Upper Cottonwood Canyon, July
There were 11 people on the hike, Kip, LeVae, Terry, Joe, Ron,
Ryan, Anne, Dan, Denis, Monica and Jim. Monica brought her
dog, Fritzy. The hike from the parking lot to the Bear
Hollow trail and Coldwater Spring was lush with huckleberry,
thimbleberry, gooseberry, and Indian paintbrush among many
others. When we got to the wilderness boundary sign, we
headed towards Smithfield Canyon to find hillsides covered with
little sunflowers which were beautiful against a cloudless blue
sky. We also found coyote mint and blue flax.
Anne and Dan did a portion of the hike to Smithfield Canyon and
returned to Tony Grove. The rest of us continued hiking the
seven sisters towards Mount Elmer. We encountered a couple
and then a group of three hikers returning from Mount Elmer.
None of those hikers used the Cottonwood Canyon trail. They
simply went to Mount Elmer and back via the seven sisters.
Monica's dog, Fritzy, became tired in the intense sun on the seven
sisters, and during lunch she made a carrier and packed him for
most of the hike.
On the seven sisters ridge, we had spectacular views into upper
Birch and Cottonwood canyons. We had difficulty finding the
trail down Cottonwood Canyon [the Mt. Naomi Peak National
Recreation Trail) and overshot it. We wound up on the top of
the towering cliff faces of the cirque just below the peak of the
seventh sister. Our mistake rewarded us with columbine,
delphinium and a wonderful view of Cottonwood Canyon. We
went back and managed to find the trail, but it appeared that we
were the first ones to use it this year.
Due to the strenuous hiking and heat, many of us needed to get
more water at Cottonwood Spring. The hike out of Cottonwood
Canyon was hot and exhausting only to find a seemingly endless
trek up the ridge to the wilderness sign. One hiker succumbed to
heat exhaustion and delayed our return until he recovered.
Several of us got a refreshing drink from Coldwater Spring before
finishing the hike. We returned to Logan rather late.
Despite the adversities of the hike, everyone seemed to enjoy it
and did not mind the late return.
(Thanks to Jim for the narrative and photos)
Cache Hikers on the "seven sisters" ridge
(upper Cottonwood Canyon)
toward Mt. Elmer from the "seven sisters" ridge
Looking east into upper
Cottonwood Canyon, from the "seven sisters" ridge
Topo map showing the planned route, nearly 13 miles with 3600 feet
of elevation (the actual distance traveled was greater)