Sunday, October 26, 2014

Maple Bench--Mendon, Utah

This is a beautiful trail, especially in the fall.  We rode it on September 19, 2014.  It is accessed from Mendon, Utah in Cache Valley. 

Click on any photo for enlarged images.

GPS track of our ride.  Riding on the road up to the trailhead added 6 miles to the ride.  Beginning altitude=4,627', Highest altitude=6,263'.  Total ascent/descent=2050'.  Trail conditions (other than dirt road)= 80% dirt, 20% somewhat rocky
How to get to the trailhead.  There are several options to park.  I would recommend the parking closer to the trailhead for a shorter ride and avoidance of two cattle guards with gates on the side. If you're up for a longer ride on a nice dirt road, park at the optional parking.  There is a grassy area there with a picnic table.  We talked to the farmer who owns it and he said it's ok to park there.  Just be considerate and pick up any trash, etc.  Photo of that place is shown   just below.
Optional parking area with picnic table.  From this area, head up the road, which veers  north for about 3/4 mile.  Then turn left up towards the mountain.

This is the place to turn toward the mountain.   

First gate (if you're driving, just drive over the cattle guard.)

Second gate

Recommended optional parking closer to the trailhead.  Plenty of room here and it avoids having to go through two gates/cattle guards.

Headed up to the trailhead. One of the few places I have seen where ferns and sagebrush grow together.

Beautiful prepared to see 4 wheelers.  It's popular with them.

Trailhead parking....Very little room for turn around with a horse trailer.  Possible, but not easily. Recommend parking down further.

Water trough, a few hundred yards north east of the trailhead. There is a faint trail.

Trail head sign.

Vistas of Cache Valley

Photo by Teisha Preece

View from up past Coldwater Lake.  This is as far as we rode.

Coldwater Lake...barely big enough to be called a lake, but nice. It is a little over a mile from the trailhead.

Headed back to the first parking area

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