Hiking Utah's Northern Mountains
Hiking and Backpacking: There are many hikes outside Logan in northern Utah. One pleasant walk is the 1-mile Limber Pine Trail loop at the summit of Logan Canyon overlooking Bear Lake. An autumn 3/4-mile hike to Coldwater Lake near Mendon often lures hikers farther up the trail through the red maples and golden aspen into the dense forests of the Wellsville Wilderness. The trail steeply ascends 3 more miles to Stewart Pass, the backbone of the Wellsville Range, with views of Utah, Idaho and Nevada. From here, it is not difficult to conquer Wellsville Cone. The 4.5-mile hike to White Pine Lake from Tony Grove Lake in Logan Canyon is popular. Several trailheads lead into the Mt. Naomi Wilderness Area.
The Skyline Trailhead at the summit of North Ogden Pass, 5 miles east of North Ogden, offers several hikes including a 9-mile trek to the 9,712-foot summit of Ben Lomond Peak. The Pineview Trailhead leads to a 22-mile hike ending in Willard Basin. Hiking trails are scattered through the Wasatch-Cache National Forest in Davis County.
In Millcreek Canyon, east of Salt Lake City, there are many popular hiking trails. The Brighton Lakes Trail at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon east of Salt Lake City starts behind the Mt. Majestic Lodge and ascends 2.5 miles to Lake Mary, Lake Martha and Lake Catherine. For more hardy hikers this trail continues to 10,200-foot Catherine Pass and then drops into Albion Basin above Alta Ski Resort in Little Cottonwood Canyon. In Little Cottonwood Canyon, the Red Pine/White Pine trails offer a glimpse of Utah's remarkable Lone Peak Wilderness Area, where mountain goats may occasionally be spotted. Several interpretive trails are near completion in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons. All new trails will be handicapped accessible.
The 15-mile hike to the 11,788-foot summit of Mt. Timpanogos, east of the Provo Valley, passes stunning Emerald Lake and offers panoramic scenes. It begins from North Fork in Provo Canyon or Timpooneke Campground in American Fork Canyon.
Trial Lake and Mirror Lake, 27 and 35 miles east of Kamas respectively, have many trailheads leading to Uinta Mountain lakes and peaks. The Little South Fork of the Provo River off U-35 above Woodland has scenic hiking. Hikers enjoy walking portions of the 28-mile Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail from Park City to Echo Reservoir.
The Uinta Mountains are considered by many to be Utah's backpacking and hiking paradise. Among the many popular routes into the High Uintas Wilderness and Utah's highest peaks are the Uinta Canyon trailhead below U-Bar Ranch 18 miles north of Neola, and Lake Fork or Swift Creek trailheads north of Mountain Home. North of Hanna are the West Granddaddy Lakes trails near Defa's Dude Ranch or the East Granddaddy Lakes trail above Rock Creek Resort. Snow stays on these high mountain trails through June.
Beginning at Jones Hole Fish Hatchery, about 40 miles northeast of Vernal, is an impressive day hike through Jones Hole to the creek's confluence with the Green River in Dinosaur National Monument. Ancient Indian rock art may be seen along the trail.
Trails leading from Castle Valley over the Wasatch Plateau to Sanpete Valley include Fish Creek National Recreation Trail west of Scofield.
Horseback Trips: Trails leading from Millville Canyon east of Millville in northern Utah are popular with residents, along with many high mountain trails such as the one to Mt. Naomi Peak. Ideal Beach Resort on Bear Lake and Sherwood Hills Resort in Wellsville Canyon offer horseback riding, as does Beaver Creek Horseback Riding in Logan Canyon.
An ideal day trip to Ben Lomond Peak begins on a well-marked trail near the corral at North Fork Park, 3 miles north of Liberty.
Park City has horse stables and access to several trailheads.
Accessing the Uinta Mountains from the west side at the Mirror Lake or Trial Lake trailheads off Hwy 150, east of Kamas, leads to ideal horsepacking country. Professional horsepackers offer frequent trips into the area. Trailheads at Blackhawk Campground in Payson Canyon south of Payson and Granite Flat Campground in American Fork Canyon east of Alpine are also excellent for horsepackers.
In northeastern Utah, pack trips may be arranged at U-Bar Ranch, Moon Lake, Spirit Lake, Rock Creek Resort, Defa's Dude Ranch, J/L Ranch and Quarter Circle E Ranch. Guests experience cowboy adventures at the All 'Round Ranch, J/L Ranch, and Spring Creek Ranch.
Watersheds: Various canyons along the Wasatch Front are designated as Watershed Areas in order to protect the drinking water. Regulations, posted at various locations, are enacted so that this vital source of culinary water will be kept clean. Dogs and horses are generally not allowed.
Rock Climbing: Logan Canyon is fast becoming a mecca for sport rock climbing. Boasting over 20 fixed routes, ranging from 'novice' climbs to Utah's toughest rated route. Climbers in the rugged canyon are encouraged to use proper equipment and to be careful not to disturb the native plants; an endangered plant, the McGuire primrose grows near many of the more popular routes. Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons are also very popular with climbers.
Rocks and Other Prehistoric Finds: Fossil hunters can locate trilobites in Morgan County. Fossilized shark teeth may be found in ant hills on buttes overlooking the Green River about 15 miles east of Vernal. Four miles north of Vernal above Hwy 191, a cut in the rocky Mowry Formation clearly shows fossilized fish scales. North and west of Steinaker Reservoir the Curtis and Carmel Formations contain fossilized mollusks and sea shells.
Please read the recommendations for rock hounding provided by the BLM.
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