Head up to Logan Canyon (you will love the views the last part of the drive has) and watch out for Gunivah-Malibu campground on your right about 5 miles up. Opposite from the campground on the left side of the road is the Wind Caves trailhead! This trail is 3.5 miles each way and is considered a moderate trail due to the incline the entire way up. There are many loooong switchbacks, shaded parts of the trail, and fully exposed trail.
You will actually start to see the wind caves well before you reach them. This builds the excitement even more! Most of the trail is wide and well trafficked, however in March the last bit was snowy and narrow. I would recommend this as a spring or fall hike, unless you love snow or sunburns!
The Wind Caves are actually a triple limestone arch and natural cave. You can hang out on top of the cave or inside. We chose not to walk on top of the caves arches when possible (some things won't last forever!). There were plenty of great places to sit inside and enjoy the views.
Buddy really enjoyed this hike. I loved watching him stare over the edge as if he were taking in the mountain views.
The hike down is super fast and easy as it is pretty much all downhill. This was my first time in Logan Canyon, but there seem to be some great trails and fly fishing!
Once inside the State Park ($10 fee or UT state park pass), we took a left a the first intersection. You will eventually see a sign for Frary Peak hiking trail. There is a single restroom at the bottom of the road that leads up to the trailhead. There is plenty of parking up top and the views are amazing! Even if you don't want to hike Frary Peak or Dooly Knob, the drive up to the parking lot will provide you with awesome views of the Wasatch and the Great Salt Lake.
There are two options on this hike, Frary Peak (about 7 miles total) and Dooly Knob (just under 3). They both require the initial uphill hike which can be quiet strenuous going up (& down!) We carried on the trail to Frary Peak, after all it was my goal to bag a peak that weekend!
On the trail you will come to a small boulder field that you actually get to walk through. I really loved this part and acted like a total dork running back through it and climbing on the rocks. This is pretty much the last time you get to walk on level ground for the remainder of the ascent. I mean, you are gaining 2100' in just over 3 miles.
The views on the hike to the peak were breathtaking. I really felt like I was somewhere other than Utah. The peaks were green and seemed to go on forever. The Great Salt Lake was mirrored. The Oquirrh and Wasatch views were A+. All of this helped distract from the lack of shade -- I was sunburn city just from the short time I had my jacket off.
The last bit of the hike was dicey; there was a ton of mud, plus it was narrow. But everything opened p again and before we knew it, we were there! We met a ton of people on the peak (pretty much everyone had a tie to the state of Michigan except my husband - he's not cool enough ;) ) and enjoyed a well deserved beer. We hung out for about 30 minutes (I could not understand the people that would reach the top, take a selfie, and immediately head back down) before some rain clouds moved in. It never rained on us, but I knew the muddy section of the trail would be a little more challenging if it were to rain.
The hike down was REALLY hard on my knees. I don't think I have particularly bad knees, but both Karl and I were in so much pain hiking down. I feel like hiking poles might have helped the impact not be as bad or maybe our walking technique is just terrible. Nobody else seemed to be having trouble....
We are pumped for some more peaks to start clearing off so we can enjoy more mountaintop views this spring!
If you are looking for a slot canyon that requires no special equipment, no permit, no fee, and pretty much no experience - head over to the San Rafeal Swell for an adventure! About 3.5 hours southeast of Salt Lake City sits Goblin Valley State Park. A few miles outside of the park is Little Wild Horse Canyon. (It also looks like there is some AWESOME BLM camping nearby, so skip the campground inside the park).
We arrived at the trailhead about 4pm and the parking lot was packed, but it seemed like everyone was getting ready to leave. If you plan on doing this hike, I would recommend arriving early for a parking spot. Head past the bathrooms into a large dry wash to begin the hike.
We only had about an hour to spend inside the canyon so I was very excited when I found out the reward came with little to no effort! There were two places where we had to "scramble." I did have the pick our German Shepherd up one time. He tried to climb up but ended up sliding back down and waited patiently on me to lift him. He isn't into trying things more than once ;)
The canyon didn't narrow on us to the point of claustrophobia, but it did narrow enough to make it feel like you were in a slot canyon! Eventually the walls opened back up, and the scenery was amazing. This is the point we chose to turn around and head back since we wanted to check out Goblin Valley before sunset.
Slot canyon safety: DON'T enter a slot canyon if there is rain in the forecast for any of the surrounding areas. Head over to Youtube and search "slot canyon flash flood" if you don't believe me. Flash floods can happen within a matter of minutes. Stay safe!
The plethora of hikes in around Salt Lake could keep you busy forever. In fact, since moving here and hiking almost every weekend, I have only repeated two hikes once - there's just too much to explore. The weather was perfect - low 60s - and the sun was shining. Unfortunately we only had about 2 hours before sunset, so we were looking for something quick and close. Since moving to Farmington, UT, we haven't really explored much in the canyons north of Salt Lake. Enter the perfect quick hike: Parrish Creek to Parrish Pictographs.
After arriving at the trailhead, we took off straight up. About halfway up the canyon, we realized that this probably wasn't the right way. I didn't really research trail directions - I thought we would wing it. We headed back down and tried out another trail. Luckily this one was headed in the right direction. Take a left from the parking lot, and then head up. You should be following Parrish Creek!
The trail was narrow in some places and did require some scrambling. When you get to the small waterfall, keep going up! You will walk right above the creek for the rest of the way until you reach a couple large boulders. Scramble over the top and you'll see the pictographs under an overhang.
From what I read, these were pictographs left by ancient Fremont people. Unfortunately some of the pictographs had been defaced by careless idiotic people. There are still some pictographs that are in great condition though. You can get SO close to these, but please don't touch!
On our way back down, we got an amazing view of the sunset over Antelope Island and the Great Salt Lake with Centerville in the foreground.
I'm excited to hike more of the lesser known canyons in the area. Most of the trails are dog friendly, unlike Big and Little Cottonwood which are watersheds.