Near Hyrum, Utah
Hardware Ranch, Left Hand Fork, Wildlife, Blacksmith Fork River, Waterfall
Sleigh rides at Hardware Ranch are 5$ per person
There are things to do in all seasons
At Hardware Visitor Center
In Hyrum or Logan
Hardware Ranch:41.60211N, 111.56686W
The road to Blacksmith Fork Canyon begins right by the Mcdonald’s in Hyrum, Utah. There are signs pointing you to Hardware Ranch all over the area as it is a very popular area. I have spent a LOT of time in this canyon as it is only ten minutes from my house. Its a wonderful place with lots of possibilities for recreation. The canyon is very scenic and begins right out of town.
This is a pretty cool canyon that follows the Blacksmith fork river for its entire length. It is cool because each side of the canyon is very different from the other. The north side is very dry and desert-like. The South side is very lush and green with large pine forests. There are many cool and rugged rock formations in this canyon.
Just inside the canyon is a national guard camp area and there is a very large waterfall here. You have to be lucky to see it because the waterfall is actually a detour of a canal so it is rarely running but is very cool to see when it is running.
About six miles up the canyon you can turn north into Left Hand Fork canyon. This is a great area to spend some time in if you have a truck or OHV’s. There are two campgrounds here. There are trailheads to two very popular hiking/mountain biking trails called Leatham Hollow which will meet with Millville Canyon, and Richards Hollow which will meet right hand fork. There are many different off roading and ATV trails here taking you either to Mount Logan or to Hardware Ranch. The route to hardware ranch is very rough and for experts only and only with very high end trucks and SUV’s or 4×4 ATV’s. Just before the rough area there is a large spring that is cool to see. http://thetrekplanner.com/left-hand-fork-trail-cache-county/
The Lucky Star Mine is also in this canyon.
There are several very scenic areas in this canyon with cool limestone formations.
Now back on Blacksmith Fork road you will quickly come to the Hyrum City Park and power plant. This area has walking, play toys, swings, and picnic areas.
Continuing on you will come to the small dam and pond that is very popular for fishing and birds. This is a very scenic spot.
The road is plowed all year and it is beautiful in all stages. I think it is particularly beautiful in the winter with all the red willows.
These willow areas along the river are great areas to see Moose. Deer are also very common and you will see an occasional Antelope. There is some kind of white or albino deer in the area to watch out for.
You will soon come to the sign marking Hardware Ranch. If you head South from this sign it is a dirt road that will take you all the way to the Monte Cristo area. This a very scenic road and is usually graded well enough to do in a car. Just watch out for recreationalists as they will be everywhere in the summer time. If you ride your ATV to the east of the ranch you can ride all the way through Bear Lake and to Montpelier Idaho. This is a cool area since you could ride from Ogden Valley to Montpelier all on dirt roads and trails.
Hardware Ranch has a small visitor center with info and displays on the wildlife of the area and the nearby trails.
Hardware Ranch is a large wildlife management area. In the summer they grow feed to feed wintering Elk in the winter. Anywhere from 400-700 Elk can be found here during winter. Anyone can view the elk and visit the visitor center for free but for $5 you can ride a sleigh pulled by huge draft horses out in the middle of the elk herds. Its fun getting close to the Elk and is a great family activity for kids. It has been a tradition in my family since I was a young kid. To complete the experience bring a thermos full of hot chocolate to sip while you ride. The rides are normally offered from mid December to the end of February. This first photo was taken in the beginning of February 2015. This has been a very warm year and there is no snow so the Elk have gone on early so it is already closed but this is not normal for this time of year.
Return back to Hyrum and pay attention to the huge differences on each side of the road. It is very pretty as you leave the canyon you can see the Wellsville Cone looking over the canyon.
This is a great canyon and I have spent a ton of time here watching wildlife, Hiking, and riding ATV’s. I urge anyone who hasn’t been to go!