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Franklin Basin Snowshoe, 8 March 2015


Seven hikers met at Smith's Marketplace for the outing: Dave W, Jane, Dave P, Jim, Deanna, Laurie, and Dan (the leader). Arriving at the Franklin basin parking lot about 10:45 a.m. we donned our snowshoes and made our way north across the Logan River bridge and west through a meadow to the Steam Mill Trail.

We followed a snowmobile track as the trail climbed into the forest. After climbing about 600 feet in 1.5 miles, we stopped slightly off the trail to enjoy lunch and the sunny weather. Influenced by a snow art event featured in the morning newspaper and the Spiral Jetty of Great Salt Lake fame, Jane created the first of two "snow spirals".

After lunch we continued climbing into the open aspen forest eventually arriving at the ridge top with views to the north and Steam Mill Peak. We descended northeast down the ridge to an open meadow where Jane and Deanna created the second and larger snow spiral. At this point we realized that we had deviated from our intended track, so we headed north to join the route of last year's snowshoe trek. Following this ridge we descended again into the forest eventually coming out into the lower meadows of Franklin Basin.

Earlier in the day we saw some grouse tracks, so we were pleased when we came upon a grouse and photographed it slowly crossing our path maybe 20 yards ahead. The group had a short rest at the horse corral before continuing across the meadow and the Logan River bridge. Fish were seen from the bridge. We were back at the cars by 4 p.m.

Trip Summary:

  • Drove 25 miles to the Franklin Basin Winter Trailhead
  • Started on the trail at 10:55
  • Lunch, 12:10 - 1:00
  • Back at the Winter Trailhead at 4:00
  • Returned to Logan about 4:45
  • Cloudless sky, calm and warm
  • Snow depth at lunch ranged from 20 inches to 33 inches
  • 4.6 miles with 1150 ft. of elevation

Thanks to Dan for the narrative and photos, Jim, Dave P., and Jane for photos and Dave W. for photos and GPS work

Trail

At the Steam Mill Trail
Lunch
Logs provided the seating at our lunch spot

Peak

Looking northwest toward Steam Mill Peak

Spiral

Spiral in the snow
View
Looking southeast over Logan Canyon

Tracks

Grouse

Grouse tracks in the snow A ruffed grouse making tracks

River

River
There was much less snow than last year Logan River and Beaver Mountain, March 2014
GPSMap and profile
Our GPS track showed 4.6 miles and 1150 feet of elevation

You can also look at our route using Google Earth or the various map and aerial views of Google Maps