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Steep Canyon and Crescent Lake – Franklin Basin
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Overview
Location

Franklin Basin in Logan Canyon near Beaver Mountain and Bear Lake

Sights

Crescent Lake, Doubletop Mountain

Distance

6.37 Miles Round trip if you go to Double Top Overlook

Parking Lot Elevation

7,297

Summit Elevation

8,599

Elevation Gain/Loss

1,302

Time Required

2-3 hours

Pets

Allowed

Fees

No

Water Info

Stream

Best Season

Summer, Fall

Hours

Open year round

Sun Exposure

Shade is minimal

Trail Condition

Steep, Rocky

Restrooms

At Franklin Basin Turnoff

Visitor Center

No

Camping

Yes

Food

Bring snacks and meals as needed

Equipment

ATV or dirt bike, bag for food and water

GPS Coordinates

Trailhead: 41º 58′ 06″ N, 111º 35′ 51″ W
Crescent Lake Trailhead: 41.97091 N, 111.62709 W


Trail Map


Driving Directions: 

The trail can be accessed from Preston Idaho via the Cub River Road, or via Logan Canyon on Franklin Basin Road. Once on the Franklin Basin turnoff the Steep Canyon Trailhead is on the west side of the road 3.22 Miles down Franklin Basin.


The Trail: 

This is a trail that could be done several ways. I rode my ATV. But I also encountered mountain bikers and hikers. If on bike or OHV you will have to hike to Crescent Lake but you can get most of the hard stuff out of the way. Once off Franklin Basin Road there is a sign marking the trail.

1

This is a beautiful trail but is fairly rough. 4×4 is not neccesary but sure was nice. Most high clearance trucks would be just fine on this road. Here is a bit of what the trail is like. Lots of loose rock. This canyon is called Steep Canyon for a reason. It is very steep and would be a great workout for hikers and bikers. I encountered both.

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At the top of the canyon you will come to a 3 way Fork. The middle fork brings you to a small campsite. The left fork is a very steep rough atv trail that brings you to an overlook of Doubletop Mountain. Doubletop is the second highest mountain in Cache County, and the Bear River Range at 9,873 feet in elevation. Steep Canyon is also one of three trailheads to the summit. If I were to do it though I would hike from Boss Canyon. Here is Doubletop. It is a gorgeous peak well known for the Pika that live near the summit. It is a seldom visited summit and a great hike if you have the time. It is a steep one though. Go figure with the name of the canyon.

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The right fork goes to the trail head for Crescent Lake. Please park at the marker and don’t try to go further.

7

I tracked my hike to the lake and there and back I hiked 1.5 miles with about 400 feet of gain. The trail is quite pretty with lots of birds and a couple of springs. The discernible trail will end just before the lake. Just scale the hill to the northwest and the lake is just over the hill. Here is what most of the trail looks like.

8

This is a very pretty little alpine lake. I went in November so the water level wasn’t very high but still very beautiful. By this time of year most of the large animals have gone to lower ground but I did see Moose, and some Lynx, and Bobcat tracks in the snow. This lake is a perfect place to eat lunch.

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 The Return:

Return back the way you came. There are several other canyons on the Franklin Basin road you can explore if you want more.

 


Personal Thoughts: 

This is a beautiful area. It is usually pretty quiet especially at the lake as most people don’t know that it is there. Its pretty high in elevation so its nice and cool year round. Its a great hideaway spot for me with some fun challenging riding. Next time I plan on taking the bike for some great exercise.

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Ratings (out of 10)
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Difficulty
4.0
Technicality
5.0
Enjoyment
6.0
The Bottom Line

Difficulty is basically the length, duration and stress of the Trek.  If the Trek is really long then it will receive a higher rating. If the Trek is short then it won't receive that high of a rating. However, difficulty rating also includes how tired we were at the end of the Trek.

Technicality is how strenuous the Trek is. If there is lots of bouldering or if there is bushwhacking involved then the rating will be higher. Technicality also includes if there are steep inclines or the need for ropes and other equipment.

Enjoyment is strictly how much fun we had doing the Trek. Regardless of how tired and exhausted we were, if we had a ton of fun doing the Trek then it will receive a higher rating.

6.3
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About The Author
Josh1990
I love adventure! I live in Cache Valley, Utah. Do you have questions on any of my Treks? Email me @ joshua.oyler@gmail.com

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