Old Ephraim's Grave
What kind of nut would ride 14.7 miles, climbing over 3000
vertical feet, just to visit the gravestone of a BEAR? Well, that would be
me. And why not?
Old Ephraim was Utah's last grizzly bear, and the largest griz ever
shot in the contiguous United States. Eleven feet tall on his hind legs and
weighing 1100 pounds, Old Ephraim unfortunately developed a taste for
cattle and sheep. His body was buried here and his huge skull was sent to the Smithsonian.
investigates Old Ephraim's monument, while Dr. Jekyll (the bike) gets a
moment's rest. All photos by Bruce Argyle,
September 24, 2001.
Start the ride by heading up the Right Fork of the Logan
River. Just after crossing the river, at mile 0.6, fork left and continue
up the river. Just before the river enters a narrow canyon of limestone
cliffs, the trail turns to follow Willow Creek uphill.
At mile 3.6, the trail becomes doubletrack in a meadow at Mud Flat.
Reaching the dirt road, turn right and begin a stiff climb to the top of
Long Hollow. Now give back over 1000 feet of that climb, descending down to Logan River's Right Fork.
View along the trail, as maples and
aspen among the firs contribute to the fall colors.
|Cross the river and begin climbing again. About 0.8 mile
later, you'll see the turnout for Old Ephraim's grave on your left. Have
some lunch and pay your respects.
Leaving the gravesite, you'll climb south 1000 vertical feet over the
next mile and a half. Pass Dog Springs on your left, then pass a
double-track branching right. Watch for Steel Hollow Trail on the right,
exactly 1.8 miles after leaving Old Ephraim's grave. (If you pass a stock
pond in a big meadow or reach a dirt-road intersection, you missed the trail.)
up the doubletrack road in Long Hollow.
|Steel Hollow is a lovely singletrack descent, but after a
couple of miles you'll run into some technical stuff. Horses have churned the trail, so on
some steeps and switchbacks, you can only hold on and surf as your wheels
disappear deep in the slop. Watch out for
the cliffside hairpin left-hand turn about 2 miles down the trail -- if
you hit this with speed, you'll find some major Not Rock under your
Singletrack threads through the aspens of
|By the time you've slid down a few horse-churned sections and peppered your face with bits of smelly cow-pie,
you may wish Old Ephraim was still alive and hungry. Mmmm... Filet-O-Filly...
Bessie McNuggets... Calf-A Latte... Horse 'derves...
a steaming Bull of Cowder... Not Foal yet? Want Mare? Here Ephraim,
have an udder... (Just kidding! No lunatic emails
from the humor-impaired, please.)
When Steel Hollow joins Rick's Canyon Trail, keep right
downhill, then arrive back at the Willow Creek - Right Fork trail 0.8
The peak altitude is 7600 feet, just before the Steel Hollow trail,
2000 feet higher than the trailhead. The dip down through the Right Fork
adds 1000 vertical of climbing.
trail heads through the Right Fork of the Logan River.
|Other riding options:
Rick's Canyon: You can make the climb, or the descent, via Rick's Canyon.
This will add about 3 miles to the ride.
Old Ephraim's Cutoff: Singletrack shortcut from the Willow Creek trail
over to Long Hollow. (See track file and topo map.)
Cowley Canyon: For a less-brutal ascent, but a longer ride, you can make
the initial climb up Cowley Canyon (the right fork of the road leading to
the trailhead). You'll cover 20 miles and do about 3300 vertical feet
|Photo above: An unusual rock outcrop is fossilized
casts of worm trails. Sand collected in the burrows of shoreline worms
during the Ordovidian Period, about 500 million years ago. As the softer
lime matrix has weathered away, it leaves quartzite casts of multiple worm
burrows. (Car keys are for size comparison.)
Getting there: From Logan's main street, turn east
towards the mountains on US-89 (4th North). Pass Utah State University and
enter Logan Canyon. 8.7 miles up the canyon, watch for the Right Fork
turnoff, a small paved road on your right just after a bridge. Drive up
this road 1.2 miles, then keep left at the fork on the road, continuing on
gravel. Pass the Girls' Camp, and arrive at the parking loop 0.6 miles
from the fork.
For a more detailed description and map of this
trail, buy "Mountain Biking Utah" from our bookstore.
Copyright 2002 Mad Scientist Software Inc