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Providence Canyon Trail

This trail climbs a narrow canyon east of Providence (a few miles south of Logan). The Providence Canyon singletrack trail is a nice climbing route for mountain bikes, and it really shines as a downhill. Out-and-back, the ride is 6.0 miles with 1200 vertical feet of climbing.

Gene Poncelet heads up a section of buff singletrack early in the ride. Thimble berry and maple surround the trail. Photos and description May 24, 2012.

The trail is easier-intermediate technical. (At the top, there's an "outlaw trail" loop at the end that's advanced tech. We blundered our way around it without knowing it's not a sanctioned part of the Providence Canyon trail. I recommend that riders turn around at the bridge near that final loop.) It's a pretty short ride for advanced cyclists, who may want to combine it with Deer Fence, or even connect via the Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST) to Green Canyon for a monster ride. (Some subdivision navigation is required between Deer Fence and the BST. Do your homework before you go.)

View from parking. Ignore the Deer Fence Singletrack at the northeast corner of the parking lot. Instead, aim for this ugly gravel road and head east uphill.

The trail starts at the mouth of Providence Canyon at 5100 feet elevation. Just after Spring Creek Road turns to gravel, there's a parking spot on your left. The trail heading northwest is the Deer Fence Trail which contours the hillside northbound. Your Providence Canyon ride starts by heading up the gravel road.

Joel Quinn on the first bridge, 0.15 miles from the parking area. This is your entry to the singletrack, and it's easy to just ride past it. There are no trail signs (as of May 2012).

Just 800 feet (0.15 miles) up the dirt road, watch for a path leading to a wooden bridge on your right. It's hidden by the roadside maples, so it's easy to miss if you're hammering or talking. Go across the creek to the singletrack on the other side.

View of the limestone cliffs on the north side of Providence Canyon. This limestone dates from ancient times before there were land animals and all of Utah lay under the ocean.

The trail climbs at an average 8% grade (400 vertical per mile of climbing). There are some flat or downhill sections as you head east in the canyon. While the trail usually parallels the creek, it will occasionally grab extra altitude by climbing up the hill through climbing turns or switchbacks.

Joel leads Gene along the trail, with the creek to their left (right side of photo).

Most of the trail is in dense maple forest. There will be some rare breakout views of the hillsides in the narrow canyon. At mile 1.8, the trail crosses to the left side of the creek, and will cross the canyon road at mile 2.0.

View up the creek from the second bridge.

At mile 3.0, you'll come to another wooden bridge near a log fence. You'll note several trails. As of 2012, a washout gully lies between the bridge and the canyon road. You can cross the road to ATV track to continue uphill, but it's relatively pointless, as the route gets steep and rocky as you approach the quarry.

Bruce rolls onto a bridge about two miles into the climb.

[Edit:  The singletrack in this paragraph is not a legal route. Because it's an obvious, well-worn route, I've kept the description here so you'll know what it is when you see it.] There's some outlaw singletrack on your left, which splits after 20 feet. The route to the left (over the log) is an easier climbing route, but both arms are advanced tech. The trails will rejoin in about 1/10 mile. As you reach mile 3.2, the trail ends at a washout along the canyon road.

From the bridge, you can continue 0.3 miles uphill on ATV track to the quarry, or turn around. Beyond the quarry a primitive steep trail climbs the mountainside at a ridiculous pitch.

Joel continues uphill through maple forest at mile two, just before the trail crosses to the north side of the canyon road.

The downhill will be fast and fun. You'll drop 1100 vertical feet in 3 miles. Turns are bermed for speed. Be cautious! This trail is a favorite for locals out walking their dogs. Keep your speed in control so you can stop within your sight line.

Getting closer to the top. Gene rides through maple mixed with choke cherry and elderberry.

Riding notes:
0.0  Uphill on DT from parking
       N41 41.557 W111 47.600
0.1  R across creek N41 41.527 W111 47.489
1.8  Cross creek
2.0  Cross road N41 41.525 W111 45.867
3.0  Bridge N41 41.453 W111 44.884
       Option cross gully to continue uphill
       Note: singletrack on left is NOT an authorized route!
6.0  Back at parking

Confusing spot at the top of the ride, mile 3.0. Straight ahead (through log fence) is washed out. Across washout is option of further uphill on DT. To L after bridge is more technical short ST loop described above. Or you can turn around here. Either way, you're about finished.

Getting there:  
Northbound, exit I-15 at the first Brigham City off-ramp to Logan and US 89. Take US 89 up the canyon and descend into Cache Valley. As you enter Logan heading northeast on 89, take a sharp right to go south on SR 65 (Nibley Road, a continuation of Logan's Main Street). There are now multiple options to get through the street grid of Providence to the canyon. Turn east (left) on 1200 South, which will become 100 North in Providence. In town, turn right (south) on 100 East, which will turn east to become Canyon Road (600 South). Turn right when 600 South ends on Spring Creek Road. Just after the road turns to gravel, turn left into the parking area.
Riding resources for this trail:
Single-page riding guide
GPS track files and route (right-click and "Save as..."):
    GPX track
Maps for printing:
    High-Resolution Topo   Satellite street map
Lodging, camping, shops:
     Links to Logan area resources

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