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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’.

Trip Summary:

  • Nine participants: Susan (trip leader), Jane, Dave W., Dave P., Diane, Teresa, Laurel, Brent, and Bree drove 14 miles to the Right Hand Fork Trailhead
  • Started hiking about 8:50 with lunch from 11:00 – 11:30 at the ridge by the jeep road
  • Back at the parking area about 1:15 and Logan about 2pm • Some muddy trails
  • Lush green spring growth and lots of wildflowers
  • Overcast to partly sunny skies made for pleasant temperatures with a high around 70 degrees
  • Forecast showers held off until later in the afternoon
  • About 6.5 miles with 1100 feet of ascent

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


  Starting out on the Right Hand Fork trail
  Hiking off-trail through meadows of wildflowers (Wasatch desertparsley at this location)
  Hiking along the Little Cottonwood Road with snowy peaks of the Bear River Range in the distance
  Enjoying lunch with a view


Meadows filled with blue camas

  Riders near Little Cottonwood Spring
Yellow violet Blue camas
  Woodland star Arnica
  Serviceberry Clematis
  White camas (actually, a color variant of blue camas) Larkspur
  Death camas American bistort
  Stoneseed Big-leaf balsamroot
  Wasatch desertparsley, Lomatium bicolor Rocky Mountain juniper trees, cut down to "improve" the range for livestock
  Our GPS track shows about 6.5 miles and 1100 feet of ascent and descent

You can look at our route using Google Earth or download our GPS file.