Wind Cave Way, 10 June, 2023

Cache Hikers headed for the Beirdneau Ridge above the Wind Cave on a beautiful Saturday morning. Parking was already filling up at the trailhead at 8:25 a.m.  Rain the previous night had dampened the trail but left no sloppy mud. The spring was gushing at an impressive rate.

After one mile we left the Wind Cave Trail at a switchback and turned onto an unsigned but distinct trail to the right, the Wind Cave Way Trail. We passed a hiker with trail tools and soon realized he had been working; the entire trail to the ridge was in excellent condition (except for the invasive weeds). In the last few years many rock reinforcements have been added and the tread has been leveled for good footing and drainage.

The vegetation was lush and green, with multitudes of wildflowers, shrubs, grasses, and periodic groves of trees. We identified arrowleaf balsamroot, big-leaf balsamroot, mule-ears, penstemon, waterleaf, death camas, larkspur, false Solomon-seal, stoneseed, yellow violet, bitterbrush, serviceberry, chokecherry, sagebrush, bigtooth maple.

Rest stops provided moments to enjoy wildflowers and the views of snow-capped Logan Peak, Mill Hollow across the canyon, and the Logan River below. Reaching the saddle and a junction with the Beirdneau trail about 11:00 a.m., we took a break then hiked southwest about 15 minutes to an overlook point where we ate lunch surrounded by flowers and spectacle.

Trip Summary:
  • Seven hikers and one dog: Ralph, Teresa, Bree, Claire and Bam-Bam Dog, Kathy, Dave, and Jane (leader)
  • Drove 8 miles to the Wind Cave trailhead
  • Started hiking about 8:25 a.m., returned to cars about 2:00 p.m., with a half-hour lunch on top
  • Temperatures were high 50’s at start, low 60’s at ridge, and mid-70’s when we returned to town
  • Mostly sunny skies in the morning with gathering clouds and a little breezy after noon. No rain.
  • Hiked about 6.7 miles with about 2450 feet elevation gain

Thanks to Jane for the narrative and photos, Dave P and Kathy for photos and Ralph for photos and GPS data, and to the volunteer trail workers for a great trail.

The Wind Cave Trailhead, where signs explain that the cave was formed by water, not wind

 The trailside spring was gushing
The Wind Cave Way Trail junction, 1 mile from the trailhead

Volunteers have done a great job improving the trail
The Wind Cave was visible toward the west

A shady section of the trail
The only switchback on the Wind Cave Way Trail

After the switchback, it's a long steady climb (1.3 miles at 16% grade) to the ridge

New signs on the ridge at the Wilderness boundary and the Beirdneau Trail junction

West on the ridge for a great view of Cache Valley and the Wellsville Mountains

Lunch with a view
Peaks to the south (larger image)

Woodland star
Mountain dandelion

Arrowleaf balsamroot


False Solomon's seal

Cutleaf (bigleaf) balsamroot

Mountain (goosefoot yellow) violet

Anise swallowtail butterfly on arrowleaf balsamroot
Spotted Towhee

Our GPS track shows about  6.7 miles and 2450 feet of ascent.
You can look at our route using Google Earth or download our GPS file.