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Rick's Canyon - Steel Hollow Loop

The Rick's Canyon - Steel Hollow Loop is a 12.2 mile advanced-intermediate ride in the Right Fork of Logan Canyon. Altitude gain is 2100 feet, with much of the grade exceeding 12% in upper Rick's Canyon. This loop is for strong, well-conditioned riders with good bike-handling skills. I recommend riding up Rick's and down Steel Hollow. (Steel Hollow is a bit more steep and technical on the uphill.) This is a great ride, but it's not for beginners.

Photo from the ridgetop, looking north back towards Logan Canyon. Photos September 25, 2001 by Bruce Argyle.

The trail starts in dry, hot cedars near the Girl's Camp. After following the creek gently uphill for 0.6 miles, the trail crosses the creek and forks. Take the right fork, away from the creek. Rapidly, the terrain changes to fir and aspen, with currant and mahogany bushes.

At 1.4 miles, the trail forks again. Go right for Rick's Canyon and start climbing. At 3.5 miles, the trail begins to dip up and down, then climbs more steeply. You'll reach the top of the ridge at a doubletrack at 4.3 -- go 100 yards to the main dirt road and turn left.

Jackie takes a break while Bruce shoots a typical section of easier singletrack, climbing uphill in the bottom of Rick's Canyon.

Follow the road, ignoring any small side trails and smaller roads. Descend to an intersection in a broad rolling meadow at mile 7.0 and go left (north). Begin a slow climb and watch for the Steel Hollow singletrack at mile 7.8 on your left. (If you encounter another doubletrack, or begin a sharp descent on the road past "Dog Springs," you missed the trail.)

The ridgeline has open meadows alternating with groves of aspen.

Steel Hollow is a lovely descent for the first 2 miles, then 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. 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 wheels.

View down the trail, higher up in Steel Hollow.

The Steel Hollow Trail rejoins Rick's at mile 10.8. Watch for cows in the trail, and try your best to avoid the copious cow excrement. But if you can't handle a little fertilizer in your teeth, you should stay at the spa on the exercycle.

An outcrop of limestone on the wall of the canyon. The rocks of Logan Canyon are from the Ordovician Period. During this time, ocean shoreline crept back and forth through this area of Utah, alternating shoreline deposits with deeper ocean limestone. (During this period 500 million years ago, there were no plants or animals yet on land.)

Backtrack to the intersection with the Willow Springs trail and follow the creek back to the trailhead. Awesome ride.

Another look at the brilliant fall leaves on the Steel Hollow Trail.

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.

Riding resources:
Single-page riding guide

GPS track file (right-click and select "Save as..."):
      MPS (Garmin)      GPX
Topo maps:  Low Res    High Res (includes Old Ephraim's Grave)
Lodging, camping, shops:   Links to Logan area resources

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