Cache Hikers Logo


Franklin Basin Moonlight Ski/Snowshoe, 31 January, 2015

21 Cache Hikers enjoyed a memorable night outing in Franklin Basin under a cloudless sky and a nearly-full moon. Jane and trip leader Dave W were on cross-country skis, while Lavae, Kip, Brent, Terry, Robin, Jeanne, Jill, Jeremy, Chris, Stephanie G., Slade, Carol J., Jolene, Matt, Jordan, Monika, David L, Alexi and Carol K used snowshoes and Monika's dog Fritzi was "on foot". The group organizing into carpools and set out for the 25-mile trip to Franklin Basin.

Arriving at the Franklin Basin Winter Trailhead about 7:00 p.m., everyone donned their skis and snowshoes and headed out into the moonlit snowscape. The moon was already bright and high in the sky, although it was several days before the date of the actual full moon. We followed the Logan River into Franklin Basin under the natural illumination of the night, with icy snow crunching under skis and snowshoes. We saw familiar constellations overhead, although the bright moonlight masked our view of dimmer stars.

About 8:15 we arrived at our destination near Hansen Hollow, with previously-prepared seating and a ready-to-light campfire. We shared tasty treats as we sat around the fire, enjoying the moonlit night and the pleasant company. The snow bench was too small to accommodate our numbers, but nearby rocks and a fence provided "overflow seating". After the fire died down Dave W soaked the embers with snow and water and packed everything out, firepan and all.

The skiers zoomed back to the trailhead on the icy snow, taking advantage of the "fastest" snow conditions we have encountered on a moonlight hike. Several snowshoers carried their snowshoes back when they found the hard-packed snow on the groomed trail was strong enough to support their weight. Fritzi had the best deal, hitchhiking back in the arms of David L for most of the way.

,Trip Summary:

  • A 25-mile drive to the trailhead, arriving about 7:00 and on the trail about 7:10
  • 8:15 - 9:00 , campfire and snacks
  • 9:40 back at the trailhead and Logan at 10:30
  • Clear sky, moon 4 days before "full" (93% illumination), frozen snow surfaces, with estimated air temperature a little below freezing
  • 3.6 miles round trip with 270 feet of elevation

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


Starting out under the moon and stars


Sitting around the fire on a bench of snow

Fence sitters Rock sitters
"Overflow seating" on a nearby fence More "overflow seating", on a nearby rock

Fire sitters

Fire dog

Enjoying the fire Even Fritzi had a good time



Beaver Mountain and Logan River, 2015 Beaver Mountain and Logan River, 2014
There was noticeably less snow than last year, as shown by these two photos
No Headlamps
Snowshoeing under the moonlight (no headlamps needed)

Apparently some snowmobilers did not know the regulations (or they didn't care) when they rode through a non-motorized area near Hansen Hollow

Our GPS track shows 3.6 miles and 270 feet of elevation

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