Logan Canyon offers countless opportunities to learn about history, interact with nature, enjoy scenery and have a good time. Here are 10 places of particular importance:
1. Logan Ranger District Headquarters and Visitor's Center. Located at the mouth of the canyon, this is a good spot to get information about other sites and activities in the canyon. On this ledge, left by ancient Lake Bonneville, you also get scenic views of Cache Valley and the canyon.2. Spring Hollow. About 4 miles up the canyon, and just above Third Dam, this marshy wetland offers one of the area's best riparian habitats. There are campground and picnic areas. Several hiking trails take off from here, as well, including the Riverside Trail that goes upstream to Guinavah; the Crimson Trail that takes you high above the "China Wall"; and a trail to the top of Mt. Logan.
3. China Wall. Rising a hundred feet above the road, this broad band of limestone is more than 850 feet thick in places and extends along both sides of the canyon for several miles. Once the floor of an ancient sea, it contains fossilized remains of ancient marine animals. Whether you hike up for a closer look or just watch in awe as you drive by, the China Wall is one of the most spectacular formations in the canyon.
4. Guinavah/Malibu. This popular picnic/camping area is often used for group activities - and has been ever since the days of the Roaring '20s. A limestone and timber amphitheater in Upper Guinavah was built by CCC workers during the Depression and is still used for summer lectures and programs.
5. Old Juniper. One of the most famous "residents" of Logan Canyon is the Jardine Juniper tree, thought to be 1,500 years old. Named for William J. Jardine, a secretary of Agriculture in the 1930s who graduated from Utah State University, the tree grows on a rocky outcropping that offers a great view of the canyon. The trail to Old Juniper, which takes off from the Wood Camp area used by early loggers, is about 5 miles each way and is steep in places, gaining 1,500 feet in elevation altogether.
6. Temple Fork. Active from 1877 to 1886, the Temple Fork Sawmill was where trees were cut for use in the Logan Temple and Logan Tabernacle. During that time, as many as 25 men, usually "called" from local congregations, worked there. A monument at the turnoff road tells about the operation. You can also hike about a mile up the road to the site of the old sawmill, which was destroyed by fire. The Temple Fork area is also the site of a famous battle between Frank Clark and Old Ephraim, the last known grizzly bear in the region. A monument, a ways up the rough, rocky road, marks the site where the old grizzly is thought to be buried.
7. Ricks Springs. Named for pioneer Thomas E. Ricks, this roadside stop has long been a favorite with canyon travelers. The "springs," which are really an outlet for water from the Logan River, are located in a cool limestone grotto. Paved trails take you around the area and to the cavern.
8. Tony Grove. Probably the canyon's most popular single destination, the grove is 7 miles from the main road. Named because of its popularity with Logan's highbrow or "tony" set during the 1880s and '90s, it showcases the canyon's glacial history. The clear lake fills a glacial cirque, other rounded bowls are filled with alpine wildflowers and a sheer, ice-worn cliff rises behind the lake. Aspens are abundant. An improved trail now runs all around the lake; trails also take off for White Pine Lake and the Naomi Wilderness Area. Fishing and camping are popular.
9. Beaver Mountain. Skiing began here in 1939, with a tow-rope powered by a Desoto car engine. In 1948, then-Gov. Herbert Maw signed an agreement that allowed development of a modern ski facility at the original Beaver Mountain site, run by the Seeholzer family. It remains the only ski development in the canyon.
10. Bear Lake Overlook. In 1830, mountain man Warren Angus Ferris noted that "this lake is of exactly the right size to be seen with all its surrounding beauties at one glance . . . and he who sees it will scarcely tire of gazing." And Jedediah Smith called Bear Lake "one of the most beautiful lakes in the West and therefore the world." About 30 miles long and 8 miles wide, Bear Lake can be seen in all its glory from an overlook just down from the summit.