“The Major” is the largest free-flying flag and is hung each year in Coldwater Canyon in North Ogden for nearly two weeks at the beginning of November. It honors the late mayor of North Ogden who was killed while serving his country.
Brent Taylor had been in the Utah Army National Guard for 15 years, at least 7 in active duty. On November 3, 2018, Major Brent Taylor was killed in action in Afghanistan, when he had been the mayor of North Ogden for five years.
The flag can be seen from below. These photos were taken on Mountain Road.
The hike up to the giant flag is about five miles round trip. There are three options to get there, but the Moderate ? was the clear winner for me. I tried different ways so that I could know for myself and not just rely on what I had read.
The flag is along the Coldwater Creek trail. If you Google Coldwater Canyon, it will take you to the wrong place. Google Sunrise Trail in Ogden or 2750 North trailhead. It begins trail at far east end of 2750 North, just off Mountain Road. Portions of the trail go through private property with permission, so please be extra careful to leave no trace. The parking lot is to the north of the canyon, so you’ll need to look southeast to see it from the parking lot.
Right at the beginning, the trail splits into three paths. I found the Easy ? path to actually be more challenging then the moderate. It is comparable in incline and length, but is very rocky. All the rocks make the path much worse to walk on and it’s a less scenic route. I will show that route down below, but let me start with the suggested route, the Moderate ?.
The Moderate ? Trail
The moderate trail is a nice relaxed path that switches back and forth across the mountain. It doesn’t have all the loose gravel of the “easy” route, which is much easier.
As you hike up you get views of North Ogden and the mountains nearby. It is very shady all morning along the trail.
There is one place where the moderate trail crosses the steeper Difficult ♦ trail. This first one is looking across to stay on the moderate trail, with a view of the difficult trail coming up. The second one is seeing the upper sides of both trails. These trails are well marked, so it’s easy to stay on the path.
Here is a view looking southwest as the trail climbs. The moderate and difficult trails merge and remain together for the duration of the hike.
Soon the easy trail merges as well.
After the trails merge there are some facts posted along the trail.
When you arrive at the flag you can look down on it. It is an enormous flag that is 150′ X 78′. It is sponsored by Follow the Flag. They also hang a giant flag in Pleasant Grove Canyon over in the first couple weeks of July.
If you continue a little further along the path, you can get different views of the flag.
Here are some images of the trail to get a better view. If you look closely at that first photo, you can see a woman sitting where I took the lower photo.
The Easy Trail ?
I actually found this trail to be more challenging than the moderate trail, due to the loose gravel.
If you do choose to take this path, you will hike mostly under the power lines and fenced off power equipment.
These rocks are not secure on the path, so your footing is far less secure on this path.
This easy path is not marked very consistently, but there is a notification when you are supposed to switch directions. After you get to the top of the hill, it merges with the other two paths.
The Difficult path is much steeper and heads up near the Moderate path, but without the switchbacks.
Here is another photo of the flag!
In July you can find large flags in Grove Creek Canyon and one in Little Willow Canyon. Over September 11, there is a Healing Field in Sandy and a large one in Provo. There are also beautiful war memorials to honor fallen soldiers in Memory Grove.
Stats: Distance – 5 miles roundtrip
Approximate hiking time – 2 to 4 hours
Elevation gain – 1100 feet
Difficulty – Moderate
Trail – well maintained trail of dirt and rocks
Bathrooms – Yes
Seasons to hike – first two weeks of November (Oct 30-Nov 13)
Permits needed – None
Pets allowed – Yes