Welcome to the trail!
Whenever the the heat in the valley gets unbearably hot, we like to head up to Powder Mountain to those higher-elevation trails that are often 10 to 15 degrees below the temps on the valley floor. Brim Trail is a great tyke-friendly, mostly flat trail through aspens that gets you out of the heat and into the cool(er) mountain air. Plus, right now (mid June - July) is wildflower time! You’d don’t want to miss this one!
How to get there
Drive 7.2 miles north past Valley Market in Eden on Highway 158 towards Powder Mountain. At the top of the hill, turn right on Summit Pass and drive another 2.8 miles till the road ends at a large dirt parking lot with a giant nest sculpture on the east side. There are no restrooms at this trailhead.
Trail at a glance
Total distance: 1 mile one way (2 miles round trip out and back)
Elevation gain: ~180 feet
Destination: open meadow with views of Pineview and Snowbasin
Tyke perks: nest sculpture in parking lot, “ostrich trees” (that’s what we call those trees that are zigzag shaped thanks to the snow), partly shaded, reservoir views, caterpillar nests on chokecherry bushes (seems weird, but there are tons of them and my kids loved spotting and examining them along the path), fairly flat, wildflowers
Notable flora: flowers (so many!) (hyssop, larkspur, forget-me-not, geranium, blue bell, columbine, valerian, mules ear, lupine, paintbrush, penstemon), trees (aspen, fir, chokecherry), sagebrush, false hellebore
Fascinating fauna: moose, deer, black bears (I haven’t seen them, but I hear there are a couple that roam around PowMow, so be aware), ants
Watch out for:
bikes (this is a suuuuper popular biking trail, so it’s almost guaranteed you’ll encounter some bikers anytime you go, but weekday mornings seem to be a little less busy?)
flies (they were really quite plentiful on our recent visit and kind of annoying if you tried to rest in the shade)
trail closures (be sure to check PowMow’s twitter feed or trail status page to make sure the trails are open for use - since they are at such a high elevation, they are usually not open till July to give the dirt time to dry and the crews to prepare the paths after winter - this drought in 2021 has allowed them to open as early as I’ve ever seen! - plus they often have events that close the trails to the public)
While you’re hiking
The trail starts at the southwest corner of the lot near some large foil-covered boulders (I have no idea why or how they are like this, but it’s a bonus kid perk because they can climb on them and marvel at the shiny surface!). You’ll see a roped off dirt road to the left of the boulders and a single track trail with a sign indicating Brim Trail just to the right of them. Start hiking here, heading west.
You’ll pass through an aspen forest with a few firs thrown in. A lot of the bigger firs off the trail have died and are cut and stacked into giant piles, I’m assuming for fire control. But there is still a good amount of shade along the trail.
You’ll also see a lovely variety of blue and white wildflowers, and even red paintbrush depending on time of year. (Another fun thing to note is the surprising lack of dyer’s woad - so refreshing to see some new blooms once in a while!)
In a half mile the trail splits for a few feet then comes together again. (For some reason whenever we encounter spots like this I always sing “you take the high road and I’ll take the low road . . . " like I’m some sort of Scottish folk singer. Ha.)
Keep following the trail through the trees heading in a generally westerly direction. At mile 0.8 there will be a fork that makes a sharp turn back to the right/east. Don’t take this! Just stay on the trail you started on.
At mile 0.9 the trail starts to curve to the south and open up into a big mules ear and sagebrush meadow. You may be able to spy Pineview Reservoir soon way up ahead of you to the south.
In another tenth of a mile, right about 1 mile into the hike, you’ll come to a crossroads where the Brim Trail crosses that dirt road you saw at the parking lot. This is where we make our destination, have our snacks, take our photos, rest in the shade of a chokecherry bush (these are the ones with the crazy caterpillar nests that may be fascinating or revolting depending on your tyke's interest).
Of course you can continue on the Brim Trail as far as you want, and if you’re really adventurous it will eventually take you back to the parking lot in a 6.5 mile loop. If you want to explore further down the dirt road through the mules ears and paintbrush, it’s a lovely downhill walk for about a half mile with views of Snowbasin and surrounding mountains until you reach private property and have to return. (Note: this side trip also adds about 280 more feet of elevation that you’ll have to climb to get back - it’s easy downhill getting out, but the return climb can feel long for little legs.)
When you’re ready, just head back to your car the way you came (and make sure to stay on the right/upper fork that will be more prominent coming back this way at the 1.2 mile total mark (0.2 back from the crossroads)).
I hope you’ll get a chance to hike this one when it’s hot down low and the flowers are blooming up high!
Here’s me and my tykes in the meadow with Pineview behind, way back in 2018 when they were tiny! (Wah!) I’d love to feature you and your tykes on a hike in this spot next week! Just hit reply and let me know what adventures you’ve been loving lately! Happy trails!