U.S. National Forest Campground Guide

Cache National Forest

Idaho and Utah

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Forest Information

The Cache National Forest (of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest) is located in southeast Idaho (263,941 acres) and northeast Utah (411,351 acres). All of the campgrounds covered in the author's research are located in Utah. There are 30 developed campgrounds of which 18 meet the selection criteria.

The Cache National Forest stretches from the hustle and bustle of the urban centers of Logan and Ogden, Utah to mountain meadows in the Bear River Range. Linking it all together is a network of ancient, deep cut limestone canyons full of rushing rivers, giant willows, and old boxer elders. Evidence of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) handiwork from the 1930s can also be found here. All make the Cache National Forest an important source for a variety of recreation opportunities and provides outstanding camping locations from which visitors can enjoy all thhe Forest has to offer.

Thousands of years before Europeans appeared in the area, Shoshone and Ute Indians lived on the land now known as Cache National Forest. They depended on the Forest's bounty of big game and fish. By the 1820s, fur trappers and mountain men, such as Jim Bridger, Jedahiah Smith, and Peter Skene Ogden, had discovered the area's natural wealth. Even the Forest's name, "cache" meaning a hiding place for something, recalls those early days of trapping and mountain men. Soon emigrates were cris-crossing the area on their way to Pacific coast. In 1847 the area was "rediscovered" and settlements were being built. By the 1920s, over-gazing and over-logging had left the land in poor condition. The combined efforts of local organizations, the CCC, and the Forest Service brought tremendous strides in the regeneration of the land. Today, thanks to those early and the continuing efforts, the Cache National Forest is once again a place of beauty and wonder.

Basically, the Cache National Forest has two clusters of developed campgrounds with a few "surprise" camping location scattered around. One such "surprise" camping location is Pioneer. campground. East of Hyrum, this little campground has many nicely secluded sites tucked under Black Willow and Box Elder trees. Another "surprise" is Monte Cristo campground. Nestled in stands of mature Engelmann spruce and aspen in the Monte Cristo Mountain Range, this campground boasts flush toilet, cool Summer temperatures, the Monte Cristo Mountain Bike Trail and sites that can accommodate car, tent, recreation vehicle (RV) and motorhome camping enthusiasts. And than there is Sunrise campground. The spectacular vista plus being only 6.5-miles west of Bear Lake keep this campground busy every summer weekend with RV and motorhome campers.

The majority of the remaining campgrounds are found either in the Logan Canyon corridor, east of Logan, Utah or east of Ogden, Utah, just beyond the Ogden Canyon. The CCC origins of Logan Canyon's campground can be seen in their tight and winding interior roads, short parking aprons, and the impressive stonework. (These are not locations for large RV or motorhome camping.) Added features of the Logan Canyon's campgrounds are the lust green riparian environment with its magnificent Black or Canyon Willows and Box Elder trees and a rich human history of the area.

Logan Canyon has attracted visitors since the area at the canyon's entrance was settled. Ricks Spring and Logan Cave are two sights that have been popular since early in the 20th Century. Wind Cave (adjacent to Guinavah-Malibu campground) and Jardine Juniper trailheads are two other longtime "must see" destinations. The drive to and its campground are well-known for the spectacular display of colorful summer wildflowers. Heated arguments raged at the turn of the century about building of dams on the Logan River. Those dams were built and today provide wonderful fishing for the campers at Bridger and Spring Hollow campgrounds.

One claim the Logan Canyon corridor can make is it started many a young person on a life-long interest in the out-of-doors. Whether it was learning good fishing techniques on the Third Dam's pond, proper boating manners on Bear Lake, or how to carve the snow at Beaver Mountain Ski Resort, the Logan Canyon corridor's influence reaches into the future and beyond the Cache National Forest. (Visit the Logan Ranger District Visitor Center at the Canyon's mouth for more detailed information.)

The second cluster of campgrounds, east of Ogden, has a very different character and personality. On the shore of the Pineview Reservoir and a short drive from downtown Ogden is Anderson Cove campground. With its variety of non-native trees, paved interior road and parking aprons, RV dump station, and well-trimmed grass, Anderson Cove appears more a RV park than a national forest campground. Next door, Jefferson Hunt campground has some of Anderson Cove's "exotic" trees but native trees can be found here and the appearance is less controlled or manicured. Because Pineview Reservoir's water is used for irrigation the level drops as the season progresses. By the end of Summer, the throaty sounds of power boats are replaced by colorful wind-surfers skimming across the water.

Farther down the road is second cluster of campgrounds. Meadows and Perception Park campgrounds are the centerpiece. Although not as rustic as many forest service campgrounds, these wild rose studded campgrounds feature seclude campsites and river fishing. A short drive east of these campgrounds is the Causey Reservoir. Relatively undiscovered, this long and skinny Reservoir offers many little coves and inlets for canoeist to explore. Around the reservoir are the lightly used Skullcrack trail (#95), located at the Reservoir's south end, and Wheatgrass Canyon (#46), Bear Hollow (#98), and Baldy Ridge (#72) trails on the eastside. These trails provide another view of the Cache National Forest.

The Cache National Forest often called "a backyard forest." Very near the urban centers, one might expect a fairly large crowds and well monitored recreation. However, visitors to the Cache National Forest soon realize there is a variety of recreational opportunities and a true forest experience to be found here making it ideal for either a family camping vacation or individuals wanting quiet and solitude of a secluded camping location. From the park-like environment of Anderson Cove to a rustic campground like Box Elder, or exploring the Forest on the Monte Cristo Mountain Bike Trail to quietly enjoying the scenic beauty of around Sunrise campground, the Cache National Forest offers a wide variety of experiences for all to come and enjoy.

SUPERVISOR ADDRESS 8236 Federal Building 125 South State St. Salt Lake City, Utah 84138 801-236-3400 RANGER DISTRICT ADDRESSES Logan 1500 E. Hwy. 80 Logan, Utah 84321 435-755-3620 Ogden 507 25th St. Ogden, Utah 84401 801-625-5112

Fred and Suzi Dow