Peterson Hollow Hike, September 8, 2012
This was the first time any of the participants actually hiked on
this trail. Eight people joined the hike; Dan (the leader),
Dave P., Dave W., Jane, Denis, Deanna, Gordon and Reinhard.
After meeting at our usual spot in Logan, we formed carpools and
drove up Franklin Basin road to the location indicated on our
topographic maps. The Logan River is shallow here so we were
able to cross by stepping on rocks, and we followed a cattle trail
downstream along the route shown on our map before we encountered
the actual trail almost 1/2 mile from our start.
This obviously is an old trail, deeply worn by decades of past
use. Recent stock and game traffic has turned the surface
into dry, powdery dust that drifted into the air as we
walked. The trail was well-maintained for the first 2 or 3
miles, with evidence of recently cut logs. Lower Peterson Hollow
is gently sloping and shady. It changes to open sagebrush
terrain and finally aspen trees, where fallen logs lay across the
way and the trail morphs into a branching cattle path.
According to our map, the trail continued another 1/4 mile toward
the northeast, but we left the indicated route and followed a
cattle path directly to Wiggler Lake, our destination.
Wiggler Lake appears to be a sinkhole with murky water in the
bottom, but it obviously is an important water source for
livestock and game. Animal paths, like the one we followed,
arrive here from many directions. Archery deer season is
underway - there are portable stands in trees overhead and
area reeks with the musky smell of "deer scent" (apparently
placed here by hunters to mask their scent and to attract
deer). The "lake" didn't seem like
an pleasant place to eat, so we went a short distance
south to a rocky overlook for lunch-with-a-view. Beaver Mountain
dominated the view toward the southeast, and we spotted Gog, Magog
and Naomi toward the southwest.
After lunch we went back almost the same way that we
came. Upon reaching the lower end of Peterson Hollow,
however, we stayed on the main trail, straight down to the Logan
River, where we found the sign "Peterson Hollow Trail 135".
Next time we will start
here, which promises to save 3/4 mile off the total trip
distance (see our route on the map, below). It was easier
to cross the river here, too.
This was an enjoyable hike. We saw an elk, a Clark's
nutcracker, several ruffed grouse, a carrion beetle and a
Mormon cricket along the way! (We saw
cows, too, but these don't count). Our trip totaled 1500
feet of elevation and 8.6 total miles. The weather was
excellent, with a clear sky and moderate
temperature. It was a moderate-level activity, with
an interesting destination and varied terrain. We think a
mid-summer hike would be better, however, with the promise of
wildflowers and less evidence of cattle grazing. Peterson
Hollow could be a pleasant winter snowshoe or cross-country ski
route, although the area is designated for motorized winter
The south end of the trail, near the Logan River
The GPS track of our hike shows 8.6 miles and 1500 feet elevation