain. It is certainly not visible from the valley floor.
At 5.21 miles there is a spring which has been improved with PVC pipe. At 5.5 miles, you'll encounter a campsite complete with an old iron stove and 4 folding metal chairs. It is very important you make a 90 degree left turn here at the campsite. The trail also continues to go straight, but you do NOT want to go there (the trail goes down, not up).
After you make that left hand turn, you'll head over to some rocks with cairns, then a very steep section until you crest "Chin Scraper" peak. You've now met up with Community Trail, and should see two large cairns -- 6 miles from your start at Fernwood.
It is now 0.4 miles to the top of Layton peak. There is no real "trail", but it is easy to find your way to the top.