Highline Loop, 9 February, 2020

Grippers on boots were the gear of the day as nine Cache Hikers met for a Sunday morning walk in lower Logan Canyon. Trail conditions included ice, packed snow, slush, dirt, and gravel, sometimes within a few feet.  Most put on their traction devices near the tunnel at First Dam and headed up the switchbacks to the north. The fabulous view of Cache Valley and the Wellsville Mountains from the Highline Trail inspired a pause, and the interpretive signs along the way were appreciated.

The route was a figure 8 from First Dam using the Highline, Canyon Gateway, and River Trails.
At the unmarked junction on the Highline we descended to the Gateway, passed under the road, over the river, and through the woods to Stokes Nature Center and Red Bridge (a small parking area accessed by a non-red bridge). From Red Bridge we crossed the highway and walked west on the shoulder for about a 100 yards to reconnect with the Highline Trail.

A sunny hillside was our spot for lunch and some decadent chocolate treats Kathy provided from the Chocolate Festival. Hiking west on the Highline Trail we got a second chance at the stunning views of the Wellsvilles as well as Logan Canyon. At the unmarked junction we again headed steeply downhill then west onto the Canyon Gateway Trail, past the power plant, Ray Hugie Park, and back through the tunnel at First Dam.

We saw a dipper flitting about in the Logan River, some chickadees in the junipers on the Highline, several human runners and hikers, a few dogs, and one skier (carrying skis).  The chill in the shady parts kept us walking, but the sunny areas under blue skies were pure pleasure.

Trip Summary:
  • Hikers: Susan, Kathy, Dave P., Brent, Chris, Lynne, Michelle, Robert, Jane (leader)
  • Drove a mere 3 miles to Canyon Gateway Park (First Dam) and a network of trails
  • Started hiking about 10:30 with lunch 12:10-12:40 and return to cars about 1:40
  • Hiked about 3.7 miles with 300 feet elevation gain
  • Temperatures in the 30’s with mostly clear skies

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

Starting out near First Dam
Looking west from the Highline Trail, over First Dam and  toward the Wellsville Mountains
On the Gateway Trail
The trail goes under US-89
The footbridge over the Logan River
Tufa deposits
Stokes Nature Center
Our lunch spot near the Highline Trail
"Show your trail cleats"
Jane's map showing the route
Our GPS track shows about 3.7 miles and 300 feet of ascent and descent.
You can look at our route using Google Earth or download our GPS file..