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Paul Bunyan’s Woodpile – Juab County Utah
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Overview
Location

Juab County - near Jericho, Utah

Sights

Paul Bunyan's Woodpile.

Distance

About 1.6 miles roundtrip

Parking Lot Elevation

6245 ft

Summit Elevation

6768 ft

Elevation Gain/Loss

523 ft

Time Required

I did it in less than 2 hours of hiking

Pets

Allowed

Fees

None

Water Info

Bring your own water

Trail Condition

Dirt trail

Restrooms

None

Food

Bring snacks and meals as needed.

Equipment

Hat and sunglasses, camera.

Paul Bunyan’s Woodpile: 39.76673, -112.11519

Trail Map


Driving Directions

It took me about 2 hours to drive from Salt Lake City to here.  Once you are near the woodpile, the road will turn into a graded dirt road which my small car handled just fine.  If it is raining then it could get really muddy easily so be prepared for anything!

Also, this rock formation isn’t near any city or town other than Eureka.  It really is in the middle of nowhere.  I found it to be very peaceful out here.


The Trail:

Note: I found this place by searching through Google Earth and finding random pictures of this place.  It looked very interesting to me so I set out to see what it would be like in person!

Paul Bunyan’s Woodpile was created by well, Paul Bunyan himself, during the early 1910’s.  Mr. Bunyan was cutting down local pine and spruce trees to keep for the winter when he got called back to work in the forests in Washington and never came back to retrieve his stash.  The logs have since been petrified and are still in excellent condition on display.

I’m joking of course.  But, it is almost believable (sort of) when you actually visit these “wood” piles and see for yourself just how they look like neat little piles of chopped logs.

I will talk more about how these interesting rock formations where formed later but I’ll start with how to access them.

There is a small pull-out where I parked my car.  The trail begins at a cattle fence about 100 feet from the pull-out, where you will see a sign that welcomes you to Paul Bunyan’s Woodpile Trailhead.  From here you can see the Woodpile in the distance.

Even though the sign says the trail is about 1 mile in length I used my GPS and clocked in at just above 3/4 mile to the rock formation from the sign post.  Either way, it isn’t that long of a hike.

Paul Bunyan's Woodpile Paul Bunyan's Woodpile

The trail isn’t too difficult until you arrive at the base of the hill where the logs are at.  But from the signs at the entrance you follow the main dirt path all the way until you see a cairn which takes you to the top of the hill.  You can also hike to the overlook but I found better views of the woodpiles elsewhere.

Paul Bunyan's Woodpile

You will quickly find that this area is also cattle grazing land which means you will find plenty of cow pies and narrow trails all over the place.  The trail to the woodpile was wider than most of these other smaller cow and game trails.  If you stay in the ravine where the creek bed is, you will be fine.

I saw lots of dead cottonwood trees laying around and even a few younger living ones spread around the place.  It was really pretty with the fall colors showing on the leaves.

Paul Bunyan's Woodpile Paul Bunyan's Woodpile

I think this is called snakeweed but it was extremely vivid and colorful this time of year!  You would be surprised to know that I didn’t even mess with the contrast or color settings on the picture below.

Paul Bunyan's Woodpileimg_1273

Soon you will come to a fork in the trail.  Take the left one to go up to the woodpile.  The right one goes to the overlook which was kind of neat to see.

This cairn marks the trail going up to the woodpile

This cairn marks the trail going up to the woodpile

From here the trail will get steeper as it goes through switchbacks to get to the top.  The trail was pretty rocky and I slipped a few times but overall it wasn’t too difficult.

Paul Bunyan's Woodpile Paul Bunyan's Woodpile

At the top you will see a sign which explains how the woodpile was formed.  It is fascinating to see in up close because you can clearly see that these piles of “wood” are neat and orderly!

Paul Bunyan's Woodpile

The sign reads “A geological curiosity – rare in Utah – the “woodpile” is a cluster of lava logs formed about 30 million years ago during the Eocene Period.  The “logs” were formed when a lava flow cooled into orderly columner joints having 3 to 6 sides.  The columns measure about a foot in diameter and up to 15 feet in length.  This formation was on the rim of the caldera that collapsed due to a void left when the lava flowed out from under the caldera.  Basin and range faulting caused the formation to title on its side.  Erosion has exposed the formation we now see.”

I spent about 45 minutes hiking on and around these cool looking “rock logs”.  There is even an arch to be seen!  I honestly didn’t know what to expect but I was glad to make the short hike up here and see what this place was all about.  It’s crazy to think that all of these neat uniform columns are all just about equal in size and shape.  I couldn’t believe my eyes when I found rocks that were near perfect right angles!

Paul Bunyan's Woodpile Paul Bunyan's Woodpile Paul Bunyan's Woodpile Paul Bunyan's Woodpile Paul Bunyan's Woodpile Paul Bunyan's Woodpile Paul Bunyan's Woodpile Paul Bunyan's Woodpile Paul Bunyan's Woodpile Paul Bunyan's Woodpile Paul Bunyan's Woodpile Paul Bunyan's Woodpile

I was heading back down a different way when I pulled out my camera again and took a shot of the woodpile from far away.

Paul Bunyan's Woodpile Paul Bunyan's Woodpile

This area is pretty in the fall

This area is pretty in the fall

Personal Thoughts:

I really enjoyed coming out here and exploring around the strange rock formation.  Although I doubt I’ll be back to this, it was amazing to see these woodpiles up close!

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Ratings (out of 10)
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Difficulty
3.0
Technicality
3.0
Enjoyment
4.5
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.

5.0
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About The Author
Jeff Johnson
Questions or comments? I'd love to hear from you! JeffTJohnson@ymail.com

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