Wind Cave Trail and the Drive up Logan Canyon to Bear Lake
A couple weeks back Tom and I had eyed Bear Lake, which straddles the Utah-Idaho border, as a possible stop. And with the late season storms having snowed in many of northern Utah’s peaks, we decided the route through the mountains via the lower-elevation Logan Canyon that happened to terminate at the lake was a perfect option.
Hunting for information on the hikes in Logan Canyon repeatedly returned results for the Wind Caves, a short 3.6 mile, 1000-foot trek to eroded limestone formations on the north side of the canyon. Normally we avoid the most-popular and/or most-accessible hikes but we happened to be in the market for something short for the next morning… and the trail description mentioned views up and down the canyon, so….
The path to the caves in consistently up, switchbacking through the maples and lush grass until you level off atop the rocky outcroppings tucked into the southern face. There are some fantastic views cross-canyon of the peaks but the real vistas come here. A few steps more and you’re looking down into the caves, a series of eroded limestone arches that overlay the hollow caverns below. Amazingly it’s easy to walk into the interconnected caves themselves and to discover the deeper chambers on the backside, but I personally was more enamored with the views up- and down-canyon from the ledge above. The whole hike lovely though – especially since everything was vibrant green with spring growth – and I’d happily hike it a second time, as long as I was the first person up the trail in the morning again.
After the hike the drive up Logan Canyon was an additional treat and I found myself noting trailheads I’d like to explore on a return visit. There were gorgeous vistas and some incredible views of the Logan River hurling down the gorge but there were also some unique sights such as Ricks Spring – wherein a diverted branch of the river gushes from a folded limestone cave. And from the summit there was a most amazing view of the turquoise Bear Lake below.
Is Bear Lake dog-friendly? I found a little bit of information on Utah’s side of the park, but Idaho’s site is pretty vague. I’m hoping to find a swimming spot for my dogs in that area. Obviously later in the year, since I’m sure it’s super cold in January 🙂
We really didn’t stop (we were driving the RV and that sometimes is more trouble than it’s worth if the pullouts are small) though the area on the Utah side seemed built up, as in the lakefront looked to be mostly private land/cottages. It thinned on the Idaho side. That being said, I’m nearly certain there would be a dog friendly beach or two near Garden City- we just didn’t stop and check so I can’t personally attest to it, sorry. Also, I think I remember 2 state parks, one on either side of the border.
Beautiful and quite a change from the color country.
I know, right? I kept thinking “Utah is so green up here!” The valley had like real grass!!