Beirdneau Peak, 16 July, 2023
Six hikers met on a warm morning at the Smith’s Marketplace at 8:00 a.m. We carpooled in 2 vehicles to the Preston Valley Trailhead in Green Canyon about 0.7 miles past the second gate on the Green Canyon Road. Only a couple of vehicles were in the parking area, so we easily found places to park. After donning our gear, we stopped for a group picture at the trailhead. At 8:40 we began the hike up the Beirdneau trail to the Beirdneau Ridge overlooking Green and Logan Canyons. Fortunately, the Green Canyon side below the ridge is mostly shaded so the hike to the ridge was relatively cool.
As we hiked up the trail, we crossed paths with 2 hikers and 1 runner. We also encountered a plethora of wildflowers, stopping frequently to identify the flowers and take pictures. The wet winter has provided for an impressive show of wildflowers this summer. Some of the flowers identified were sego lily, aspen fleabane, early blue violet, roundleaf ragwort, arrowleaf balsamroot, sticky geranium, and fields of Indian Paintbrush.
We reached the ridge saddle at 10:20 after about 2 miles of hiking and about 1600 feet of elevation gain. After taking in the views at the top of the ridge, the group split, with 3 hikers walking west on the ridge to a valley overlook before returning to Green Canyon. That group arrived at the trailhead at about 1:15 and returned to Logan. The other 3 hikers continued up the Beirdneau Trail towards Beirdneau Peak, another 3 miles and about 1600 feet of elevation to go. The sun, warm temperatures, and plenty of biting flies and mosquitoes accompanied us along the way. There are a few sections of the trail that drop down a short way on the north side of the ridge to provide some welcome shade. Occasional breezes provided some relief along the way.
The wildflowers along the way were plentiful including silverleaf scorpion weed, mountain monardella (coyote mint), Wasatch penstemon, wallflower, field chickweed, larkspur, silky lupine, mule ears, Woods rose, yarrow, and scarlet gilia. We stopped frequently to drink water and admire the views of Cache Valley and the Bear River Range.
After pushing up the final steep section of the trail we reached the Beirdneau Peak summit at about 12:50. We were met with a refreshing breeze with a temperature of about 70°F. At the summit we had splendid views of the Bear River Range and Wellsville Mountains. Logan Peak, Providence Peak, and Temple Baldy were prominent in the south. Mount Jardine, Flattop, Mount Elmer, Naomi Peak, Mount Magog, Temple Peak, and Steam Mill Peak were visible to the north. To the west there was a great view of the Wellsville Mountains, including Box Elder Peak and Mendon Peak.
After taking in the views and taking pictures we started our descent at about 1:10 and stopped at the first shady spot we found for a quick lunch. We finished lunch at 1:30 and continued our descent back to the Preston Valley trailhead. We reached the trailhead at about 4:18. The return trip was much warmer as we descended, and we were happy to reach the shade of the Preston Valley Trail.
If you want a challenging hike with great views, close to Cache Valley, this is the one.
to Ralph for the narrative, photos and GPS data, and
Jane for photos.