NSS 75th Anniversary Convention

Alpine Karst of the Bear River Range, Utah

Dates: Thursday, July 14 through Saturday, July 16, 2016
Trip coordinator: Larry Spangler
Registration deadine: June 30

This camp will consist of a science-based field trip and caving in the alpine karst of the Bear River Range in northern Utah, about 100 miles north of Salt Lake City. The preliminary agenda is as follows:

Thursday, July 14

Hydrogeology field trip up Logan Canyon, originating from Logan, Utah. Stops will include Pleistocene Bonneville Lake terraces at mouth of Logan Canyon; DeWitt Spring, Logan City water supply; Wood Camp Hollow Spring, outlet for water from Tony Grove and White Pine karst basins, including Main Drain Cave; Logan Cave, site of Townsend's big-eared bat maternity colony (no access); Rick's Spring, site of one of the west's most significant underwater cave discoveries; Bear Lake Summit sinks, the largest closed depressions in the state and site of record-setting low temperatures. Special presentations will be done at several of the stops, including one by the original cave divers at Rick's Spring. Following the field trip, we will head to our camping location.

Friday, July 15

Hiking excursion through the Tony Grove cirque basin, an extensive alpine karst basin developed in dolomite at an elevation of about 9,000 feet. Location of the majority of the pits in the state, along with Main Drain Cave, one of the deepest systems in the U.S. at about 1,250 feet. Tour will wind through a number of pits and sinks, and feature examples of joint development, losing streams, natural bridges, dolomite pavement, pinnacles, and remnant speleothems. May poke a short distance into a few caves. Day will begin at beautiful Tony Grove Lake, lying at the base of the alpine karst, with presentations on the geology and hydrology of the area, and the influence of jointing on cave development. At the end of the excursion, we will head back to camp. We are considering a group meal around a campfire, followed by an evening presentation on "Cave and Karst Development in Utah - An Overview."

Saturday, July 16

This day will be devoted to caving or additional sightseeing (on your own) and the opportunity to visit a commercial cave. Arrangements are currently being made to have led or self-guided trip(s) to those interested in returning to the Tony Grove karst basin to drop some of the pits, or other area caves, some of which are horizontal. Alternatively, for those who wish to take it easy, there will be a trip to Minnetonka Cave, the largest (and only) commercial cave in the Bear River Range, on the Idaho side of the border, and one of only a few in the country operated by the Forest Service. Depending on time, we may have an optional trip to Paris Ice Cave (small, walk-in, flashlight).

Sunday, July 17

This day is reserved for driving to the convention in Ely, Nevada, a driving distance of about 320 miles or about 5 hours from Logan, Utah, via state Highway 89 southwest to Brigham City onto I-15 south to Salt Lake City, west on I-80 out of Salt Lake City to Wendover, Nevada, and south on state hwy 93 to Ely.

Participants will meet at the Forest Service District office at the mouth of Logan Canyon, in Logan, Utah. A map of the meeting point will be provided later. Logan is about 85 miles north of Salt Lake City and is situated at the base of the Bear River Range. Exact meeting time to be determined but probably mid-morning. Participants will be responsible for their own transportation during the field camp and for those interested in car-pooling, there will be options in Logan for leaving your vehicle. Participants also will be responsible for their own food (we will provide a limited amount of bottled water). There are grocery stores in Logan where food and other items can be bought. We generally will be 20 to 30 miles from Logan on Forest Service lands, and therefore, it will not be feasible to run back and forth for meals.

We will be camping the whole time, probably at a location in the forest about 25 miles east of Logan. As noted above, it probably won't be feasible to be travelling to and from a motel in Logan every day. Vault restrooms will be available near camp and in other areas where we will be travelling.

All participants are responsible for their own caving equipment, including vertical gear. Further, it will be the responsibility all attendees to see that their cave clothing has been properly decontaminated prior to entering any caves. No decontamination facilities will be available at the camp. There are no reported instances of WNS in this state and we would like to keep it that way.

Many of the caves are located at a higher altitude (7,000 to 9,000 feet) than many of you may be accustomed to. Please keep this in mind when hiking or caving, especially on the alpine karst excursion, where we will start at about 8,000 feet and potentially get as high as 9,500 feet. Daytime temperatures can be in the 80s in July and sun screen is advised.

Basic cost for camp attendees will be $20 ($5 for each additional adult family member; no charge for kids). This includes a guidebook. Payment can be sent by check to the contact address listed below or via Paypal to my email address at the link listed below. Please also send contact info for camp updates and changes. Registration deadline for this camp is June 30, at which time it will be decided, based on the number of people who have registered, or other logistical problems, whether the camp will be run. This is in consideration of other personnel who will be giving their time and presentations at several of the stops. If this happens, anyone who has paid the registration fee up to that point will be refunded in full.

This site will be updated as other details are worked out. Any additional questions, concerns, or information can be addressed to the organizer for this camp:

Larry Spangler
8399 McCune Ct.
West Jordan, Utah 84081
801-969-3994 (home, evening)
801-793-0836 (cell, anytime)