Cottonwood Canyon - Jardine Juniper Loop, 10 September, 2017
Eleven hikers walked a loop that went up the old Jardine Juniper trail, past the juniper, and down Cottonwood Canyon. Participants included Dave W., Jane, Dave P., Denis, Chris, Becky, Katie, Leah, Megan, Stephanie, and Laurel (the leader).
Most flowers were gone, but there was still some blooming goldeneye and goldenrod, and a few thimbleberries, chokecherries, and elderberries, some of which we tasted, but most were pretty tart. We scared a few grouse out of trees (and they scared us as well with their sudden loud flapping as they took off). We saw one aspen trunk gnawed through about halfway by a beaver. We had sunny skies until we had done all the uphill, and then during lunch we enjoyed a welcome reprieve thanks to cloud cover, which persisted for an hour or so.
We hiked down shady Cottonwood Canyon with cliffs on either side and an intermittent stream in the bottom., along with some makeshift bridges and a few camping sites. There were fish in the water, which made us wonder how they would survive the winter. A recently installed sign board near the mouth of Cottonwood Canyon marked the end of the trail.
Thanks to Laurel for the narrative and photos, Jane and Dave P. for photos, and Dave W. for photos and GPS work
Editors Note: We encourage users to travel on official Forest Service "System Trails", but much of this hike occurred on unofficial trails. These Cottonwood Canyon area trails existed in the past but had been abandoned because of their high maintenance needs and because there are alternative trails. Recently individuals have worked unofficially to restore and partially modify these trails so they are usable.