Sink Hollow Wildflower Walk, July 13, 2013

Six Cache hikers enjoyed a walk in Sink Hollow on Saturday, July 13, 2013.  Terry, Jim, Dan, Dave W. and Crystal followed Reinhard as he led us on this wildflower walk.  Our route followed the Sink Hollow Trail, which is part of the Great Western Trail system.  This is one of our favorite non-motorized winter trails, but in the summer it is open to ATVs and motorcycles.  We parked a short distance up the trail and proceeded on foot (of course) as the trail changed from a rough double-track to an ATV trail.  Occasional metal scrapes on rocks, broken ATV pieces and spilled oil showed this could be a troublesome route for the motorized crowd. 

We arrived at the sinkhole at mile 1.7 and walked down inside to take a better look - something we certainly would not do in the winter!  At mile 1.8 we reached the Idaho border, and we had our first view of the purple monkeyflower near the stream crossing at mile 2.2.  We continued hiking another half mile in an unsuccessful attempt to find the "grass of Parnassus" flowers, but we did see twistedstalk, lousewort, saxifrage, bog orchids, and more.  A rain shower muddied the trail and caused us all to don rain gear, but it did not last long.  On the way out, Admiral butterflies flocked to the trail as they apparently tried to suck up moisture from the drying soil.   Jim and Reinhard took a slower pace on the way out while the others went ahead, returning to Logan about 3:15. 

The walk totaled 5.75 miles.  We encountered motorcycles, equestrians and ATVs, but no other hikers on the trail. In the future, we should consider avoiding the Saturday crowd by choosing another day for this trip.  This also could be an interesting mountain biking loop by connecting with the Beaver Creek Road. 

Thanks to Dan for photos and Dave W.  photos, narrative, and the GPS track.

On the border
At the Utah-Idaho border

In the sinkhole
Down in the bottom of the sinkhole

Purple monkeyflower

Admiral butterfly Saxifrage
Admiral butterfly

Sink Hollow GPS track
Our GPS track showed about 5.75 miles and 900 feet elevation gain

Click to see the GPS track using Google Maps or Google Earth