Warm weather starts hiking season

As spring advances and the snow recedes, many locals choose to retire skis and break out their hiking boots. With many recreational opportunities in close proximity USU’s Logan campus, many students and faculty tend to frequent hiking trails for an alternative to academia. David Wallace, professor and adviser for USU’s public health department, said he enjoys exploring many trails in Cache Valley. “It’s hard to pick a trail that I don’t like, but I really enjoy the trails around Tony Grove,” Wallace said. Wallace, a USU graduate, has been an avid hiker since his youth. When he came back to teach at USU in 1999, he was reminded of his passion for local trails. “It’s a much better outdoor experience here,” Wallace said. “I lived in Salt Lake for a while, and coming back to Logan was wonderful, because there are great resources — with a tenth of the people using them. Logan is much less crowded.” Wallace said his passion for trails in the Logan area led to his involvement in Cache Hikers, a local group that began in 1992 to help maintain numerous regional trails. “The forest service staff here is grossly underfunded, so we do things in an effort to help them out,” he said. Acting as leader of Cache Hikers, Wallace said he travels extensively throughout the Cache Valley wilderness. As a result, he said he has become an expert on both the popular and lesser-explored trails that surround Logan. “Not too many people know about the Spawn Creek Trail,” he said. “I found that old trail after it was abandoned. Over the last few years, we have done a lot of work to recondition and restore it.” Thanks to his efforts and the aid of his group members, he said the Spawn Creek Trail, located in the Temple Fork region of Logan Canyon, is accessible once again. Although Spawn Creek is not as well known, there are other Logan Canyon trails that accommodate regular hiking groups, he said. “The single most popular trail is the Wind Caves Trail,” said Mike Bullock, a tourism specialist for the Cache Valley Visitors Bureau. “It’s a reasonably short trail with minor elevation gain. There is an interesting double arch formation at the end of the trail and a great view overlooking the valley.” Opposite the Wind Caves Trail, across U.S. Highway 89, is the Crimson Trail, another popular hiking destination, he said. “The Crimson Trail also has nice views looking down on the valley,” Bullock said, “It’s a little bit longer and a little more strenuous. The trail is about three miles long one way and experiences an 800-foot elevation change.” For those who enjoy additionally strenuous trails, he said there are numerous hikes in the area with greater lengths and greater elevations. “The hike to the old Jardine Juniper tree is almost six miles one way and gains almost 2,000 feet,” Bullock said. “And though it’s not as long, the Deep Canyon Trail along the Wellsvilles goes up from 5, 400 feet to 8,600 feet in a three-mile link.” Although the hikes are difficult, Bullock said, they are well worth the effort. “The Jardine Juniper tree is one of the oldest trees in Utah,” he said. “The Deep Canyon Trail has a spectacular view from the ridge of the Wellsvilles looking either west over the Brigham City side all the way to Salt Lake, or looking over Cache Valley to the east.” Additional hikes outlined on the Cache Valley Visitors Bureau’s website include the low-intensity Logan River/Golf Course Trail and the more advanced White Pine Lake and Naomi Peak Trails located near Tony Grove.

<a href=”http://www.usustatesman.com/go-take-a-hike-1.2724877#.T33OsNlvBK0″>To read the rest of this article on the Utah Statesman website, click here.</a>

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