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A few weeks ago, as I was making my voyage to Tony Grove, I drove past Wood Camp which is just beyond mile-marker 471, on Highway 89. Wood Camp is a tiny campsite adjacent to the Jardine Juniper trailhead.

“What is Jardine Juniper?” you may ask. After a little research in the Cache Trails guidebook that I recently attained through the Visitors Bureau, I learned that the Jardine Juniper is a roughly 1,500 year-old juniper tree. The amazing thing is that it is still alive.

I decided to make a trip to this natural wonder, the next Logan-Canyon-exhibition on my list of things to do. The hike is a 10-mile roundtrip in-and-out, with a loop at the top that offers two variations on approach and descent. I like to have company on longer hikes, so I took a friend to share the experience.

The beginning of the hike starts out in the typical lower elevation landscape of Logan Canyon. Before very long, the trail opens up into several aspen groves and a smattering of scenic clearings. Eventually, the majority of elevation is gained through a series of meandering, gradually inclining switchbacks that require only moderate exertion.

As the trail climbs up the mountain side, travelers will be met with dozens of breath-taking vistas. I was able to capture several photos of the Bear River Mountains and their accompanying valleys. After a little over two hours, we came around one final bend, and I knew instantly that I was looking at Jardine Juniper.

The entire hike was great, but the tree was epic. I’ve never seen a juniper tree anywhere near as large as this one. With every twist skyward you could imagine hundreds of years of bearing through harsh mountain conditions. The most poignant part about the spectacle is at the top of the tree, where one can clearly see that the tree is still alive, indicated by new growth.

After having lunch and capitalizing on photo opportunities, we signed the register at the end of the trail and headed back to Wood Camp. Along the way, we saw a handful of mountain-bikers climbing the trail. A couple of them mentioned they were getting a good workout. For those of you who enjoy a challenging bike ride, add Jardine Juniper to your list.

One thing I really liked about the Jardine Juniper trail was that it was not full of traffic. My friend and I were able to have a peaceful, serene and semi-secluded outdoor experience. I would recommend this hike to anyone with a moderate level of endurance and a love for exceptional, scenic beauty. If you decide to give this trail a go, maybe we’ll see each other out there!

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