We woke to the sound of heavy rain and a forecast for valley rain and mountain snow for most of the day, raising the possibilty of a repeat performance of the Smithfield Canyon hike two weeks before (some joked that Jim's hikes may be attracting inclement weather). However, the cold rainy weather in Logan gave way to partly sunny skies and much warmer weather as we hiked up Ricks Canyon. The only snow we encountered were small patches along the road on the way to Steel Hollow.
Most of the leaves had already fallen from the the trees but there were many patches of fall color to make for a scenic hike. We hiked through an aspen forest with its golden leaves shimmering on the trees with a yellow brick road like path on the trail. The broken cloud cover made for dramatic light on the Bear River Mountain high country. In Ricks Canyon we got good looks of a ruffed grouse in a tree and saw another one in Steel Hollow running around with its black neck ruff in full display. We also managed to find some asters, Indian paintbrush, yarrow and a wallflower, still blooming despite the late fall conditions.
Hiking conditions were surprisingly dry until we started hiking down Steel Hollow. It was extremely muddy, forcing us to hike slightly off the trail to avoid the thick sticky mud. However, we were rewarded with a beautiful overlook of Steel Hollow with the Bear River Mountain high country in the distance. Overall the weather and trail conditions were much better than expected and everyone enjoyed this fine fall hike.
Thanks to Jim for the narrative and photos, with more photos by Jane and Dave P.