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Length: 2.6 miles            Time: 4 hours
Difficulty: Strenuous        Elevation Gain: 1987 feet

12.1 Farmington Spine Trail - Upper Canyon Section

Description: Section #12.2 goes from the BST (#1.6) (firebreak road), ascends the foothills, and goes north to Farmington Canyon. The trail follows the ridge or “spine” of the mountain as you pass the trailhead to the Old Aqueduct Trail (#24.2) and begins seven switchbacks up the face of the mountain.  At the last switchback, there is a short trail spur around the face of the west side of the mountain to a great viewing area at Panorama Point (POI #15). There is a flat jade rock to use as a bench and enjoy the view.

Return to the trail and look for the “subway” or natural depression on the ridge (POI #16). The natural depression makes following the trail easy. It goes straight up the top of the ridge to a “saddle” area where it joins section #12.1.

Access Locations:
Access #1 - BST: From Main Street, go east on 600 N., then north on 100 E. (Farmington Canyon Rd.). Continue up the canyon to the firebreak road on your right. If you reach the bridge, you have gone too far. Drive or walk south along the firebreak road toward the first small canyon on your left (Rudd Canyon). Look for the trailhead at a draw before you reach the canyon. Go east through a buck rail fence then head east up the hillside. The trail ascends the hillside with some switchbacks. Turn north (left) when you reach the shelf and head toward Farmington Canyon. When you reach the ridge, turn east (right) and hike up the ridge.

Access #2 - Rudd Canyon: This is similar to Access #1 but a few hundred feet farther south. The trail ascends the hillside just north of Rudd Canyon as it parallels an old water pipe. Turn north (left) when you reach the shelf and head toward Farmington Canyon.

Access #3 - Farmington Canyon Road with Parking: This trailhead is about a mile up Farmington Canyon and is just after the bridge and bend in the road. Park alongside the road where there is a parking area next to the creek. You will need to cross the creek on a log. Be careful. Do not attempt if the creek has high runoff. Follow the trail as it loops first south through a hollow then to the west up a hill to the ridge. Follow the ridge up.

  • Enjoy beautiful sunsets across the lake.
  • A side spur takes you to Panorama Point (POI #15) to see the entire valley.
  • Use this trail to access the Old Aqueduct Trail (#24.2).
  • There is Farmington Jade throughout this area. See Jade Hill (POI #14).
  • The climb has an interesting “subway” or trail depression which makes the trail easy to follow (POI #16).

Trail Surface and Status: This is a wilderness trail with minimal disruption of the pathway for a more natural hiking experience. Watch for the markers to stay on course.