Repairing or upgrading your bike! Look for items on UMB site Discussion board for bike fanatics! Visit the UMB store!
Css Menu Javascript by v4.3.0
Jardine Juniper Trail

Why would you bike 1850 vertical feet just to look at a tree? If you have to ask the question, you aren't a mountain biker. The Jardine Juniper Trail is a nice hill climb, and worth doing just for the ride. At its end point there are great views, plus Utah's oldest tree -- the Jardine Juniper.

If you ride the circle at the end of the trail, plus the path down to the juniper, you'll cover 11.4 miles (round trip). Starting altitude is 5350 feet, with peak altitude at the end of the ridge of 7200. The ride is upper-intermediate overall, with a riding season from mid-June through October.

This is the Jardine Juniper, 3200 years old and still very much alive. In the background, the hills to the east lead over into the Bear Lake Valley. Initial ride review and photos August 31, 2001 by Bruce. Latest update August 7, 2018.

The trail is intermediate technical singletrack, and it's a fairly strenuous climb. The first two miles, the trail heads straight up the bottom of the canyon, with some undulation and big rocks to knock you around. Although not as steep (on average) as the switchback sections that follow, this part actually seems like harder work because of loose rock, rough trail, and constant gear-switching.

Looking up the trail on the switchback section. Although it's a 12% average grade, the trail here is smooth and non-technical. So just drop down into a comfortable gear and cruise on up.

The ride starts in a sage- and grass-covered valley just across the Logan River from the Woods Camp campground. There's a toilet at the trailhead. Temperatures here at the bottom can be toasty warm in mid-summer. Things get significantly cooler at the end of the valley as you hit the switchback area.

Just getting started. The trail leaves the north end of the parking lot, across the creek from Woods Camp.

Aspen mixes with maple, fir, and juniper as you head north up the valley a couple of miles. Then the trail turns to the southeast as you hit the hillside to begin the switchbacks up to the top of the hill. The trail gets significantly smoother here, but you're on a steady upward grade. Just drop into a low gear and grind on up. When you hit the Wilderness sign at mile 3.4, continue straight (right).

A meadow between aspen groves on the lower trail.

Near the top of the ridge, at mile 4.8, you can fork left to the shady north slope for a quicker arrival at the juniper, or you can climb further south to enjoy valley views before turning back towards the ride's main attraction. To the juniper turn-off, it's 0.8 miles if you keep right, 0.6 if you turn left. I suggest keeping right so you do the entire loop at the top.

Riding past a bench on the wilderness border. Looking west at Mount Naomi.

If you kept straight (right) at the fork, you'll climb along the ridge, then turn back to the north before arriving at the turnoff to the juniper. Drop down to the right. The juniper is found 0.2 miles down some tight steep switchbacks. You can ride it on your bike, if you're good enough. There's some deep sand on a couple of turns that may bog you down as you struggle to climb back up.

Drone view of the top of the tree. From the end of the trail, you can walk down to this little observation deck.

The juniper has been dated at 3200 years old. This was a young tree when the Egyptians were building pyramids.

View of the tree from the trail. The base is about eight feet thick. Note the twisted branch, and the small section that remains alive at the top.

The rocks found along the trail are mostly limestone and dolomite (also containing calcium carbonate, but darker due to high concentration of magnesium). These were deposited during the Ordovician and Silurian Periods (500 to 410 million years ago).

View upward from the observation deck.

This period followed the "Cambrian Explosion" when the basic body types of all modern animals developed, but before the deep-water deposits of the Mississippian and Pennsylvanian Periods. At this time, plant and animal life did not yet exist on land. Because the western shoreline of the continent ran through the Logan area, some quartzite (from sand of seashore deposits) is found in strata from this same time.

Looking north, as dolomite cliffs frame the passage over the mountains to Bear Lake.

Bottom Line

This is one of the best intermediate-biker singletrack hill-climbs in the state. You should add the Jardine Juniper to your list of "Great Rides I've Done."

During out 2001 ride, Jackie pauses for a drink at the trailside, as the spring water trickles over travertine deposits onto a foot-cooling pool.

 Jardine Juniper

 If the above video does not appear on your browser/device, you can watch it on YouTube by clicking here.

Getting there: In Logan, turn east on US-89 towards Logan Canyon (about 2 miles). After you enter the canyon, drive 10 miles. Watch for the Woods Camp Campground on your left. Cross the creek and go straight up the gravel road to the parking area 0.1 miles later.

Camping:  Woods Camp
Bathroom:  at trailhead
Water:  campground

Riding Resources for Jardine Juniper:
   GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
        GPX track  
   Topo map:  View map 
   Single-page riding guide
   Lodging, camping, shops:   Links to Logan resources

Copyright 2001 Mad Scientist Software Inc
Updated 2018