The Great Western Trail is a unique corridor of braided and paralleling trails for both motorized and non-motorized users. The trail system traverses 4,455 miles through Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. It incorporates stunning desert and canyon landscapes, plateaus, woodlands, dense forests and alpine meadows. It links 18 National Forests, Indian, State and BLM lands and encompasses the most diverse vegetation, topography and wildlife in the western United States.
Over 1,600 miles of Great Western Trail exist in Utah. The trail begins at the Idaho border west of Bear Lake near Beaver Mountain. It then passes along the Wasatch Front near Peter Sinks and Hardware Ranch, moving down through Brighton Ski Resort, around Mount Timpanogos, and east to Skyline Drive. Trails continues past Fish Lake moving south near Bryce Canyon National Park, Deer Springs Wash, through the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and exits the state midway between Kanab and Page, Arizona.
The Great Western Trail encompasses many of the popular trails throughout the State. It is unusual in the sense that it provides "something somewhere for everyone." Some segments are non-motorized; some are shared use, while other portions were developed for motorized use. One of the connected trails, the Paiute ATV Trail, traverses three mountain ranges, rugged canyons and the deserts of central Utah. The Great Western Trail is in essence the backbone of the state's trail system.
In 1996, the Great Western Trail was designated Utah's Centennial Trail by Governor Michael Leavitt as part of Utah's Statehood Centennial celebration. In 2000, the GWT was designated one of 16 National Millennium Trails by the White House and the Department of Transportation. The Great Western Trail is currently under study by the U.S. Congress to become part of the National Trails System.