Tucked into the scenic Cache Valley, Logan, Utah is located about 45 miles from Ogden (80 miles north of Salt Lake City) on the Logan River. It’s position at the northernmost section of the Wasatch Range results in dramatic scenery, including steep slopes, geologic formations, and high alpine views. Its dry summers bring families looking to hike, camp and swim or fish, and in winter, Beaver Mountain provides downhill skiing for a fraction of the cost of its counterparts in Salt Lake and Park City. Ready to explore Logan with the family? Here’s what not to miss while the sun is shining:
1. Hike to the Wind Caves
More closely resembling double arches than actual caves, Logan’s wind caves are a popular destination in the area. While the journey is almost entirely uphill on the outward-bound trail, the way is fairly short (3.8 miles round trip), and the reward big: these arches are well-worth exploring. Parents should note that there are no guard rails in the cave area (which is at the end of a 900-foot elevation gain), and there’s little shade on the hike. Go early to beat both the heat and crowds that flock here in the summer months. The trailhead is located 5 miles up Logan Canyon. Bonus: if you have older kids ready for a longer hike, Crimson Trail, also in Logan Canyon, (use the Spring Hollow trailhead) offers even more vertical climbing and rewards with epic views.
2. Camp at Hyrum State Park
If you want to camp during your trip to Logan, but don’t want to rough it by sleeping on the ground, opt for the cabins at Hyrum State Park. Hyrum Reservoir offers great fishing, boating and swimming, and families are still close to town and to the rest of the outdoor recreation offerings in the valley. The campground is located on the north shore, along with day use areas. Want to stay a little farther away from it all? Head to Tony Grove Lake up Logan Canyon, where summer temperatures are cooler and moose are often spotted along the shore.
3. Play at the Adventure Playground Park
Located at the Whittier Center in Logan, Adventure Playground Park centers around an extensive wooden castle, all of which is wheelchair accessible. This structure is large and gives kids plenty of room to explore and create their own fun. It can get hot during summer months, so going early in the day is your best bet.
4. Cache Valley Foodie Trek & Signature Products Tour
Get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the area’s signature food products with stops at various restaurants, farms, and markets around Logan. See how chocolate is made at the Bluebird Candy Company. Learn about ice cream, honey, or coffee. Head to a local farm to pick your own produce, including vine-ripened strawberries and blackberries. Check out the gardeners market every Saturday mid-May to mid-October in historic downtown Logan. You’ll quickly find out why Cache Valley has become known for dozens of delicious foods.
5. See a Show
Logan features three historic theaters on one block where you can catch both live performances and movies. The Utah Theatre was built in 1924 and has just been restored to its Art Deco glory. It houses both live performances and classic movies. The Ellen Eccles Theatre opened in 1923 and is home of world-renowned Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre in the summer and Broadway-style productions, touring musicians and other performers all year long.
6. Visit the American West Heritage Center
Thisliving history centerfeatures pioneer homes and buildings on-site, a mountain man trading post, and a working 1917 farm. People dress in character to teach families about life in Cache Valley from 1817-1917. They provide hands-on activities like panning for gold, throwing hatchets, riding a train, playing various pioneer games, and even milk the cow. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the grounds!
7. Spot Wildlife at Hardware Ranch Elk Refuge
Best in winter, Hardware Ranch is located in scenic Blacksmith Fork Canyon, and is both inexpensive (free in summer and $5 for adults in winter at the time of our visit) and educational, while allowing families to explore more of the outdoors. During the winter months, the ranch plays host to about 600 elk. In winter, start at the visitor’s center, and explore from there. Bundle up for the wagon ride around the elk herd--a must-do!
8. Ski Beaver Mountain or Cherry Peak Resorts
In winter, Beaver Mountain offers downhill skiing with a small town, local vibe; it has one of the most kid-friendly bunny hills we’ve seen. In summer, there’s yurt and tent camping right at the base area, so families can enjoy the alpine surroundings, hike, and mountain bike. And in any season, the drive up Logan Canyon to get there can’t be beat for scenery. Cherry Peak Resort is another affordable, local option for skiing and snowboarding, with three lifts giving riders access to 28 different trails. If you’re not a skier, Cherry Peak also has a tubing hill, with a moving sidewalk that takes users back to the top of the hill with ease.
9. Enjoy a Kitchen Sink at Angie’s Restaurant
After all those activities, you’ve earned dessert. Angie’s Restaurant is a local favorite that serves breakfast anytime, plus burgers, sandwiches, hot scones (a regional specialty--fry-bread served with honey and butter), and more for lunch and dinner. Save room for dessert and enjoy some homemade pie, or really indulge with the Kitchen Sink, the world’s biggest banana split served in a not-that-miniature sink. You won’t mind sharing.
Written by Amy Whitley for RootsRated Media in partnership with Utah Office of Tourism.