Ephraim's Grave, 31 May, 2020

No Cache Hiker events were scheduled during early summer 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns, but some hikers arranged to meet for a "socially distant" hike to Ephraim's Grave.  The Forest Service would unlock the road gates the next day, so we took the opportunity to do this hike without the ATVs, truck and jeeps roaring past us..

On a Sunday morning,seven hikers met at the Right Hand Fork trailhead after arriving in separate vehicles. We followed the Willow Creek trail about 2.4 miles to the junction with the Ephraim's Cutoff Trail (it's good that we knew the way since the trail sign was missing). We were treated with fields of wildflowers and great views of the main ridge of the Bear River Range as we ascended to the ridge overlooking Long Hollow.  After a short lunch break we continued down the trail, following a little used and poorly maintained switchback section to upper Right Fork Logan Canyon.  We crossed the small stream and walked 1/3 mile up the road to the Ephraim's Grave monument. 6.3 miles from the trailhead.  The stone monument, with its inscriptions and nearby benches and parking area, is not the actual grave site.  Rather, a wood sign about 200 feet to the west marks the spot where the famous grizzly bear was actually buried. 

After leaving the grave site we walked another 1.8 miles to the south, up the Long Hollow road to the Steel Hollow Trail.  A few motorcycles passed us along the way, and we passed Dog Springs, where the sign was missing but water was flowing.  The trail down Steel Hollow was deeply rutted in places, probably from motorcycle traffic.  A number of young people passed us on mountain bikes, but we did not encounter any hikers until we were nearly back to Willow Creek.  

This was a good hike, but it was long.  For those wishing to hike to Ephraim's Grave, we recommend early summer, like we did, before it gets too hot and before the back-country roads are opened up to motor vehicles (or, hike both ways on Ephraim's Cutoff Trail so there's only a little road walking).  Otherwise, you may have a better experience driving there (consider going by way of Cowley Canyon and Marie Springs to avoid the steep and narrow side-hill section above Mud Flat). 

Trip Summary:
  • Participants:  Jane, Dave W., Dave P.,  David W., Michelle, Brent and Teresa
  • Drove independently to the Right Hand Fork Trailhead.
  • Started hiking about 9:15, with a short lunch from 12:40 - 1:05.  Arrived Ephraim's Grave at 2:00, Steel Hollow Trail at 3:20 and the trailhead at 5:20.
  • Partly cloudy skies, breezy and warm
  • About 12 miles of hiking with 2600 feet of ascent and descent.

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

"Socially distant" hikers on the Willow Creek Trail
Hiking on Ephraim's Cutoff Trail
Snow-covered peaks of the Bear River Range
One of many large cairns on Ephraim's Cutoff Trail
Sinkhole along Ephraim's Cutoff Trail
MuleEars Switchback
A meadow of mule-ears The switchbacks on Ephraim's Cutoff need work
Monument Grave
Ephraim's monument Ephraim's actual burial site
Steel Hollow Hyacinth
The top of Steel Hollow Wild Hyacinth
Service Berry
Leopard Lily
Service Berry
Sun Cups
Sun Cups
Bastard Toadflax
                        Solomon's Seal
False Solomon's seal
Robin's nest
Our GPS track shows about 12 miles and 2600 feet of ascent and descent.
You can look at our route using Google Earth or download our GPS file.