Temple Fork Sawmill, 12 June, 2022
We met at our usual Smith's Marketplace location and learned that Deanna, the scheduled trip leader, could not make it. After deciding that Dave W. would assume the leader role, we carpooled up to the Temple Fork trailhead. We anticipated a lot of hikers on the trail because of the large number of cars parked at the trailhead.
David rode a bicycle up the Temple Fork road while the others hiked up the Temple Fork Sawmill trail. We stopped periodically to observe points of interest along the way, including beaver dams, flowers, trail features and rock formations. At 9:35 we came to a bridge where David was waiting for us - he had ridden his bicycle 4.5 miles over gravel road and trail in less time than it took us to walk 1.5 miles, although I'm sure our experience was more enlightening.
The trail turned to the east and the canyon narrowed as we continued upstream. We crossed the footbridge built last year by the Forest Service and arrived at the historic sawmill location about 10:30. A half-hour was spend exploring the nearby spring and trying the unmaintained part of the trail that heads east toward Temple Spring (this may be an interesting destination for a future trip). It was still too early for lunch, so we went down the trail three quarters of a mile to a place where we could enjoy relaxing near an old beaver dam.
After lunch we took time to observe spawning behavior among the cutthroat trout. Several fish, some of which were quite large, were swimming around in a wide, gravel-bottomed part of the stream. There seemed to be a lot of jostling for position. (There is a kiosk along the road about 1/3 mile before the trailhead with lots of information about the effort to restore Bonneville cutthroat trout to Temple Fork).
We kept track of the number of people encountered on the trail (including our group). There were 60 people on foot, from trail runners to families with small children, and one mountain biker. We also noticed the Spawn Creek Trailhead area was posted for no camping, so stockmen had set up their temporary corral and trailer at a location a bit farther down the road (we expect cattle will be here in the coming week).
Thanks to Dave W. for the narrative, photos and GPS data, and Dave P., Brent, Jane, and Ralph for photos..