Birch Canyon - Dry Canyon, 10 September, 2023
Eight hikers turned out for a September hike from Birch Canyon to (Smithfield) Dry Canyon: Ralph, Kamren, Cameron, Joan, Teresa, Brent L, Susan and Dan (the leader). Cool temperatures were welcome.
We met two of the hikers (Brent and Kamren) at the trailheads, left cars at Smithfield Dry trailhead and then started at Birch Canyon just before 9am, traveling east through a Wilderness "cherry stem". We passed through maple forest and crossed into the Mount Naomi Wilderness after about two miles of hiking. There were about eight challenging but not deep stream crossings along the way. We passed a herd of longhorn cattle as we continued our climb up Birch Canyon.
Eventually we reached the subalpine zone in upper Birch Canyon and ascended the steep trail to the saddle between Birch and Dry Canyons, with excellent views of Cherry Peak, Naomi Peak and Mount Elmer as well as the Wellsville Mountains and Cache Valley to the west. We had lunch here, about 1:30, and rested in the shade of a large limber pine in the company of a dozen Clark's Nutcrackers.
After lunch we started down Dry Canyon, passed many large Douglas firs and enjoyed views into Cache Valley as we descended. There was evidence of an avalanche with many broken aspen which had conveniently been cleaned up. We reached the cars at about 4:40pm after descending 3500 ft. A light rain fell after we finished.
Total distance was 10.2 miles with 3600 ft of climbing
This Dry Canyon is also known as "Smithfield" Dry Canyon
to differentiate it from a different Dry Canyon near
to Dan for the narrative, photos and GPS data, Susan
for photos, and Ralph for photos and GPS data.