Monday, September 30, 2013

Hiking the True 'Mountain of Dreams: -- Ben Lomond Peak

                                  Ben Lomond, as viewed from near the center of Ogden City.

  Above: Summer Wild flowers along the trail from Inspiration Point to Ben Lomond. 

UTAH has claim to one of the world's most famous mountains, at least on the basis of inspiration.
Ben Lomond Peak, elevation 9712 feet above sea level, is truly "The Mountain of Dreams."
This mountain inspired the original Parmount Motion Pictures Company mountain symbol.
William Wasdsworth Hodkinson was the man who started Paramount Pictures and he designed the famous mountain logo for the company in 1914.
He grew up in the early 1900s in Ogden, Utah, 25 miles north of Salt Lake City. From his home, a 9,712-foot majestic mountain -- Ben Lomond Peak -- dominates the skyline to the north, rising a full vertical mile above the valley floor.

                                    Above: Ben Lomond as seen from the north end of Ogden City.

  Although the two history books written on Paramount, "Paramount Pictures and the People Who Made Them" and "Mountain of Dreams" both fail to identify the inspirational mountain by name, here's what Leslie Halliwell who wrote "Mountain of Dreams" stated:
"The mountain he (Hodkinson) doodled on the back of an envelope was a memory of childhood in his home state of Utah."

                            Above: Taylor Arave on the trail to Ben Lomond Peak.

Anyone who has seen how dramatic the skyline is on the north end of Ogden City, with Ben Lomond dominating the northern landscape, can easily believe Ben Lomond had to be the "Mountain of Dreams" inspiration. It's by far the most dominant mountain in view, though Hodkinson did exaggerate its summit a lot in the logo. 

           Above: A rugged split in the rock near Willard Peak spotlights Willard Bay.

And, in recent years, Paramount has even made the incline of its logo mountain even more dramatic. So, yet, the Paramount Mountain is fictional, but this is the mountain where boyhood memories of it inspired a fixture in American entertainment.

          Above: Taylor Arave takes in the panoramic view atop Ben Lomond Peak.

Ironically Ben Lomond isn't even the Weber County highpoint for the Ogden area. Willard Peak, about 50 feet higher, is, though that peak is smaller in size and set back further to the north.

                        Above: The historical sign and register at the summit of Ben Lomond Peak.

However, mammoth rocky spires, craggy peaks, granite fissures, sure-footed mountain goats, pond-roaming moose, abandoned historic mines, the contrasting beauty of Willard Bay vs. the Great Salt Lake and endless bird's-eye panoramas dominate the Ben Lomond Peak area.

                         Above: Liz Arave Hafen balances atop Ben Lomond Peak's highest point.

Hiking trails from two different directions offer access to Ben Lomond.

(Distilled from a Deseret News story on Sept. 4, 2008, plus an August 2010 visit to Ben Lomond Peak, as well as other hikes to the summit.)
      -Photos by Lynn Arave.

No comments:

Post a Comment