Leatham Hollow, 9 July, 2023

Fourteen people were on this hike: Mira, Laurel, Jane E, Jane P, Susan, Kathy, Brent L, Brent J, Kamren, David, Alex, Deanna (with dogs Jasper and Kuni), Joan, and Dave P (leader).  It was already quite warm at the trailhead.  We soon entered the shaded forest, but the humidity and stillness in the hollow made for sweaty hiking.  After about a mile we crossed the end of the spring run and about a half mile farther saw the large spring coming out of the hillside to the NE.

The vegetation was exuberant and the hillsides green from the wet winter which meant lots of flowers, but also lots of weeds.  The flowers included hillsides of enchanter's nightshade in shaded areas and mule-ears in the sun, patches of little sunflower and columbine, the occasional larkspur, clarkia, and fluffy seed-heads of heart-leaf arnica.  The main weeds were burdock, hound’s tongue, and one patch of white bryony(!). Insects included butterflies like swallowtails, painted ladies, fritillaries, mourning cloaks, and little blues.  Some hikers applied DEET to repel mosquitos.

Dave P attempted to find the black sandstone of the geological Leatham Formation, which marks the end of the Devonian Period and a major extinction event.  Unfortunately, the formation was covered with valley fill where the trail crossed it.   When we took a short side trail at the second switchback to an overlook Alex spotted a thin band across the valley between the Lodgepole limestone and the Beirdneau formation that is likely it.

After reaching the Millville Hollow Road we headed for the ridge to the west for lunch, which involved bushwhacking for about 200 yards.  We were rewarded with a clear view of Cache Valley and the Wellsville Mountains.  It was about noon and everyone chose to eat in the shade of Douglas firs at the edge of a field of mule-ears.

On the way back we still couldn’t find a good route from the ridge to the trail.  At this point we hadn’t encountered any other hikers.  But after cooling off at the spring we encountered a lone hiker and then two groups lower down.

Trip Summary:
  • Fourteen participants: Mira, Laurel, Jane E, Jane P, Susan, Kathy, Brent L, Brent J, Kamren, David, Alex, Deanna (with dogs Jasper and Kuni), Joan, and Dave P (leader).
  • Drove 16 miles to the Leatham Hollow trailhead in the Left Hand Fork of Blacksmith Fork Canyon 
  • Sunny and hot
  • Hiked about 8.5 miles with about 2200 feet of elevation

Thanks to Dave P for the narrative and photos, David and Jane for photos

The trail begins a long switchback after passing the Leatham Hollow Spring, 1.4 miles from the trailhead

Much of the trail along the switchbacks is through a shady carpet of enchanter's nightshade

We took a short side-trip to visit a scenic overlook
Looking out over Blacksmith Fork Canyon

The saddle at the top of Leatham Hollow

Our lunch spot had a little shade, a view of the Wellsville Mountains to the west, and lots of flowers

Colorado columbine, Aquilegia coerulea (it's white in Utah)
Thimbleberry,  Rubus parviflorus

 Little sunflower, Helianthella uniflora, and blue flax, Linum lewisii

Paintbrush, Castelleja ssp.
Wood's rose, rosa woodsii
False solomonseal, Maianthenum racemosum, and enchanter's nightshade, Circeae alpina (Circe, an enchantress of Greek mythology, could turn her enemies into animals)

Diamond Clarkia , Clarkia rohmboidea
Tufted rockmat, Petrophytum caespitosum
Our GPS estimate (from a previous hike) is about 8.5 miles and 2200 feet of ascent.
You can look at our estimated route using Google Earth or download our GPS file.