Willow Creek - Little Cottonwood Loop, 1 June, 2019
Nine hikers, Susan (trip leader), Jane, Dave W., Dave P., Diane, Teresa, Laurel, Brent, and Bree carpooled from Logan, leaving at about 8:10 a.m. and arriving at the Right Hand Fork trailhead at about 8:40 a.m. The hikers started on the Right Hand Fork Trail at about 8:50 a.m. continuing on the Willow Creek Trail to an unmarked cutoff located at a sharp bend/switchback and small stream crossing (2 miles).
This faint muddy path continued to a small muddy cow pond. From there, the footpath became faint to non-existent and the group then continued cross-country through (just about to bloom) Mule-ears (Wyethia amplexicaulis) north to where the Maughan Hollow trail emerged from the southwest at a wide-open basin filled with flowers. This year, we were rewarded with stunning stands of yellow Grays biscuitroot (Lomatium grayi), blue camas (Camassia quamash) and many other wildflower species.
The hikers then proceeded across the basin to the saddle on the ridge above the north side of the basin. The Little Cottonwood jeep road was located just beyond this point. The group stopped for lunch at a rocky spot on the ridge near the road.
Views of Mt Elmer, Beirdneau Peak, Logan Peak, Logan Canyon and the Cache Valley could be seen from here. Unlike 2018, there was plenty of snow left on the peaks. Following lunch, the group continued west (left) along the jeep road and down through Little Cottonwood Canyon to the corral and arrived at the parking area at 1:15pm.
We saw lots of other people recreating. Three other hikers and a large group of mountain bikers left at the same time as our group and during the hike we encountered four mountain bikers on the jeep road, a dirt bike, three people on mules with three dogs, and a couple on a horse and a mule. At the the end of the hike the parking area was crowded with cars and horse trailers and there was a couple with a group of pack goats ‘in training’.
Thanks to Susan for photos and the narrative, Jane for photos and Dave W. for photos and the GPS data..