Mill Hollow, 17 January, 2022
The Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday provided the opportunity for a weekday hike and twelve hikers grabbed the chance. After introductions and discussing the plan for the day we drove 7 miles to the icy Spring Hollow trailhead parking lot. With a mixture of cleats and snowshoes, along with poles, everyone was equipped for the trails.
Our route took us uphill past a snow cave and snow table in the campground, then on to the upper group campground and the beginning of the new trail just before the bridge (no sign yet). We enjoyed the views of the Crimson Trail, the China Wall, and Logan Canyon backed up by mostly blue skies. Taking a left at the first (unsigned) junction and right at the signed junction we headed west toward the intersection with the (unsigned) Mill Hollow trail. Our trail had been packed but somewhat choppy to this point, but when we turned south on the Mill Hollow trail the snowshoers had the advantage on the less tracked snow. We hiked through maples and junipers and noticed the planted stand of Ponderosa pines to the west. A half-mile or so up the Hollow we took a break at the second huge boulder. Most of the group continued another quarter-mile while a few relaxed and enjoyed the view. Descending the trail and turning west we soon found a sunny area for a lunch stop, opting to avoid the wind at the Bridger Look-Off viewpoint.
After lunch our trek west toward Bridger Campground provided views of the cliffs, river and ridgetops of Logan Canyon. Throughout the day we saw lots of evidence of deer walking these trails (postholes and droppings) but this narrow sidehill required us bi-peds to make good use of our poles. Reaching the River Trail we took a sharp right and walked past the summer homes, the former Gus Lind campground, and Third Dam to return to our cars. Dippers (Cinclus mexicanus, robust sooty-gray birds) were spotted on two occasions doing their charming knee-bend dance on the rocks in the rushing water of the Logan River. We traveled trails familiar to most, new to some, and easily accessible from town for repeat visits.
Thanks to Jane for the narrative and photos, Ralph and Ophelia for photos and Dave W. for GPS data.