Words by AJ Turner
In most outdoor recreation circles, the term “Epic” only gets thrown around after a certain amount of required incidents occur. Typically something has to go wrong, something has to break, people get lost, and inclement weather is an absolute must.
Our voyage into the gravel roads near Ogden, Utah certainly checked all of these boxes, and more. Right off the bat, the route was questionable. With an odd winter, we hedged our bets on possibly climbing up over Avon Pass. Typically snowed in, well until May, we took a gamble - anxious for adventure.
After an extremely brisk 10AM start and slog up the canyon toward Eden, we began the slow gravel climb towards Avon. What started as a few passable snow patches, soon became longer and longer stretches through more questionable conditions.
Undeterred, we made it to the top, and begun our treacherous descent. Seemingly mile-long stretches descending on pure ice awoke all of our frozen senses and kept the adrenaline levels on high. Snek winter caps kept our heads sharp, naturally.
Only a few slides and crashes, we made it to the aptly named, Paradise, Utah - relatively unscathed. A quick refuel, and we turned back south on an abandoned Old-Sardine Pass road.
Through overgrowth, boulders, and of course gravel - we came to our biggest hurdle yet - an 8- foot tall barb wire fence.
Not shown on the map, and now thoroughly lost - we team carried bikes over the fence to quickly realize that we were actually lost. An alternate route, hiking down the side of the mountain to the highway put us back on track - barely.
With a new found sense of accomplishment in overcoming barriers and finding our way, we slogged back through Brigham City and toward Ogden into - of course - a headwind. Not the easiest, best, or even most fun ride - this was still one for the books, and fell very clearly into the, “Type 3 Fun” category. All the while, we kept our cool, enjoyed some company with good riding friends, and stayed very Snēk.
Download the route. We recommend an alternate route than the Old Sardine Road Segment however unless you want to climb an 8ft fence and hike down to the highway below. Enjoy!
Totals: 83 miles, 5,000 ft vertical, 6 hrs