As an ATV rider, finding a trail I haven’t ridden before is like finding ATV treasure. I have been on the Mantua Trails and have enjoyed many trips to Inspiration Point. From there, the views of Ogden Valley are remarkable, especially at night.
A friend in the NUATV Club told me about a trail that would take me from Mantua over the mountain into Eden and Liberty. Interested in finding that trail, I took some friends and we were headed for adventure.
After a breakfast at the Little Valley Country Store in Mantua, we drove south on the Willard Peak Road to a staging area on the left side of the road at the city limits. Denise, who runs the only place to eat in this growing community, serves meals worth stopping to enjoy.
Passing Flume Hollow on our right, we followed Box Elder Creek south. Devil’s Hole Canyon was on our left as we reached Dock Flats.
A 50-inch trail climbs out of the flats on the east side of the camping area. The Forest Service cut this trail into the side of the mountain a few years ago. It is one I always enjoy taking as it winds through the woods on a track that will make you forget about civilization.
Coming out on the main road, we turned south again and continued to climb. The road split with the right fork continuing up to Inspiration Point. We took the track to the left.
Signs at the junction are a little confusing. One of them is a no trespassing sign and the other is a carsonite sign indicating that the road is a dead end for trucks and cars. The no trespassing sign is situated in such a way that you might think that the road is private when in fact, it is only the property on either side that is off limits to the public.
The left track took us down along the edge of Devil’s Gate Valley where we came to a reservoir. A well-designed dam formed a large pond that featured a home for a colony of beavers. We could see other dams further down the valley that is also managed by these crafty critters.
Continuing on the trail, a tree was down that partially blocked the road. Closer inspection revealed that it was also the work of those dam builders. Wood chips surrounded the base of the tree and about a foot up the trunk was the evidence of busy buck teeth.
Passing a couple of youth camps, we came to the entrance of the trail we had been hunting. It has a 60-inch restriction and it is marked for seasonal use. In other words, it is closed during the winter months. While there are some rocky sections on this trail, for the most part it is a delightful ride.
Divided into three sections, the first part takes you through stands of aspen and thick dark forests of tall pine. It makes you feel like stopping, sitting on a stump, and having a snack while you appreciate the beauty of it all. However, being a foodie, it doesn’t take much to inspire a snack.
The second section crosses a flat with a stop in the middle to open a barbed-wire gate. It is important to close it after you, but the pause gives opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding mountains.
After passing the Beehive Mine, the third section plunges you back into the woods. However, it also features some challenging sections that are a little rocky and where the trail has some deep holes from spring runoff.
Coming to the last of three 60-inch gates, the trail joins Highway 191, a dirt road that will take you into Eden. We made the round trip of about 47 miles in about five hours which included a stop for some great pizza.
The trip back was just as fun as the trip in. However, after reaching the junction that took us down by the beaver ponds, at the next turn, we took another 50-inch trail that joins the one that we started on at Dock Flats. I didn’t realize that the two were connected.
This trail also winds on a fun trail through the dark woods with some tight turns that will challenge your riding skills. When you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down, and enjoy these ATV treasures on the Mantua Trails.