Jardine Juniper Hike
August 2012 - 49 photos

Jardine Juniper! Most of you have probably never even heard of it. It's a tree, a very old juniper tree. How Old? When I first looked it up on the internet, it was thought to be about 4500 years old, but ten years ago when I visited the tree, the sign said 3200 years. Now the new sign says 'older than 1500' years. Whatever it's age, it's still considered pretty old.

This is what I found at the Utah Education Network:

Jardine Juniper is one of the oldest living things. It began life long before the pioneers entered Cache Valley, long before Jim Bridger and other mountain men lived here and possibly before the Shoshoni Indians inhabited the valley. It was once thought to be 3200 years old. Then in the 1950's a core sample was taken and the tree was found to be 1500 years old.

Jardine Juniper was discovered in 1923 by Maurice Linford, also the year that the last grizzly bear in Utah was killed. In the 1870's something happened to the Juniper and its growth rate slowed by more than two-thirds. We don't know the cause for sure, but whatever happened brought a premature death to the Juniper.

The Jardine Juniper is still alive, but barely. Jardine Juniper is taking longer to die than most humans live. If you are fortunate enough to see Jardine Juniper, you will notice that it is very sick and on the edge of life.

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Jardine Juniper tree, located high up in Logan Canyon, Utah

A month ago, Marlene saw something in the paper about this hike, and said she would like to do a hike up to see Jardine Juniper sometime. We had other events that kept us busy for a while, and then when I asked where we should do our hike this time, Jack said he was interested in seeing the tree too. OK... I told them it was a long walk, 9 or 10 miles, a bit more than we usually do, but everyone said they could do it. And so we did....

Saturday the 25th of August we drove into Logan Canyon about 10 miles, up to the Wood Camp Campgrounds where the Jardine Juniper trailhead is located. There is another trail that goes up, located in the ravine just past Logan Cave, but most don't hike up that way as it's quite a bit steeper.

The main trail that we hiked is about as good a trail as you will find in the mountains, and many Mountain Bikers go there for riding. We were passed by a lot of them while hiking the trail.

It took us 4 hours to reach the top, and about 3 coming back down. The hike starts out in a long narrow valley of sagebrush, but eventually rises up though forests of pines, maple, oak, and quaking aspen. The top end of the trail is about 7200 feet above sea level and 1866 feet higher than the trailhead. We walked 10.1 miles in all. The tree itself is a little lower down into Logan Canyon, so we had to hike about a quarter of a mile down to it... then back up on the return. The trail runs through some very picturesque landscape, and makes for a nice hike. The trail may be long, but never very steep.

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A very old twisted tree that is mostly dead, except for a little life at the very top

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   - 49 photos -
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Related Photos

Jardine Juniper hike in 2002
Jardine Juniper, 2002
 Jardine Juniper, 2002

I used a small Canon Powershot, SX210, 14 Megapixel Camera which has Image Stabilazation and optical lens from wide angle to 14x zoom.

These photos are set to lower resolution and compressed 10:1 for faster loading. You are welcome to look at or download any of the photos. If you use them on any other webpage, please give credit and refer back to me.

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