Murray Farm Trailhead, 1 November 2020

Big game hunting seasons were over so a number of Cache Hiker "regulars" decided to get together for another hike while the fall weather was still with us.  A total of twelve people joined the hike.  Most of the hikers met at the Logan Ranger Station while other hikers joined the group at the Wellsville Park-and-Ride and at the trailhead. The newly constructed parking area at the trailhead is a great improvement over the previous situation, with plenty of parking and a restroom, too. 

We started out by following the Narrow Canyon trail west from the trailhead.  After 0.2 miles the Wide Canyon trail split off to the north but we continued to follow the trail southwest as it passed through a grassy meadow and into the Narrow Canyon drainage.  The trail here was surrounded by maple trees, and unfortunately, invasive plants.   White bryony vines covered trees and bushes, and burdock, houndstongue, teasel, Canada thistle, curly dock and poison hemlock crowded  in from the sides.

We reached the Wellsville Mountain Wilderness Area boundary 1.2 miles from our start, the service road for the communication tower on Murrays Hill at mile 1.9 and the top of Wide Canyon at 2.4 miles (the Forest Service plans to re-route the trail between Narrow and Wide Canyon so it stays within the Wilderness area).  We stopped in a grassy meadow for a leisurely lunch shortly after starting down Wide Canyon.

After lunch we continued following the Wide Canyon trail as it descended toward the valley.  We left the Wilderness Area behind at mile 3.3 and entered a grassy meadow near the bottom of Wide Canyon, where we stopped to investigate a "guzzler" before continuing down the trail as it turned toward the south.  The trail between Wide and Narrow canyons follows the shoreline of old Lake Bonneville, and in one place shoreline deposits form a natural dam across a minor drainage between the two canyons (a few hikers left the trail to explore another guzzler there).  Our loop hike ended upon reaching the trailhead after 4.8 miles.  

We saw no other hikers on our trip, although a group of equestrians returned to the trailhead about the same time we did. We saw robins, white-crowned sparrows, a brown creeper, a downy woodpecker and juncos.

Trip Summary:
  • Participants:  Dan, Jane, Teresa, Laurel, Susan, Dick, Sarah, Chris, Dave P., Brent, Kris and Dave W. (leader)
  • Drove 14 miles from the Logan Ranger Station to the Murray Farm Trailhead
  • Started hiking about 9:40, lunch 11:25 - 12:00, back at the trailhead by 1:40
  • Clear skies, calm winds and pleasant temperatures
  • Hiked about 4.8 miles with 1400 feet of ascent and descent

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

Arriving at the new Murray Farm Trailhead
The start of our hike at the bottom of Narrow Canyon
White bryony vines covered trees and bushes
The Forest Service plans to move the trail away from this service road so it stays inside the Wilderness
Lunch Flagging
Lunch in a grassy meadow near the top of Wide Canyon
Flagging marked the Wilderness Boundary
Looking east from Wide Canyon toward Cache Valley
Part of a guzzler in Wide Canyon
An old guzzler south of Wide Canyon (precipitation collects on the sheet metal and drains into the storage tank to provide water for birds)
An embankment created by Lake Bonneville dammed off this area between Wide Canyon and Narrow Canyon

Our GPS track shows 4.8 miles with about 1400 feet of ascent and descent.
You can look at our route using Google Earth or download our GPS file.