This long-range project is dedicated to purposefully establishing the Great Western Trail (GWT) through the state of Utah, from north to south, for all types of trail users. First conceived of in the 1970s as a trail that would run from the Canadian Border through five Western states to Mexico, the GWT has largely existed only as a concept. Even though it was declared as Utah’s Centennial Trail in 1996 by Govern Leavitt and designated one of 16 National Millennium Trails by the White House and the Department of Transportation, it has largely been left alone. Existing trails, jeep roads, and ATV trails have acquired the GWT moniker in places but realizing the trail as a connected, backcountry, through route in Utah for a variety of users has remained elusive.
Starting in the Wasatch Mountains, we are now working to identify trail improvements and new trail segments that could better establish the trail for communities living along the Wasatch Front. Trails Utah is committed to reviving the concept and the trail itself, connecting people to the spectacular landscapes of our state from one end to the other. This trail should be recognized nationally as the Utah backbone that it is.
The trail begins at the Idaho border west of Bear Lake north of Beaver Mountain. It then passes down towards the Wasatch Front near Peter Sink and Hardware Ranch. Coming along the North Ogden Divide the trail winds it way throughout the Wasatch over mountain passes and moving down through Brighton Ski Resort, around Mount Timpanogos, and south to Skyline Drive. Trails continue past Fish Lake moving south near Bryce Canyon National Park, Deer Springs Wash, through the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and leaving the state east of Kanab before reaching Page, Arizona.
The Great Western Trail encompasses many of the popular trails throughout the State. Some segments are non-motorized; some are shared use, while other portions were developed for motorized use. The Great Western Trail ought to be an icon in Utah backcountry access.