Bonneville Shoreline Trail, 31 December, 2022

On a day when slick canyon roads sent three vehicles into the Logan River and weather predictions were rain, rain, rain, eight Cache Hikers took a pleasant and rain-free hike on the southern section of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, also known as the Deer Fence trail. From January 1 to mid-April, this trail closes annually for wildlife protection.

After arriving at the trailhead near the Blacksmith Fork River 1.8 miles east of Hyrum on Hwy 101 and noting the intersection of two other trails nearby, we hiked north from the parking area. Snowshoes were declined in favor of boots due to trail conditions of mud, light snow, and rocks.

Once we climbed to the Provo bench level of the ancient Lake Bonneville we had a full view of Cache Valley and the Wellsville Mountains. We soon discovered a freshly-killed cow elk carcass on the trail. Eventually we met four hunters hauling a second elk in a sled on their way back to pick up the first animal.

At about two miles we arrived in sight of the USDA National Wildlife Research Center and our turn-around point. Several coyotes were visible in the pens but unfortunately, we were not treated to their howling. From this point three hikers continued north past Millville Canyon to the Providence Canyon trailhead and a previously placed vehicle, while five hikers returned to the Blacksmith Fork trailhead.

Trip Summary:
  • Eight participants: Jane (leader), Dave, Eugene, Gordon, Brent, Ralph, Logan, and Luke
  • Drove 10 miles from Smith’s Marketplace to the Blacksmith Fork trailhead
  • Started hiking at 10:25. Blacksmith Fork hikers returned to cars at 12:45. Providence hikers at 1:30
  • Cloudy sky, no rain or snow.
  • Hiked 4 miles with about 200 feet of elevation (Blacksmith Fork) or 5 miles with about 700 feet of elevation (Providence).

Thanks to Jane for the narrative and photos, Ralph for photos and Dave for photos and GPS data.

Cache Hikers, near the Blacksmith Fork trailhead

Skies were cloudy, but we still enjoyed good views of the Wellsville Mountains

There had been more snow on the trail but most had melted in recent days

The "Deer Fence" portion of the trail
Looking for coyotes near the Wildlife Research facility
Dead elk along the Blacksmith Fork-Millville section
 Dead deer along the Millville-Providence section

Our GPS track for the Blacksmith Fork hikers shows about 4 miles and 200 feet of ascent.
You can look at our route using Google Earth or download our GPS file.