Hike in Logan Canyon, Utah: Wind Caves

Odometer (ILX):  78,139

78139

Fill up your water bottles and grab your granola, because we’re heading for the hills.  This morning, I ventured up the Logan Canyon Scenic Byway – also known as Highway 89 – in search of some of nature’s beauty.  My companions for this trek were my mother, Tia, as well as two friends, Ryan and Tyler.  Logan Canyon has always been one of my favorite places to drive.  Its well-finished pavement, banked curves, and roadside scenery make it a popular highway for motorcyclists and sports car enthusiasts – that is, for the 7 or 8 months of the year when weather is prime.

tyson_hiking_2

For today’s taste of the outdoors, we drove several miles up the canyon and parked at the trailhead for the Wind Caves.  This is a hike with moderate difficulty due to its steep grade, though it’s only about a mile and a half in one-way length.  Right off the bat, I recognized that the elevation (5,100 feet at the base) played a role in my shortness of breath.  I was grateful for the light breeze and the semi-overcast skies which shielded us from the sun.  My mom was the clear front-runner of the group – she’d walked 10 miles just yesterday, so this was nothing for her.

It took us about an hour to make the 900-foot ascent to the limestone rock outcropping known as either Witch’s Castle or Wind Cave.  There were a half dozen or so other people hanging out at the summit who we visited with.  I was grateful for the chance to catch my breath and share a bite of Tyler’s energy bar (way to be prepared, Tyler!).  Here I’m pictured with Tyler, Tia, and Ryan.

hiking_group

The descent seemed to go by in mere minutes.  Before I knew it, we were back at the parking area.  For our exit from the canyon on Highway 89, I took the wheel of Tyler’s 98,000-miles 1989 Honda Accord coupe.  I’m always amazed at the condition of Tyler’s classic Hondas (he’s also proud owner of a 1990 Prelude Si 4WS).  The Accord, for being 25 years old, drove as tightly as my ILX.  The car was expertly engineered to provide optimal visibility.  I loved driving with the pop-up headlights illuminated – it felt like a step back in time.  Thanks, Tyler, for the honor!

tyler_accord

tyson_driving_accord

Similarly, I owe Ryan a huge thanks for letting me drive his black Honda S2000 this morning.  I wish I’d thought to get a picture.  Its shifter was one of the most precise I’ve ever rowed.

I’ll be sharing more soon about the rest of this weekend’s fun, but hope you enjoy some pictures from Wind Caves.

ilx_in_logan_canyon

Scoping out the map before starting up the mountain.

tia_ryan

One-lane dirt trail – up & back.  Easy peasy.

hike

Mom takes the lead.

tia_hiking

Tyler pointed across the canyon at the “Crimson Trail” that winds up the opposite side.

tyler_hiking

Taking a much-needed break.

tyson_hiking

View from atop the limestone wind caves.

overhead_caves

And inside them.

wind_caves_3

Crawling around and exploring a little.

tia_tyson_wind_caves

The view from inside the cave is spectacular.

wind_caves_2

wind_caves

Back at ground level, mom takes the wheel of the 6-speed ILX.

ilx_in_logan_canyon_2

Probably rocking out to a good song, she gave us a thumbs up as we pulled alongside in Tyler’s Accord.

tia_driving_ilx

Driver switcheroo at “Ray Hugie Hydro Park.”

accord_ilx

The park was named for a relative of mine who spent the better part of his lifetime working as City Engineer.  For 44 years, Ray served the Logan community.  The $15 million hydroelectric generation power plant near this park was one of the projects that he was instrumental in carrying out.  Ray Hugie’s father and my great-great-grandfather were brothers.

ray_hugie_park

Check you later!

4 Responses to “Hike in Logan Canyon, Utah: Wind Caves”

  1. Tyson, love the Ray Hugie Park! Looks like you guys caught some amazing scenery. Your posts in Utah really make me want to get up there sooner rather than later to do some exploring…blog worthy stuff!

    • Isn’t that park cool? I grew up knowing “about” the park but never actually researched my family tie to Ray until just a few months ago. It took some digging but I figured it out. Utah definitely has a lot to offer. At some point we’ll need to do a multi-day drive and I’ll show you some of the sights.

  2. Great looking caves! Hawaii has some that we explored while there last Christmas. I agree there is some beautiful sights there in Utah. Looks like the weather was perfect for hiking. Not too hot.

    • Yeah we really couldn’t have asked for better hiking weather. Do you remember the name of the hike you did in Hawaii? It seems like I’ve seen a lot of people hiking one called “Diamond Head” out there. Somebody needs to build me a bridge to HI so I can drive there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: