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1 Volume 3 // Issue 2



For many of us, Cache Valley is our chosen home. We were enchanted by the Wellsvilles, swept up by Logan River, and stunned by the snowy slopes. Overall, we were captured by the picturesque possibility of a few years studying so close to wilderness. In this issue we are taking a closer look at this place we have nestled into, from its historic trails to the secrets waiting under ground. However, I would like to acknowledge that we were not the first to claim this land as our home. Cache Valley rests on the ancestral land of the Eastern Shoshone. This is also the area of the Bear River Massacre which involved the death of 384 Native Americans at the hands of settlers. This is commonly understood to be the highest recorded casualty count during the American Indian Wars of the 19th century. Here on campus you can get involved with the Native American Student Council, You can find them on the USU website under NASC. I hope from this issue you find one new area you want to explore or rediscover why you have decided to call this place home sweet home.






Home Sweet Home

Low Places in the High Mountains

Cache Valley’s Trail Running Trance


Get Lost

t on Local Trails

SUMMER VAUGHN EDITOR IN CHIEF Hello! I am a sophomore studying Recreation Administration, English and Outdoor Adventure Leadership. I am passionate about protecting the earth, I love making good memories with friends and I am a little obsessed with mountain goats. I love white water rafting and when I am not on a river you can find me climbing and backpacking. I am involved with the SSO, and I am a trip leader with the Outdoor Programs, so say hi if you see me on campus! If you have questions or concerns, you can contact me directly. Email: Instagram: @summervaughn_





16 Namaste in Nature

The Scottish thistle stands for strength, bravery, durability and resilience, which is why we chose it for our logo.




Home Sweet Home

From the Hearts of Locals Ouroboros K Bryn Burningham @bryndbeeart


This relief print is my interpretation of the myth of ouroboros. I see the tailconsuming serpent, which I’ve interpreted more as a dragon, as a metaphor for the modern world’s relationship with our planet and climate. Most of my work ponders sustainability and relationship with nature, but this piece takes a more subtle approach.

Earthen Current Holley Stringham @the_ecoartist The curvilinear gestures of the rock wind through the desert landscape, the form engraved by the water that once graced this barren world. Of a landscape nearly uninhabitable, we cannot help but feel a spark of inspiration in the solitude, of a soulful life in the wilderness. These monolithic forms, their atoms formed in the furnaces of ancient stars, tell the story of where we’ve come and inspire us to continue further.


What could I write about spring in Logan That has not already been said?

Perhaps the way grass twitches underfoot— Still the color of straw, tiptoeing to green— In a breeze carrying the scent of pine Steadily from the half-draped mountain front Snow on its north faces, brush on its south Sliced softly by ancient shorelines of a Long-gone lake bigger than this whole valley: Imagine all of that water! I look to the sky


Can’t quite picture the leagues above my head Gaze back at the fault near the shoreline Like I could feel the earth shifting, pulling Dancing to its own internal, infernal music.

Birds on the current soar toward a sun That is still groggy, waking up to its warmth As am I after an indecisive winter As if the sun could be surprised at Its outpouring of ceaseless love and light The rays hit my smile, dancing in the afternoon The earth dances The sky dances I dance between the two


Low Places in the High Mountains 8

The underground world in our backyard Warning: Cave exploring is dangerous and should not be attempted without proper gear and experience. SUMMER VAUGHN EDITOR IN CHIEF

You are stumbling through the woods in Cache Valley with a haul bag on your back. You and your friends are carrying climbing gear, headlamps and a lot of snacks. But this isn’t your standard sport climbing trip. This time, you plan on descending 100 plus feet into a rarely explored cave that has been carved deep into the mountains. The caves in the valley are hard to find. They aren’t searchable on the internet and often are only discovered by stumbling across them while in the backcountry. “Most of [the caves], once found, have only been explored by a handful of people, leaving them as some of the last unexplored areas around,” Nate Arrant said. “The sense of exploration combined with the adrenaline from squeezing through tight spaces hundreds of feet below the ground creates a hard-to-match experience.” With an adventure of this magnitude, the remoteness is both a blessing and a curse. “The scariest part for me was knowing that if anything happens when you’re hundreds of feet underground, someone would have to get all the way out to even get a signal on the sat phone, let alone actually pull off a rescue with little gear in a dark, tight space,” Arrant said. “Being so cold and physically demanding, your decision-making and physical ability could deteriorate pretty quickly if not properly prepared, making it harder to get out. Caving also has most of the risks associated with climbing such as rockfalls and gear failure.”


Getting into caving in Logan might be just as hard as finding a cave itself. If you are interested in getting involved with caving, Cache Valley may not be the place to start. This niche experience is happening right in Logan’s backyard. The common roadside attraction of Ricks Spring has been mapped out to about 2,200 feet underground. It requires intense scuba diving in narrow passages with almost freezing water. Definitely not a beginner’s ideal trip. However, all across the country, the underground world is waiting to be explored.


Cache Valley’s Trail Running Trance Understanding the intrinsic value found in the local trails. Running NASH CALVIN WRITER


Figuring the ins and outs of anything is challenging, but it can be especially difficult in a new town, school or community. Yet as one drives down Sardine Canyon and the road opens up to the immense vastness of Cache Valley’s unique peaks and scenery, those past fears melt into curiosity. How do I get up there? Is that a trail? Questions can bubble to a point of exhaustion or can influence one to simply put one foot in front of the other. Maybe picking up the pace. And maybe even running, which is what many locals here at Utah State University do to experience that vastness. For USU juniors and USUSA Trail Running Club members Alyssa Burton and Nicklaus Spalding, trail running in the valley has given new meaning to the peaks and landmarks that used to blend into the mundane. “I always look for Logan Peak now, and it’s kind of hidden behind different stuff, so it’s not always an easy peak to see. But, from my apartment, you know I can see it, so every day I look at it and think there’s Logan Peak,” Spalding said. “It’s different knowing that you have been there, and knowing that you can go there, and knowing the geography of the different areas… The mountains become less of a visual, I guess they’re there, kind of thing. It becomes more personal, and you really come to know what mountain ridges represent,” stated Spalding. Burton spoke on an evolving theme running in the valley, “I love that there were no cars around, I had my own little secluded spot,” Spalding said, “There’s a lot in Logan Canyon and these areas that are kind of over-hyped or over-run, but then there also some areas and some smaller trails that are kind of off the beaten path.” Variety while running is essential and Burton pointed out that Cache Valley allows her to “avoid injury actually. I have weak joints, and so by running on asphalt and then changing over to dirt and then maybe running on grass a little bit in the parks, I can change it up and my body doesn’t get worn out.” Considering variety in mileage, two-time Bear 100 finisher and Utah State Geoscience graduate advisor Dr. Kelly Bradbury said, “There is just so much ability to connect and make really long loops here,” and “I can say after 21 years of running trails here I haven’t run them all.” However, nothing compares to, “The accessibility that I could leave my house in Richmond, go three blocks on the pavement, have my feet on the trail, and run all the way over to Bear Lake.” The boundless adventure is intriguing. So, if you want to experiment with the bountiful runners high here in the valley, USU graduate student Emma Armstrong suggests apps like Trail Forks, Trail Run project, Gaia GPS, or even using Strava’s Global Heat Maps for navigation and finding trails. There is also a curated list of local and “gorgeous” trails below.


recommended trails: Canyon Road Trail Highline Trail Logan River Trail Crimson Trail Green Canyon White Pine Lake Trail Providence Canyon Singletrack Jardine Juniper


“[Trail Running] It mimics a million experiences you might have in your life all in one day. I found it extremely cleansing both physically and mentally.” - Dr. Kelly Bradbury



Get Lost on Local Trails 14

Students recommend their favorite bouldering, hiking and mountain biking trails in Cache Valley

Graphic created by Fallon Rowe. Apex Maps is a GIS analysis and cartography small business owned by USU Geology alumna Fallon Rowe. She started creating custom maps back in 2018, and the company has grown from there! Apex Maps specializes in adventure cartography, particularly of Utah mountain and desert elevation features. Check out her art at


Easy: Just a short drive up Green Canyon you can find the Green Cave. With great problems ranging from V0V12, there is something for everyone. Be sure to go test yourself on “The Furnace,” an amazing boulder problem that is given the grade of V5. Parking for these boulders can be found at the last large lot in Green Canyon (by the second gate), which can be driven to when the gates are open for the season. From there it’s just a short walk up a bike trail to the boulders. For more detailed directions and coordinates, look at the “Green Canyon Bouldering” listing on Mountain Project. Moderate: For those who want to commit to a bit more adventure, make the drive to Cherry Peak Resort, where there is parking for the Cherry Creek Trail. Along this trail are a few awesome quartzite boulders in a beautiful wooded setting. From USU campus, it takes approximately 45 minutes to reach the boulders, drive and hike included. View the mountain project listing for “Cherry Creek Boulders” for a breakdown of the climbs and more detailed directions. Advanced: Do you have fingers of steel? If so, go test yourself on some of the crimpiest limestone blocks in the valley at Blacksmith Fork. This area is a popular sport climbing destination and has boulders from V0-V11. The best climbs are V7 and up. For those of you looking for a real challenge, go climb “Smaug” V11, the crimp test piece of Cache Valley. The drive from USU campus takes about 30 minutes, followed by a five minute walk to the boulders. View this listing on Mountain Project under “Fallen Angel Bouldering.”





Advanced: Jardine Juniper: if you are looking for a longer hike, Jardine Juniper Trail is the perfect afternoon adventure. This out-and-back 10.9-mile hike will bring you up over 2,100 feet with gorgeous views of the Mount Naomi Wilderness. It is highly recommended to take the short side trail and visit Old Jardine Juniper, which is over 1,500 years old and the largest Rocky Mountain Juniper in Utah.


Easy: Green Canyon: one of the most accessible single-track mountain biking trails in Logan. The trail is accessed up the road from the Green Canyon parking lot and provides riders with a steady, yet technical ascent which can end at either a gated roundabout about 3.5 miles up the trail or until the rider reaches the wilderness boundary, which is off limits to bikes. From there the descent is fast and flowy with plenty of technical sections to experiment on. Be wary of other riders and trai,l users on the descent.

Advanced: Ricks Canyon to Steel Hollow: Just beyond the parking lot of Right Hand Fork lies a trail loop many are unaware of, yet one that offers just about everything a passionate mountain biker could ask for. The ascent up Ricks Canyon tests your cardiovascular and muscular endurance with its grueling climb that ends at a service road. Hang a left, and keep your eyes out for a small wooden sign marked “Steel Hollow.” Take the left onto the trail and you’ll begin your descent on Steel Hollow, a ripping fast plunge back to your initial destination.


Moderate: White Pine Lake: The ride to White Pine Lake from Tony’s Grove is stunning. The ascent is coupled with sharp rock gardens that can be difficult to traverse and a blazing descent into the valley where you find White Pine Lake. The scenery alone at the lake is incentive enough to go on this incredible adventure.


Moderate: Crimson Trail: if you want to avoid the crowds at Wind Caves, head across the street and hike the Crimson Trail. At 4.7-miles and over 1,300 feet of elevation gain, this steep trail is no walk in the park. However, the sweeping views on the ridgeline are totally worth the effort. This is a must-do hike in Autumn; the fall foliage is simply stunning.


Easy: Temple Fork Sawmill Trail: this out-and-back 5.3-mile trail is a perfect place to enjoy the beauty of Logan Canyon in any season! With less than 700 feet of elevation gain, Temple Fork’s mixture of open pastures and trail-side creeks is wonderful for people of all skill levels. Keep an eye out for the 15 plus beaver dams that are dotted along the stream.

Breathe in- pine trees, canyon wind, wildflowers, sunshine


Breathe out- stress of school, insecurities, workload, negativity

Breathe in- the outdoors

Breathe out- the rest of the world PHOTOS BY ELLIE HUBBARD

Namaste in Nature

Find Your Peace Within the Poses TESSA BLACKMAN GUEST WRITER

Outdoor yoga is one of the best ways to relieve the stress of daily life and is known to be beneficial for the body and mind. Abby Christensen, a USU alumna and now a yoga instructor in Portland Oregon, said, “Since yoga is a physical activity, but at a lower pace, focusing on practicing yoga and going through a sequence is a way to turn your mind away from the stress of schoolwork and other worries. It helps to center you in all your hurriedness.”

Places to Find Your Flow

Second Dam- With several docks leading out over the water, you can practice while looking over the river and up to the mountains. The Quad- If you don’t have time to go far, you can do it in your own backyard or right here on campus.

If you are a beginner, no stress, you can also enjoy outdoor yoga. Using a flow chart (Pinterest or even Google have some simple ones) anyone can do yoga. If you are an experienced yogi, know that outdoor yoga may be more difficult and offer different challenges. Stay safe and be mindful of your movements and how your body feels. Focus on the breathing and being mindful. One of the greatest benefits of yoga is to be able to focus and the movement and breathing so as to calm and center the mind. When going out into nature, listen to the wind, the trees, a creek or whatever is around. It allows you to be in the moment and appreciate your experience. You don’t necessarily need a yoga mat. Some yogis believe that being able to practice yoga on the natural ground allows you to have greater balance and can help you be more successful. That being said, if you choose to go barefoot, be very careful to not cut yourself on sharp, uneven rocks and stay away from unfamiliar plant life as it may be poisonous. An uneven surface can also make your practice risky as you may twist joints or lose your footing. Do what you would on an other outdoor excursion. All the basics that have been pounded into our brains since a young age also apply here; wear sunblock, stay hydrated, beware of bugs, and stay aware of your surroundings.


Tony Grove- Try doing stand up paddleboard yoga. It will test your balance in the middle of the lake, and allow a gorgeous view of the surrounding area.

Practicing outdoor yoga allows the yogi to be mindful of their natural surroundings. Sunlight is thought to trigger the release of serotonin in the brain, which helps boost mood and calm and center the mind. Fresh air can help the body heal faster and help indigestion. Here are a few tips for practicing outdoor yoga and some local places to enjoy the great outdoors:

Developing the Bear River Range

The History Behind Logan’s Backyard




The Bear River Range, located on the very eastern rim of the Great Basin, is a familiar sight to the citizens of Cache Valley. From the many towns lining the valley floor, one can see the imposing peaks and faceted spurs spilling onto the grassy foothills. Many people in the valley are also familiar with the canyons that cut through the mountains. Logan Canyon is a gateway to the interior mountains of the range. People use it to access everything from hiking and backpacking, to kayaking and fishing, to skiing and snowmobiling, and much more. Trails range from the popularly visited Wind Caves to the isolated Cottonwood Canyon. Yet, less than a century ago ,entering the canyon was a manner of horses and bushwhacking. These canyons were first occupied by the Northwestern Shoshone tribe for centuries. There is no doubt that their travels left barren paths used for gathering herbs, hunting game and moving between different elevations as the snow cleared. The first European descendants to leave tracks were fur trappers in the early 1800s, seeking beaver pelts and traveling back and forth to Bear Lake. By the 1850s, Mormon settlements in the valley led to grazing, along with logging operations to build houses and churches. These left extremely destructive tracks. Overuse and destructive trails led to the need for management. The Cache National Forest was established in 1915, allowing the Forest Service to set limits on use. Flowers began to return to meadows and grasses along the

rivers, but the canyon soon saw a new set of tracks start to appear. The rise of automobiles and urban life in the late 1920s meant that people not only wanted to see the mountains, but they wanted to explore them. This rise in outdoor recreation, along with a large unemployed population, led to one of the nation’s largest efforts to open the outdoors— the Civilian Conservation Corps. The Civilian Conservation Corps, established in 1933, was the first nationwide effort to publicize outdoor recreation. Following the Great Depression, unemployment was extremely high and the government saw a need to be fulfilled in new National Forest lands. Workers were offered $30 per day to plant trees, construct bridges, build campgrounds, and a myriad of other tasks. The first task was to build a camp to house them all, and Camp F-1 was constructed at Tony’s Grove. The vast majority of work was sent out from this location­­­—campgrounds and picnics areas along the canyon floor, trails weaving over and between peaks, and roads that could be used to access the canyon. One of the largest projects built was the GuinavahMalibu amphitheater, which can seat around 1,000 people. While this program provided mutual benefit for both the people working and the future recreation users, the program wasn’t perfect. Only men were considered for positions, meaning that there were far fewer opportunities for women to enter the growing field of natural resources management. This exclusion of women and other genders from

the field of natural resources is a problem that is still being reckoned with to this day in the field. Additionally, the CCC operated many crews across the country that were segregated by race due to the demands of Southern lawmakers. This was another legacy that the field still has to face and dismantle today, and which many organizations such as Intersectional Environmentalists are actively working against. After the dissolution of the Civilian Climate Corps, trail work fell to various organizations over the years. The Logan Ranger District will have it’s rangers and seasonal employees clean campsites and maintain recreational facilities. Many trails have fallen out of use and are not maintained along with that, especially in the Mt. Naomi Wilderness area. Various conservation corps have sprouted up over the years as a way to maintain the work of the CCC. Currently, the Utah Conservation Corps, founded in 1999, hires summer trail crews to work in the Bear River Range and in other places across Utah. Next time you use one of the many different trails in the Logan Canyon, try and remember the effort of thousands of people over the past century has led to the Bear River Range being a fun and enjoyable place to recreate. PHOTO PROVIDED BY BRYCE JOHNSTON

celebrating of

2O years

National service & conservation

In 2001, Utah Conservation Corps began operations with 20 AmeriCorps members, operating from a remote corner of USU’s Outdoor Recreation Center. This year, UCC celebrates 20 years and will field their 2500th AmeriCorps member. Over the years, UCC’s service has expanded to meet the needs of land management agencies across the state to include habitat restoration, fuels reduction, trail maintenance, historic structure preservation and natural resource mapping. UCC serves as a national leader for innovation and inclusion. In 2007, a UCC alum spearheaded an “Access to Service” program that engaged young adults with differing physical abilities. As a result of this project, National Forests in Utah developed one of the nation’s most comprehensive listings of accessible recreation resources. In recent years, UCC has been called upon to deploy crews throughout the nation to assist communities affected by disasters. In the last few months, teams have served in both Louisiana and Florida. While UCC’s focus will always be hands-on work on public lands, the organization’s mission has been to produce a strong cadre of conservation leaders. UCC alums now head organizations of their own, lead conservation work throughout the United States, and take their places as youth, civic and community leaders. Learn more about UCC at





Thousands of tired, nerveshaken, over civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity.” - John Muir



Profile for Student Media - Utah State University

Highlander Magazine Volume 3 Issue 2 — May 3, 2021  

For many of us, Cache Valley is our chosen home. We were enchanted by the Wellsvilles, swept up by Logan River, and stunned by the snowy slo...

Highlander Magazine Volume 3 Issue 2 — May 3, 2021  

For many of us, Cache Valley is our chosen home. We were enchanted by the Wellsvilles, swept up by Logan River, and stunned by the snowy slo...

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