Blind Hollow to Wood Camp, 8 October, 2020

It had been a while since I hiked this route, so I invited Dave P. to join me.  This was a good time, since the weather was favorable and the hordes of deer hunters should not arrive for another week.  It was elk hunting season, however, so we wore appropriate clothing for safety. 

Jane dropped us off at Blind Hollow about 8:40 a.m. and we "hit the trail" for a pleasant hike up Blind Hollow.  The trail was clear of fallen logs and brush and we saw several dusky grouse, and we
saw evidence of recent beaver activity although there was only a trickle of water in the creek.  At 3.7 miles we kept on the Blind Hollow Trail, a Forest Service "system" trail (009), to the Cottonwood Canyon ridge and the Wilderness boundary, while it looked like most trail users followed the unofficial social trail (or "user trail") that continues up Blind Hollow for a couple of hundred yards before turning west. There were no trail signs for the  entire distance of Blind Hollow - nothing at the trailhead, no sign on the post at the Hansen Pond trail (063), no sign at the Wilderness boundary and no sign at the important junction with the Mt Naomi Peak NRT (005).  

Shortly after descending into Cottonwood Canyon on the Mt Naomi Peak NRT we noted another the well-traveled social trail that runs south from the Smithfield Canyon trail junction, parallel to and downhill to the Mt Naomi Peak NRT.  We also encountered some very large trees across the trail. We ate lunch at Cottonwood Spring, but it was completely dry and the water trough was badly damaged. 

After Cottonwood Springs we turned southeast on the Cottonwood Trail (048) and were pleased to see evidence of recent foot traffic and recent (although minimal) trail maintenance.  2.5 miles later we came to a junction with the unauthorized social trail that runs up Cottonwood Canyon from US-89.  We stayed on the system trail, heading south toward Wood Camp, but it looks like most trail users went down (or came up) the social trail. In fact, we might have gone the wrong way if we had been inattentive. 

We finally got to the Old Juniper Trail (014)
and the first trail sign of the day at 4:20 p.m., 9.8 miles from our start.  The sign announced the Wilderness boundary (it was facing away from our direction of travel, of course).  As we hiked down the trail we encountered several hikers and (illegal on this non-motorized trail) e-bike riders, the first people we have seen all day.  About 4:45 p.m. we arrived at the Wood Camp trailhead and our vehicle after 13 miles on the trail and a climb of 2900 feet and descents totaling 3300 feet.  

Note:  This hike description is more detailed than usual in order to serve as a reference

Trip Summary:
  • Two hikers:  Dave W. and Dave P. 
  • Jane drove Dave P. 15 miles up Logan Canyon to Blind Hollow, picking up Dave W. at Wood Camp along the way (everyone took COVID precautions)
  • Started hiking about 8:40, lunch at Cottonwood Spring from 12:40 - 1:15, ended at the Wood Camp trailhead 5:45.  
  • Clear skies, calm winds, pleasant temperatures and colorful scenes
  • Covered 13 miles with 2900 feet ascending and 3300 feet descending

Thanks to Dave W. for the narrative, photos and GPS data and Dave P. for photos. 

At the Blind Hollow trailhead
Beaver dam
Dusky grouse
A small beaver dam
Nielson Poles
A social trail heading toward Nielson's Well
A white pole near the trail in upper Blind Hollow, about 150 yards south of USU's yurt
Signpost Rock sign
Missing trail signs
Fallen trees across the Mt Naomi Peak NRT
No water and a damaged trough at Cottonwood Spring
Mt. Naomi NRT - Cottonwood Trail junction
Colors of fall in Cottonwood Canyon
social trails
Social trails in upper Blind Hollow and Cottonwood Canyon
Our GPS track shows about 13 miles and 2900 feet of ascent and 3300 of descent.
You can look at our route using Google Earth or download our GPS file.