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Logan Canyon Scenic Byway
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Overview
Location

Starts in Logan, Utah and ends in Garden City, Utah on the shore of Bear Lake

Sights

Scenery, Wildlife, Camping, Fishing, Hunting, OHV Riding, Mountain Biking, Hiking

Distance

39 Miles one way

Parking Lot Elevation

4,587

Summit Elevation

7,800

Elevation Gain/Loss

3,212

Time Required

3-6 Hours

Best Season

Any

Trail Condition

Paved Highway

Restrooms

At each visitor center and vault toilets at each campground

Visitor Center

In logan

Camping

Yes

Food

In logan, and Bear Lake

Trail Map



Driving Directions



The Trail:

This Trek is to be used as a travel guide for the sights accessible by car in Logan Canyon. I will name lots of other sights and hikes that either are or will be soon covered in separate Treks. This is more of a travelers guide to the canyon as a whole and sights to watch for as you drive the canyon. I have take these photos in several years and I think they show so of the really cool things to see here. Logan Canyon is truly amazing and is one of my favorite places on earth. There is a visitor center just before First Dam on the Logan side with lots of info about the canyon. On the other end just before Garden City there is a rest stop with more info and a beautiful overlook for Bear Lake. The canyon has 10 established campsites some of them very large and it has 4 picnic areas. I will not cover all of them but just my favorites of each. After the visitor center you will go about 200 yards down the hill where you will reach First Dam. First Dam is worth a look. There are lots of wild and domestic geese and ducks here that love to be fed and is fun to stop and let the kids and the grown children like myself a chance to interact with the birds. This is also a very popular fishing area.

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If you look around the pond you can see the old shorelines of Lake Bonneville. The mouth of this canyon was the far north edge of the lake.

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The River Trail starts here and goes up past Third Dam and is a really fun bike ride. Near Third Dam there is a very fun singletrack section. This is also a great place for walking. As you procede through the canyon pay close attention to the huge and very cool limestone formations of this canyon. They are everywhere and some are very cool. You will next arrive at Second Dam. This along with First Dam provide 30% of the power for Logan. Second Dam is a great place for fishing and a great place for a picnic or a campfire as there are several fire pits.

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From here you can look to the south and see the huge mountain that is Mount Logan. If you look close in the photo you can see the communication tower on top. This peak can be reached by 4×4 or OHV and is covered in a separate Trek.

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Next up you will come to Third Dam. This is my favorite or the 3 Dams by far. This is the prettiest with lots of wild birds and is a great place to fish and is usually less crowded because for some reason people are scared to drive ten minutes up the canyon. There is a very pleasant nature trail that starts here with informative signs throughout the walk and bordering the river and wetlands.

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On the east end Third Dam is the Spring Hollow Campground. This is by far my favorite campground in the canyon. This is also the trailhead for several hikes including Spring Hollow, Crimson Trail, and Mill Hollow. I also recommend everyone stop and walk around the area close to the highway as the creek from the spring has a few small waterfalls that are cool to see.

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Just around the corner from Spring Hollow is the Dewitt Picnic area. This is by far my favorite picnic area. It is right on the river and set down enough that the highway noise doesn’t get to you. It is full of HUGE trees as well. From the parking area for here you can see the Triple Arch formation of the Wind Cave. Wind Cave is a very fun hike to do as well. Wind Cave is in part of the China Wall formation. China Wall is a huge wall of limestone that is on both sides of the canyon in this area and was named because of its resemblance to the Great Wall. The Crimson trail takes you up on top and along the China Wall.

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Next up you will come to Right Hand Fork. This is a popular trailhead that will take you to Blacksmith Fork Canyon, Mount Logan, and Ephraims Grave. Just around the corner from Right Hand Fork is China Cave. China cave is a climbing area with some of the hardest 5.9 and 5.10 routes you can climb. There are bolts and climbing equipment everywhere here and its always fun to pull over and watch people climb.

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Just after China Cave if it is summer the huge trees hang completely over the road making you feel like you are in a green tunnel.

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Next up you will pass the giant grates over Logan Cave. Logan Cave was closed in the nineties to protect a species of bat. The “real” reasons were that someone was killed exploring the cave and others had intentionally harassed and killed some bats. The cave is almost a mile long. Its really sad because ever since I was a kid I have imagined going in this cave. My dads really cool stories in there do nothing to make living with the closure any easier. I have always enjoyed exploring caves and its sad that people are so dumb to ruin things for everyone. Sadly its happening far more often these days. The cave is still worth a stop to look at and see the spring coming from the entrance.

Next up you will reach the Dugway area. This is a good area to pull over and look at the river far below you. There are often moose down feeding on the shore. If you look closely in this area you can see the old road up the canyon used by pioneers. If you stop at the dugway where the sign say “River Access” then you can look back toward the west and see if you can spot the famous Jardine Juniper Tree high on the ridge. Binoculars will be needed if you don’t know what to look for. The tree doesn’t look overly impressive from here but is still one of the top attractions in the area.

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The river views at the dugway are amazing.

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After the Dugway you will come to the Temple Fork turnoff. The parking lot is watched over by huge cliffs. This area is a popular OHV trail and cross country ski trail. There is also a nice trail to the remains of the sawmill used to build the Logan Temple.

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Next up you will come to Ricks Spring. Ricks Spring is actually a section of the Logan River the flows underground and pops back up in this cavern so don’t drink the water. There is a small cave next to the spring that is a fun and easy place for the kids to crawl in and have a fun time.

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In the spring and summer there is a lot of water flowing but in the winter it is fun to climb around in the cave. You can see the pool here. Scuba Divers dive through this hole and go back over a mile where it opens into an underground waterfall inside a large cavern. Something about that seems pretty amazing to me.

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The next section of road is a great place to see Moose and Elk as well as fall colors. This area is the very beginning of the Logan River.

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There are several off road side routes in upper Logan Canyon and you can always count on a gorgeous view or two.

Next up you will come to the turnoff for Tony Grove. There is a 7 mile paved road to Tony Grove Lake. This short side trip is well worth the effort. Tony Grove Lake is a beautiful high alpine lake and is a very popular trailhead to get to Naomi Peak, White Pine Lake, and High Creek. This area is very well known for amazing wildflowers in the summer.

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Next up is a very small campground called Red Banks. This area is very well known for excellent fishing.

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After this you will reach the turnoff for Franklin Basin. This is a well graded gravel road that meets up with the Cub River Road starting in Preston Idaho. This is a beautiful area with tons of beaver ponds, a cool little waterfall, and trailheads for Steam Mill Lake and Peak, Doubletop Peak, Steep Canyon, Boss Canyon, and Gibson Lakes.

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Just ahead of you you will get your first view of Beaver Mountain.

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Beaver Mountain has been a popular ski area since the early 1900’s and is still owned by the same family. This is a very affordable spot to ski compared with others in the state. The area is also spectacular in the fall.

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Next up you will see the turn off for the Swan Flat Road. This is another gravel road that I love to drive in fall to the beautiful leaves.

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After Swan Flat you will come to the sinks area on the west side of the road. This area is VERY popular for snowmobiling and sledding in the winter. Its a tradition for me to go tubing here every year and its always a blast as you can start very high and go very fast. Its also so large that you can usually get away from crowds if you want to hike a bit.

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Next up you will approach the summit of the canyon. There is a very nice but small campground here and the Limber Pine trail head. At the summit there is a nice rest stop with indoor restroom and amazing views of Bear Lake. Bear Lake is cool because it changes colors based on the weather.

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From here on a clear day you can see the high peaks of the Uintahs. I have always thought they were cool to see.

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Go down the hill to Garden City and be sure to stop at the Chevron and try a Bear Lake raspberry shake. The ones at the Garden City Chevron are the best I have had. There are also a few good burger joints in town and a great place to rest before heading back.

The Return:

Return back to Logan the way you came and enjoy seeing the canyon from a different perspective. I can always see things I didn’t notice on the way up.

Personal Thoughts:

I have spent a lot of time in Logan Canyon throughout my whole life. I have driven the canyon countless times and it doesn’t really get old and it has activities for any time of the year. There are a ton of really amazing hiking and camping opportunities here.

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Difficulty
4.0
Technicality
1.0
Enjoyment
8.0
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.

8.5
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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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