Bonneville Trail Moonlight
Ski/Snowshoe, February 23, 2013
This trip was scheduled for Temple Fork, but a major winter
storm and treacherous road conditions prompted us to go to the Bonneville
Shorline Trail instead (this trail roughly follows the
"Bonneville Bench", a feature of the ancient Lake Bonneville
that occupied much of northern Utah during the ice ages).
Seven people joined this night-time event: Dave W. (the
trip leader), Jane, Stephanie, Alex, Anna, Alexi and
Jeanne. As usual, Dave was on skis, and everyone else used
snowshoes. We met at 6:00 pm in Logan, and carefully drove
on slick roads to the Bonneville Trail at the mouth of Green
Canyon. A thick layer of new snow blanketed the the
terrain, obscuring the trail and requiring extra effort by the
lead person to "break trail" (although Dave said it was the best
snow his skis have been on all season). It was snowing,
but there was enough moonlight filtering through the clouds to
allow us to travel without using our headlights. Then, at
7:40, a hole momentarily opened up in the clouds and we were
treated to a direct, unobstructed view of the moon!
We followed the path of the Bonneville Trail as closely as
possible, eventually arriving a turn-around point overlooking
the golf course. A bench along the trail served as a rest
stop and a good place to enjoy snacking on Stephanie's
homemade "moon cookies" and Dave's (purchased) "Moon Pies".
On our return to Green Canyon we saw fresh deer tracks following
the trail we had broken through the deep snow. The
snowfall was much lighter by then, allowing views over Logan and
across the valley.
(We also saw flashing emergency vehicle lights, 12 miles to the
west on the Valley View Highway. We later learned this was
due to a fatal head-on crash caused when a vehicle lost control
on the slippery road and slid into the opposite lane. This
unfortunate event supported our decision to change to a nearby
destination that minimized driving under these risky
The trip totaled 3.1 miles, with about 500 feet of
up-and-down. The moon had 97.1% illumination, with
moonrise at 4:26 PM (full moon will be Feb. 25, two days after
Resting in a
light snowfall, at a Bonneville Bench bench
Snowshoeing in the moonlight on the Bonneville Bench, with the
lights of Logan in the background
3.1 miles, with 500 feet of up-and-down!
You can also look at our route using Google Earth or the various map and aerial views of Google Maps.