Cottonwood Canyon - Jardine Juniper Loop, 27 June, 2021

It’s been hot, and this hike has a notorious steep and exposed ridge section.  Nevertheless 7 hikers ventured forth: Cameron, April, Joan, Jane P, Jane E, Dave W, and Dave P (leader).  We were pleased to find lower Cottonwood Canyon shady and lush with wild geranium, thimbleberry, and cow parsnip.  We reached the ridge and climbed up slowly, stopping at the shade of the occasional limber pine to let the sweat evaporate.  At the Jardine Juniper we took a snack break near the gigantic base of the tree.  Above the tree we took the shady route and again appreciated the cool forest with wild roses and ferns.  After the Cottonwood Canyon turn off into the Wilderness the trail was much brushier.  A woodpecker was observed in some burned trees.  We picked a breezy spot for lunch before dropping down into Cottonwood.  As the trail crossed the South Fork we heard and then saw water gushing from a large spring.  The trail down Cottonwood Canyon was slippery with small rocks in places and pretty brushy.  The canyon had dramatic cliffs and intermittent water visited by butterflies.

Trip Summary:
  • Kamren, April, Joan, Jane P, Jane E, Dave W, and Dave P (leader)
  • Drove 15 miles up Logan Canyon to the mouth of Cottonwood Canyon
  • Started hiking about 8:30, at Jardine Juniper about 10:30, lunch about 11:45 - 12:15, back at our cars at 3:00
  • Clear skies and warm temperatures
  • Hiked abut 7.2 miles with about 2000 feet of ascent and descent

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

The Trailhead at the mouth of Cottonwood Canyon
Trail Trail
The tread was well maintained but steep, requiring hikers to climb up through rock outcroppings
The Jardine Juniper is reached after 1.7 miles and 1500 feet of climbing
The path down Cottonwood Canyon was overgrown
Colorado blue columbine, Aquilegia caerulea (the State Flower of Colorado)
Little sunflower, Helianthella uniflora
Sego lily, Calochortus nutallii (The State Flower of Utah)
Pale evening primrose, Oenothera pallida
Thimbleberry, Rubus parviflorus
Our GPS track shows about 7.2 miles and 2000 feet of ascent and descent.
You can look at our route using Google Earth or download our GPS file.