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Deer Fence Hike, May 10, 2014

Six Cache Hikers, Stephanie G, Stephanie T, Alex, Jane, Dave P and the leader, Dave W, went on this early season hike in spite of recent cold and rain and a weather forecast for more of the same. The Deer Fence hike had been a frequent "first hike of the season" for the Cache Hikers in the 1990s, so we were pleased to put it back on the calendar. Carpool arrangements were complicated by the need for a shuttle at the end of the hike, but we resolved the puzzle by driving to the ending spot at Providence Canyon and loading everyone into two cars for the trip to the starting location at Blacksmith Fork Canyon.

The hike turned out quite pleasant. The rain showers held off until after we had finished, and most of the trail was mud-free. We shed our outer clothing layers as the day warmed up, and while the clouds never did dissipate over the Wellsville Mountains, we enjoyed plenty of sunshine as we hiked.

Our hiking progress was slowed by frequent stops to admire our surroundings. The spring wildflowers were in full bloom, including long-leaf phlox, stork's bill, foothill death camas, big-leaf and arrow-leaf balsamroot, bitterbrush, and Utah milkvetch. Along the way we encountered a flock of mountain bluebirds, an earnest hummingbird, a couple of soaring turkey vultures and a herd of deer. Of course there were great views of Cache Valley and the (cloud-topped) Wellsville Mountains to the west. We also saw the Millville Predator Research facility, springs, rocky outcroppings, and signs, fences, gates, and equipment associated with the wildlife management function here.

The group arrived at Providence Canyon, the designated end of our hike, just after noon. Three hikers continued north to Dry Canyon while the others loaded into the car we had previously left there and drove back to Blacksmith Fork to pick up the other vehicles. One driver then went to Dry Canyon to pick up the three remaining hikers, and everyone was back in Logan by 1:30.

Trip Summary:

  • Departed 8:20 from the Smith's parking lot
  • Started hiking at Blacksmith Fork about 9:00
  • Warming temperature, calm, and partly-cloudy skies
  • Arrived Providence Canyon about noon
  • Our GPS track showed 4.8 miles with over 700 feet of uphill
  • The hikers who went on to Dry Canyon traveled another 2.8 miles with 250 feet of uphill

Thanks to Dave W. for the narrative and GPS work, with photos by Jane, Dave W and Dave P.



Hiking poles helped when crossing the slippery logs and rocks near Blacksmith Fork


Erosion control barriers installed after the Millville Face fire of 2013

Wellsville view

Cache Valley from the Deer Fence Trail

Death camas

Foothill death camas survived the wildfire

Utah Milkvetch

Utah Milkvetch


Arrowleaf balsamroot and bitterbrush


Our GPS track showed 3.7 miles and 770 feet of elevation

You can also look at our route using Google Earth or the various map and aerial views of Google Maps.