Logan Canyon Scenic Byway
The view at 3rd Dam in the fall
The Logan Canyon Scenic Byway run for 41 miles between Logan and Garden City along US Highway 89. Most of this route is in the valley carved into the mountains by the Logan River. Heading east from Logan, it's a long, slow cruise up the hill, past some of Utah's most beautiful lake, forest and mountain scenery. The mountains here were obviously carved by the glaciers during the last Ice Age: steep, bare vertical faces, high gendarmes and buttresses. Nearly the entire route is through the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, around the east side of the Mount Naomi Wilderness. That means there are plenty of picnic areas, campgrounds and trailheads along the way. At the highest point on the road is a turnoff that leads to Beaver Mountain Ski Resort. Beyond that point, the road turns east and descends to Garden City with some excellent views over Bear Lake. The Logan Canyon Scenic Byway ends in Garden City when it meets up with the Bear Lake Scenic Byway.
70,000 years ago, most of this part of Utah was covered by ancient Lake Bonneville, a lake fed by glacial melt waters during the Ice Ages. The mountains are composed of 500-million-year-old limestone and quartzite that was carved by the glaciers and polished by the lake waters into a fantastical array of pillars, spires, buttresses, overhanging caves and sheer cliffs. That has made Logan Canyon into one of the world's premier rock climbing areas with "slopes" rated everything from an easy 5.4 to a slightly tougher 5.14b (at Super Tweak: one of the hardest climbing routes in North America). Many of the most challenging routes are only a few minutes hike from the highway, but if you want to get away from the weekend warriors, just hike a few more minutes into the back country and then start up.
Logan Canyon is also a favorite among the snowmobiling set with more than 180 miles of trails in Utah's famous "champagne powder." Many trails run high in the mountains offering excitement and great views of the canyons, lakes and higher mountains. The best days for snowmobiling are Sunday through Friday: quite often you can have the whole place to yourself.
You can also see from some of the photos on this page that Logan Canyon is a very colorful place for a Sunday drive in the fall, when the maple, oak and aspen leaves are changing.
Mt. Magog rising above White Pine Lake
Fall colors along the Logan Canyon Scenic Byway
Logan Canyon Scenic Byway area map