Swan Peak, 19 July, 2020
Eleven hikers drove up Logan Canyon to Swan Flat Road, and then another 3 miles to the Swan Peak trailhead. The hike is rated as moderate; however, you gain 650 feet (straight up) in the first half-mile. The remaining 1.5 miles to Swan Peak is undulating. Hiking conditions were wonderful: clear skies, pleasant temperatures, and a slight breeze. Looking to the west along the trail, we could see several peaks in the Bear River Range, including Logan Peak, Beirdneau, Elmer, and Naomi.
We walked through mixed conifer/aspen, sagebrush, and mountain mahogany vegetation. Wildflowers were abundant, including sego lily, stonecrop, geranium, yarrow, Indian paintbrush, whorled buckwheat, tapertip hawksbeard, tall larkspur, groundsel, and forget-me-not. We came across several slabs of fucoidal quartzite with well-defined burrows created by ancient marine worms.
We ate lunch near the top of the peak, while enjoying an amazing panoramic view of Bear Lake. On the return trip, we took a branch trail to a small pond surrounded by conifers and aspen. We then headed back down the main trail and negotiated the 650-foot slope at the end.
Editor's note: At a grade of nearly 30%, the lower Swan Peak Trail is one of the steepest trail sections in our area.
Thanks for Chris for the narrative and photos and Dave W. for photos and GPS data.