Wadsworth Loop Trail


At the top of Springville canyon is a trail that follows Wadsworth Creek for about 3 miles with many stream crossings, decent shade, and a primitive camping spots. It’s great for dogs and kids, but the trail can get dusty and there are a lot of cows in the canyon. I use T-Mobile and there wasn’t any cell service that I noticed on the hike.

Distance:            10 miles round trip (shortened versions also available)
Time:                   5 hours
Start:                   Just above Balsam campground where the paved road ends and a dirt road starts.
Difficulty:            Strenuous due to length and hills
Elevation Gain:   1979 ft
Fees:                    Free

At the time I’m writing this post, there are two separate trails listed on Alltrails: Wadsworth Trail (6.3 mile roundtrip) and Wadsworth Creek Trail (5.5 miles roundtrip). Unfortunately, not only are the trail names misnamed in my opinion, but they don’t go to a specific destination. Wadsworth Trail is the trail that follows Wadsworth Creek for the longest period of time and has the least amount of incline. I recommend this trail if you have limited time and/or want to stay close to the creek. The trail labeled Wadsworth Creek Trail is a left fork off the main trail at about 1.5 miles (this is usually where we’ve encountered cows) and goes up Dry Canyon. This trail is generally less traveled by people.

This picture is the second river crossing and the wood is a little more stable than the first (due to a broken log). Both of these crossing happen pretty early in the hike and then you have to go more than a mile further for another one, so little kids might just be content staying here. All of the river crossings are pretty easy to get across on wood and/or rock – neither of us have accidentally slipped in the water so far.

If you want to camp in a primitive spot near the creek, there was a pretty good spot that others have used about .69 miles up the canyon (leave the trail and cross the river on the logs).

At 1.5 miles up the canyon the trail splits – stay on the Wadsworth trail to stay near the stream and on fairly flat ground or take Dry Canyon for a hill to some mud holes and cows (if you haven’t run into them yet). If you want to do the full 10 mile loop you can chose which direction to go, we came down the Dry Creek path.

Past the cutoff on the straight/right fork, there is a lovely little beaver dam.

The cows seemed pretty accustomed to people, we were fairly close behind them. If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at being a cowboy and herd these dumb animals this is your chance. We got a large herd of probably 20 cows in front of us. We tried to get them to leave the trail so we could pass, but they didn’t want to leave the trail. We did get around a few to get in the middle of the herd), but then they would try to race back around us to get back with their group (probably mommas trying to get back to their babies). The trail was pretty dusty due to all the cows and the 1-3 inches of loose dirt.

This awesome view is around 5 miles into the loop hike. The trail isn’t super easy to follow at this point and we had to keep referring back to our Runkeeper map (which shows the trail’s location even without cell data and on their free version). I wish Alltrails would do the same, but they reserve that for Pro members. Just beyond, you will reach the top of the hill and there is a dirt road that wasn’t on our map. The trail simply crossed the road and kept going. This road appears to be a shortcut back which misses another hill (but it would also miss the beautiful quaking aspen area as well).

Quaking Aspen are just so pretty. Have you read about Pando – one of the largest, heaviest, and oldest living organism on Earth located in Sothern Utah? Pando looks like a forest of individual aspen trees but it is actually a single aspen with a massive root system – all the trees are connected and part of the same organism.

This picture is from a previous time we did a portion of this hike and it shows this mud hole is still very moist.

This video is just a few weeks later and all the mud (at least the first 4-6 inches) has completely hardened, but under that there is still plenty of soft mud underneath which makes the ground move and shake as you walk on it. A few times I thought we were going to slip through the cracks.

If you are wearing tennis shoes, plan to empty out your shoes once or twice as it’s hard to keep the dust from collecting in the top of your shoe. My feet and legs were very dusty!

Leave a Reply

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: