Nate Stowers hiking Green Canyon and Logan Canyon looking toward Logan Peak.

Wil Wood, contributing writer 

Being raised by a mountain-loving father, I grew up seeing and scaling my share of mountains, running rivers, skiing faces in Canada, cycling up and down the high mountain passes of Colorado, and occasionally, getting stranded in remote areas in the tundra of Alaska . . . never once were we lost, only stranded for a bit. To say my Dad instilled in me a respect and love for the wilderness is an understatement.

As citizens of Cache Valley, we live in a secret treasure trove of outdoor recreation. I say secret because, although the locals know about it, very few people outside the Valley do. The Wasatch Front is more recognizable and even a bit more rugged than the Bear River Range, but let me tell you, our mountains have game!

Even after seeing many parts of the Rockies, the mountains in our own backyard still blow my mind with their beauty and remoteness. How many places can you drive 10 minutes out of town, hike, or ride up a trail and be by yourself in the middle of nowhere? I’ll tell you: There are very few!

If you’ve made it this far in the article I’m going give you a little nugget of joy. Here are three of my favorite Cache Valley trails:

Jardine Juniper: The trailhead is up Logan Canyon, a little way past Right Hand Fork. It’s legal to ride mountain bikes as well as hike.

Richards Hollow: This trail drops off the road going up to the backside of Mount Logan. It is a fun descent on a mountain bike with a bunch of stream crossings. It ends in Blacksmith Fork Canyon and is a great shuttle or loop on a mountain bike.

Preston Valley: This one is my secret trail. It starts a few miles up Green Canyon and is just a 2.2 mile stretch up to the ridge where it intersects with the Wind Cave Trail and the trail leading to Birdeneu Peak. I love this trail because it starts in the bottom of the canyon, crosses some south-facing slopes that seem like godforsaken desert, then leads you back into a loamy forest of evergreen before reaching the ridge.

If you haven’t gotten out on the trails in your backyard yet, I challenge you to set aside a time this summer to do so, either alone or with your family.