Mt. Elmer, 24 July, 2022

Twelve Cache Hikers met at Smith’s Marketplace on Main Street, and after introductions carpooled 8.5 miles to the end of Green Canyon Road.  A cool morning with a temperature of about 55 degrees greeted us at the trailhead.  After pictures, the group departed on the hike about 9:00 a.m .  We enjoyed the moderate climb over the first couple of miles before the much steeper section over the 3rd mile and reached the second spring and watering trough at about 10:30. Some hikers refilled their water supplies from the cold and clear spring.  Wildflowers were abundant and some of the group attempted to identify some of the lesser-known species.  All appreciated the still partly cloudy skies that were helping to keep the temperature pleasant.

The group split at this juncture with four hikers turning back to the starting trailhead and seven continuing on the trek to Mt. Elmer.  The twelfth hiker investigated the condition of alternate trails; a trail section constructed by the Forest Service to bypass a hazardous part of the main trail, and an old trail section going to the ridge north of Beirdneau Peak (see the blue lines on the map, below).  

The Mt. Elmer group forged on with our pace slowing a bit as we climbed the steep trail to the main ridge.  A couple of short breaks were taken for water and snacks as we progressed.  The formerly partly cloudy skies cleared making it a bit less pleasant as the sun was now out in full force.  Wildflowers and fantastic views were abundant along the entire route making this challenging trek worth the effort.

We stopped for lunch about 12:45 before continuing the final push to base of Mt. Elmer.  After making the main ridge, we enjoyed the views of Cache Valley, Smithfield Dry, and Birch Canyon, and peaks including, Naomi, Flattop, Cherry Peak, Logan, Ben Lomond, Willard Peak, and the Wellsville Mountains.

We reached the base of Mt. Elmer about 1:30 and the group continued past the northwest side of Mt. Elmer.  Two hikers ascended the peak from the northeast side.  This route required some scrambling, but footing was much better than the usual route on the southeast side.  The other hikers returned to the southeast side and attempted to summit the ridge via the usual route.  One hiker continued while the others turned back discouraged by the extremely unstable footing.  In the end three hikers reached the summit.  All three hikers descended via the southeast route. 

About 2:30 we started back and after stopping for a short break and water refill at the second spring, arrived at the trailhead about 5:40 and Logan by about 6:15.

Trip Summary:
  •     Participants: Dan, Dave P, Dave W, Deanna, Jane, Kamren, Susan, Teresa, Hunter, Jack, King, and Ralph
  •     Left Logan 8:05 and drove 9 miles to the end of Green Canyon Road
  •     Started hiking 9:00, lunch 12:45 to 1:00 before the final stretch to Mt. Elmer at 1:30
  •     Back at the trailhead at 5:40 and Logan at 6:15
  •     Partly Cloudy skies and pleasant temperatures
  •     11.4 miles with more than 3600 feet of climbing

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

 The Green Canyon Trailhead, where the Forest Service has yet to post maps and information on their new kiosk

We traveled through grassy meadows at first The spring at mile 1.4 was flowing

The Mount Naomi Wilderness boundary, at mile 1.9
Great water flow at the mile 2.8 spring
Resting and refilling water bottles at the spring Wildflowers near the spring
A "new" but seldom used bypass heads up the southeast-facing slope at mile 3.0
The new bypass is only about 15 years old but it has nearly disappeared from lack of use
An old trail at mile 3.6 heads east to the ridge north of Beirdneau Peak
Crossing upper Cottonwood Canyon South Fork, about mile 4.8
Mt. Elmer, northeast from upper Cottonwood Canyon South Fork West across Birch Canyon toward Flattop (on the right)
South from Mt. Elmer to Beirdneau Peak and Logan Peak
North from Mt. Elmer to Naomi Peak and Cherry Peak

Fossil crinoid arms?
Swallowtail butterfly

Cow bones (?) near a hazardous trail section
Fireweed (Chamaenerion angustifolium)

Showy goldeneye (Heliomeris multiflora)
Coyote mint, mountain pennyroyal, etc. (Monardella odoratissima)
Clasping Arnica (Arnica lanceolata)

Our GPS track shows about 11 miles and 3600 feet of ascent.
You can look at our route using Google Earth or download our GPS file.