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Hike to Paul Bunyan's Woodpile, Utah
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Hike to Paul Bunyan's Woodpile, Utah

Paul Bunyan’s Woodpile is an interesting geological feature in Central Utah, that looks like a “woodpile” of logs left behind by the giant lumberjack of American & Canadian Folklore. Really the woodpile is a cluster of lava rocks formed about 30 million years ago; the logs were then formed into orderly columns. 


The hike to see Paul Bunyan’s Woodpile is very easy at only 2 miles RT, and therefore is great for the whole family! Even dogs are allowed off leash. The hike itself follows Riley Canyon, before heading up a few switchbacks to reach the top of the woodpile. You will see remnants of the old aqueduct as you hike along the canyon as well. Once on top you can explore on your own to see different angles of the logs. Nothing like a good geology hike to exercise and learn at the same time!

 

It’s easiest to get to the TH from Nephi, UT. Head West on HWY 132 for 13 miles, then turn right at the sign for Little Sahara Sand Dunes. Drive 9.3 miles. Turn right on HWY 6, and drive for 4 miles. Look for a dirt road on the right (East) side of the road, and turn here. You will now see a sign for “Paul Bunyan’s Woodpile TH” – drive to the very end of the road where the trail begins at a fence and a dirt parking area.  Do not attempt to drive here after a recent rain – the road will be impassable with mud. Always call the ranger station before heading out there at 435-743-3100 to check road conditions. 
Here is a driving map.

Distance: 2 miles RT
Elevation gain: 500 ft
Time: 1 hour
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? Yes, all ages
Fees/Permits? None

 

Hike to Paul Bunyan's Woodpile, Utah

As soon as you turn off HWY 6, you will see the brown sign. Drive to the end of the road.

 

Hike to Paul Bunyan's Woodpile, Utah

Start by getting through this tight gate. Charlie was kind of scared of it, so he squeezed through the barbed wire fence instead ha! I am not a big person, but this fence was SO tight to get through – you may have to take off your pack and shuffle side to side to get through.

Hike to Paul Bunyan's Woodpile, Utah

Now just follow the old dirt road North. It looked muddy, but it was actually so cold the mud was frozen!

Hike to Paul Bunyan's Woodpile, Utah

The trail curves around this small hill to the left.

Hike to Paul Bunyan's Woodpile, Utah

Then after you make the turn you should be able to clearly see the “woodpile”.

Hike to Paul Bunyan's Woodpile, Utah

Hike up a few short switchbacks.

Hike to Paul Bunyan's Woodpile, Utah
At the very top there is a description of Paul Bunyan’s Woodpile. It’s hard to read, but it basically says:
A geologic curiosity – rare in Utah – the “Woodpile” is a cluster of lava logs formed about 30 million years ago during the Eocene Period. The “logs” were formed when a lava flow cooled into orderly columnar joints having 3 to 6 sides. The columns measure about a foot in diameter and up to 15 feet in length. This formation was on the rim of the caldera that collapsed due to a void left when lava flowed out from under the caldera. Basin and range faulting caused the formation to tilt onto its side. Erosion has exposed the formation we now see.” 
– BLM Utah
 
Hike to Paul Bunyan's Woodpile, Utah

I wanted to climb around a lot more, but the “logs” were frozen and I was worried about slipping on ice.

Hike to Paul Bunyan's Woodpile, Utah

It really does look like stacked wood!

Hike to Paul Bunyan's Woodpile, Utah

 

Hike to Paul Bunyan's Woodpile, Utah

Charlie sniffed out the area for a good photo op!

 

Hike to Paul Bunyan's Woodpile, Utah
He loves to climb on everything!
 
Watch my short video!
 
 
My track via Gaia GPS – the best tracking app!
 

 

Hiking to Salt Creek Canyon Falls
Hike to Paul Bunyan's Woodpile, Utah

 

 

 

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