Ben Lomond Peak: Ogden area's most majestic mountain, Photo by Liz Hafen
Ben Lomond Peak, the "Mountain of Dreams."
Ben Lomond, as viewed from the center of Ogden.
By Lynn Arave Ben Lomond
Peak, at 9,712-feet above sea level, doesn’t even rank among the 250 tallest
named mountain summits in Utah.
Ben Lomond isn't even the tallest summit in Weber County – nearby Willard Peak
is 52 feet higher.
may still be the State’s most famous mountain.
Wadsworth Hodkinson started some theaters in Ogden and later Paramount Pictures
Corporation. He designed the famous mountain logo for the company a full
century ago, back in 1914.
He grew up
in Ogden and from his home, a majestic mountain -- Ben Lomond Peak -- dominated
the northern skyline, rising a vertical mile above the valley floor.
history books written on Paramount, "Paramount Pictures and the People Who
Made Them" (1980) and "Mountain of Dreams: The Golden Years of
Paramount " (1976) do not directly
identify the mountain by name, that inspired the logo, here's what Leslie
Halliwell, who wrote the “Dreams” book, stated:
mountain he (Hodkinson) doodled on the back of an envelope was a memory of
childhood in his home state of Utah."
Lomond was surely his inspiration. (And, the logo has been modified/exaggerated
over the decades. Isn’t that what Hollywood excels at: exaggeration?)
some conflicting tales out there to challenge the Ben Lomond claim, but note
that Ben Lomond only “inspired” his mountain logo – the mountain logo is, or
never was actually Ben Lomond, or any other real mountain – it’s fiction. (Though these days, some views of the Pfeifferhorn Peak (“Little Matterhorn)” located in the Lone Peak
Wilderness area, south of Little Cottonwood Canyon, resembles the modern
Paramount logo more than anything else.)
Audrey Godfrey, a Logan historian, who grew up in Weber County (and who also
writes commentary for the Standard-Examiner), Ben Lomond was named by her
great-great grandmother, Mary Wilson Montgomery, who thought it reminded her of
a favorite mountain in her native Scotland.
likes to quote an early North Ogden settler, Nephi James Brown on Ben Lomond,
which is especially pertinent on the Paramount Pictures subject:
everlasting majesty of Ben Lomond to the north with its reflected rays of
morning sunrise always inspired me as a boy."
Yes, Ben Lomond
is a “mountain of dreams” and has sparked much inspiration over the years.
the summit and look down, if you doubt such inspiration.)
there’s no record on who first climbed the mountain, the lower face of Ben
Lomond mountain was mined extensively in the 19th Century. Silver and copper
were extracted and a 100-foot shaft was at one time cut into it.
mining was conducted to the northwest, below neighboring Willard Peak.
recorded recreational hike to Ben Lomond was in the July 3, 1922
Standard-Examiner, with this headline:
“Hikers clumb (sic) to top of Ben Lomond.”
climbed from North Fork, on the back side of the mountain. They began their
hike at Smith’s Ranch at 9 a.m. and didn’t reach the summit until 4:15 p.m., proving
there wasn’t much of a trail there in those days.
men reported there was a metal box with a register book on top, so they
certainly weren’t the first up there. Their downward trek required only 3
An Aug. 27,
1922 Standard headline was: ‘“Over the Top” of Ben Lomond Trip of Thrills.”’
called the peak by two nicknames: “Old Baldy” and “Old Ben.”
left-hand fork of Willard Canyon was the hiking route this time.
the story said a highlight of the hike was “the wild chickens are so thick they
almost kick one’s hat off, flying over head.”
Scouts of Ogden’s Troop No. 20 hiked Ben Lomond, as reported in the Standard of
Aug. 13, 1923. They hiked from North Ogden Pass and noted the flowers appearing
around the peak. The boys “returned the short way down the face of the
Aug. 11, 1927 Standard story told of a climb to the peak by the Wasatch
Mountain Club. Ben Lomond was said then to be 9,100 feet above sea level,
offering remarkable views as far north as Preston, Id.
(-Originally published in the Ogden Standard-Examiner on June 6, 2014.)
Ben Lomond Peak, from the west, on the trail from Willard Peak.
The metal marker atop Ben Lomond Peak.
Liz Arave Hafen balances atop the B.L. Peak marker.
Taylor Arave atop Ben Lomond Peak. OTHER SOURCES: "A History Weber County," by Richard C. Roberts and Richard W. Sadler.