Welcome to Northern Utah's Cache Valley

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Cache Valley

Mount Logan as seen from the marshlands west of Logan.

We currently reside in San Jose, CA, where the weather is great and the ocean is just a few miles away. But home is where the heart is, and our hearts are in Cache Valley, Utah where we grew up. Cache Valley is located in Southern Idaho and Northern Utah.

Logan Canyon runs east from Logan to Bear Lake. US 89 runs passes through the canyon on its way to the Tetons and Yellowstone. Sunset magazine describes a trip on US 89 through Logan Canyon as "On a highway laden with beauty, this curving mountainous section stands out."

This valley was well-known to the indians and early fur-trappers. It was originally called "Willow Valley" for the willows growing on the many streams that flow from the mountains to the valley floor.

Later, the valley was re-named Cache Valley for the fur caches that those early trappers left there. A fur cache was a hole dug in a stream bank or possibly a natural cave where beaver pelts and sometimes extra equipment like traps, etc.was cached until the trapper could return and get them for the next rendezvous. Lost fur caches have been found in Cache Valley in recent years - a testament to the dicey lives led by the trappers.

Rendezvous were held once a year so the trappers could exchange their furs for supplies. Early rendesvous were held in Cache Valley and Bear lake as well as other places in the mountain west.

Jim Bridger was prominent in the history of the valley, and gives us the valley's present-day nickname of "Bridgerland". Bridger was little more than a "green-horned tender-foot" when he set sail from this valley in a bull-boat to settle a bet between some of the other mountain men over whether the Bear River flowed into the Pacific Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico. When he arrived at the Great Salt Lake, he mistakenly identified it as the Pacific. Later he discovered his error, but we don't know if the winners of the bet returned their winnings.

When Brigham Young's wagon train of Mormon pioneers asked about settling in the Salt Lake Valley, Moses "Black" Harris tried to convince them to settle in Cache Valley instead. When Jim ran into the Mormons a few days later, he heard that they didn't want to settle in Cache Valley, so he told them about the Utah Valley (site of present-day Provo). Harris and Bridger didn't understand that those Mormon pioneers were seeking a place of refuge that noone else could possibly want, so they chose the desolate Salt Lake valley over the better valleys.

Cache Valley was settled by the Mormons about ten years after they arrived in Salt Lake. Today, Cache Valley is still relatively sparsely settled when compared to the greater Salt Lake City/Ogden area.

Cache Valley is the home of Utah State University, which we attended many years ago. Aggie ice cream is still a must-do whenever we visit Logan.

The second L. D. S. Temple completed in Utah was in Logan - the first was in Saint George. Many of our ancestors were married in this temple, some even helped build it and at least one set of ancestors moved to Cache Valley just for the temple and the opportunity for a college education.

elk

One of our favorite Cache Valley haunts is the Hardware ranch, where they feed several hundred elk in the winter and take you out among them on horse-drawn sleighs.

As a young boy, almost 40 years ago, I had the good fortune of working a few miles past Hardware ranch, on land that the BLM has declared off-limits today. The bugling of the elk in late August among the Quaking Aspen groves is still a treasured memory.


There's much more to see and do in Cache Valley. There's the cheese factory (Swiss is a favorite) where you can buy "squeaky" cheese curd .... and get a lot of free samples. Pepperridge Farms Bakery is a few miles north of Logan in Richmond. Beautiful Bear Lake

is just 40 miles away, through Logan Canyon. Explore the farm country and the surrounding mountains and canyons. Follow the ancient shorelines of Lake Bonneville. Most of all, relax and enjoy.

More pictures of Cache Valley

Drop us a line if you feel like it: dennis@heartslinked.com

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