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Franklin Basin Ski/Snowshoe, 17 March, 2019

Eight hikers, Dave W on skis and Dave P, Dave We, Susan, Michelle, Chris, Jesse, and Dan (the leader) on snowshoes, met at 10 a.m. and carpooled up to the Franklin Basin parking lot. We started out from there at about 10:50 a.m. with crusty snow and bright sunshine. After crossing the Logan River the route took us left across a large meadow and then up through the woods.

We got slightly off course in the first mile but quickly found our way. The forest changed from conifer to aspen as we climbed. Numerous animal tracks were seen. It was slow going. The group stopped for lunch at about 12:25 p.m., utilizing a log as a seat. We had done a mile and a half at this point.

Continuing on up the hill we made the ridge at 1:20 pm then, after a short break, turned right and started down through mature forest. We stopped to take a group picture with dramatic landscape behind and then descended on the ridge with good views. Then bearing right again we came down through aspen eventually coming out into meadows at the bottom of the basin. Dave W made his way cautiously through the thick forest on skis keeping in touch on radio. The snow was slushy in the warm afternoon sun.

Returning to the road we crossed the bridge noting the small stoneflies (Plecoptera) in the snow. We reached the cars at about 3 p.m. We had traveled 4.5 miles and climbed 1200 feet.

Trip Summary:

  • Eight participants: Dave x 3 (Dave P, Dave W and Dave We), Jesse, Michelle, Susan, Chris and Dan (leader)
  • Drove 25 miles to the Franklin Basin Winter Trailhead
  • Started on the trail at 10:55, with lunch from 12:25 - 12:50
  • Back at the trailhead at 2:55 and Logan at 3:30.
  • Sunny skies and calm, with temperatures in the 40s
  • Traveled 4.5 miles with 1200 feet of ascent and descent

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

At the Steam Mill Trailhead (the trailhead sign seems to be missing)
A fallen tree over the trail Ascending
A group photo with Steam Mill Canyon in the background
Descending through the trees
Descending a ridge crest with Beaver Mountain in the background
On the groomed trail near the Logan River

Logan River and Beaver Mountain (you can compare snow depth with previous years, below)
Logan River March 2017 Logan River March 2016
Logan River, March 2015 Logan River, March 2014
The entrance to a rodent hole in the snow
Our GPS track (colored green, for St. Patrick's day) shows about 4.5 miles and 1200 feet of ascent and descent

You can look at our route using Google Earth or download our GPS file.