Richards Hollow, 16 June, 2024

Ten Cache Hikers joined to hike Richards Hollow from its primary trailhead in Blacksmith Fork Canyon’s Left Hand Fork to the Elbow, forgoing the final stretch to White Bedground Spring.  These were Susan, Kathy, Joan, Teresa, Dave P., Dave W., Cameron, Kamren, Brent L., and Clay.  Kathy and Susan, according to plan, hiked to just beyond the waterfall and turned back. 

The initial section of 1.3 miles climbing up past the waterfall and into the upper part of the trail is usually drier and hotter than the upper portion. This time, it was pleasantly cool, shady, and green and even comfortable on the return.  Most of the arrowleaf balsamroot in the section were past bloom; some of the big-leaf balsamroot remained in bloom.  A few lupines were blooming.  Plenty of water was still flowing in the lower stream, requiring artful crossings in more commonly dry areas.  The usually light waterfall had a stronger flow and offered a nice break and view to the several who descended the steep trail to its base.

The group continued from the waterfall over slight hills, sometimes to bypass the level of the stream, past accents provided by aesthetic rocky outcroppings, and through abundant larkspur and thick patch after thick patch of fragrant bluebells.  The narrow hollow bottom with the winding stream repeatedly required agility and cleverness to pass through without simply wading.  That narrow portion was punctuated by a broader opening to the east leading to Cart Hollow.  The final stretch to the Elbow was wider and gentler with most of the same vegetation.  We greeted the Elbow and turned back to a clump of trees to have lunch.  It was a cool enough day and even cooler at that point, requiring multiple hikers to replace their jackets and sweaters.

The trailhead was a little crowded in the beginning, but we only passed two hikers and a couple mountain bikers while being passed at least four times by motorbikes.

Trip Summary:
  • Ten hikers: Kamren (trip leader), Brent L., Susan, Kathy, Dave P., Joan, Clay, Teresa, Dave W., and Cameron
  • Drove 15 miles from the Smith’s Marketplace to the Left Hand Fork, than another 4 miles over rough road to the trailhead
  • Began hiking at about 8:40 am, ate lunch near the Elbow at 12:25 pm, returned to the trailhead around 3:30 pm
  • Plenty of clouds at the meeting point in Logan; pleasant, cool, and clear throughout the hike; occasional breeze
  • Hiked about 9.8 miles with 1700 feet of elevation gain

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

A group photo near the beginning of our hike

The waterfall was flowing in fine form

Water ran down the trail in several locations, but hikers managed to keep dry

A side trail headed east to Cart Hollow The queen on her throne

Pleasant conditions in upper Richards Hollow

Previous restoration at the Elbow, our turn-around point
Lunch at the Elbow

Interesting rock formations along the trail

Dave W shows the proper way to deal with houndstongue

Baneberry (later it will have bright red, shiny berries) Wild hyacinth

Bracket fungus
Ruffed grouse, hiding near the trail

Our GPS track shows about 9.8 miles and 1700 feet of ascent.
You can look at our route using Google Earth or download our GPS file.