Franklin Basin Ski/Snowshoe, 11 March, 2018
Eight hikers and one dog came out for the Franklin Basin ski/snowshoe outing: Clay, Wendy, Dave P, Susan, Laurel, Teresa, Deanna, Dan (the leader) and Jasper (the dog). All were on snowshoes except Teresa on tele skis and Jasper the dog running along side. We carpooled up after an early morning time change to Daylight Savings, arriving at the trailhead at 10:45am. The parking lot seemed unusually crowded with snowmobiles for a Sunday.
We started off across the first meadow toward the river and curved to the right across the bridge, then left through the second meadow. The snow was crusty at first due to cold night time temperatures. After stopping for a group photo at the Steam Mill Hollow sign we continued up the hill through the forest. The temperatures warmed quickly forcing us to remove layers early on. We took the usual route straight up the hill, along the edge of the third meadow, and back into the forest stopping to catch our breath periodically. The trail eventually transitioned from conifer to aspen forest. We stopped for lunch just after noon finding a nice place to sit in the sun. Unfortunately a group of snow machines disturbed our peaceful lunch by circling around us.
After lunch the group resumed our ascent, reaching the high point about 1:25 p.m. after a 1200 foot climb. Here we rested for a few minutes to take in the views and another group photo. We turned north, descended the ridge as the mixed aspen and conifer forest opened into views of lower Franklin Basin, upper Logan Canyon and the back side of Beaver Mountain. Teresa peeled off to the right doing tele turns down into the trees while the others continued down the ridge to meet her below. We found animal tracks which looked like cat tracks, perhaps a bobcat or small cougar.
We continued through the trees then out into the meadows under bright sunshine, down the road and over the bridge to our cars at the Franklin Basin Winter Trailhead. We finished at about 3:05pm and headed back down the canyon to Logan.
Thanks to Dan for the narrative, photos and GPS data and Dave P. for photos. .