The Wasatch-Cache National Forest, which covers almost 2 million acres of northern Utah, offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation. For maps and other information, contact the Logan Ranger District office, 1500 E. U.S. 89, Logan, UT 84321 (tel. 435/755-3620; www.fs.fed.us/r4/uwc). For outdoor equipment and supplies, as well as knowledgeable staff to help you find the best spot for your activity, stop by Sports Authority, 1050 N. Main (tel. 435/752-4287), or Al's Sporting Goods, 1617 N. Main (tel. 435/752-5151).
Excellent watersports, fishing, and wildlife viewing can all be had at Bear Lake State Park (tel. 435/946-3343; www.stateparks.utah.gov), along the Utah-Idaho border about 40 miles northeast of Logan via U.S. 89. The state's second-largest freshwater lake (20 miles long and 8 miles wide), Bear Lake is known for the azure blue of its water, caused by the suspension of calcium carbonate (limestone) particles in the lake. Facilities include boat ramps and rentals, a marina, picnic areas, campgrounds, and a 4.2-mile paved walking and biking trail. Deer are often seen in the park, and bird-watchers may spot ducks, geese, white pelicans, herons, and sandhill cranes, among other species. Anglers catch lake trout and huge cutthroat trout; an alleged Loch Ness-style monster, 90 feet long and dating back to local tribal legend, is said to inhabit the lake. Elevation is 5,900 feet. The day-use fee is $8 per vehicle; camping costs $10 to $25. Contact the marina at Cisco's Landing in Garden City (tel. 435/946-2717; www.ciscoslanding.com) for boat rentals and lake tours.
Biking -- Cache Valley's patchwork of farms and villages offers excellent road biking through the countryside on well-maintained roads, and mountain bikers have plenty of opportunities in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. For tips on the best biking spots, contact the visitors bureau or the ranger district office. Each June the Utah Multiple Sclerosis Society (tel. 800/527-8116 or 801/424-0113; www.fightmsutah.org) sponsors the 2-day Harmons Best Dam Bike Ride, in which more than 1,500 participants pedal 150m to 150 miles a day along Cache Valley's back roads. Funds support the battle against multiple sclerosis.
Birding -- Northern Utah has great birding, especially from spring through early fall in the area's wetlands. Two particularly good spots are along the Bear River west of Logan, and Cutler Marsh. These spots offer opportunities to see great blue herons, snowy egrets, white pelicans, western grebes, and a variety of other wetlands species.
Fishing -- Logan River and Bear River offer wonderful fly-fishing, and streams throughout the area are popular for rainbow, albino, cutthroat, and brook trout. Bear Lake offers great lake fishing (including ice-fishing in winter) for trophy cutthroat and lake trout. For tips on where they're biting, stop at RoundRocks Fly Fishing, 530 S. Main St. (tel. 800/992-8774; www.roundrocks.com), a full-service fly shop and guide service -- and home to the world's largest fly (32 feet long and 3 tons).
Hiking -- Numerous hiking possibilities abound in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest east of Logan, and Logan Canyon in particular offers spectacular scenery. Among the easy hikes is the Spring Hollow Trail, about 6.5 miles up Logan Canyon, which leads a half-mile to one of the area's most photographed rivers. Stop at the visitors bureau or the Logan Ranger District office for a free brochure and other information.
Horseback Riding -- The Beaver Creek Lodge, in Logan Canyon (tel. 800/946-4485; www.beavercreeklodge.com), is about 25 miles northeast of Logan on U.S. 89 just east of Beaver Mountain Ski Resort. One- to 4-hour guided rides are available for beginner through expert levels, costing from $30 to $89. Trails include a wide range of terrain, from mountaintops to rolling hills covered with aspens, pine trees, and wildflowers. The challenging rides to the top of a mountain reward you with panoramic views of the forest and Bear Lake. Reservations are recommended.
Rock Climbing -- The sheer rock walls of Logan Canyon make this one of the most challenging climbing areas in the West. An abundance of vertical and overhanging limestone and quartzite faces wait for eager climbers, and more than 275 routes have been developed -- most are bolt-protected sport climbs. For practice, classes, information, and climbing advice, stop at the Rockhaus Climbing Gym, 1780 N. 200 East (tel. 435/713-0068; www.rockhausgym.com).
Snowmobiling & Other Winter Fun -- Snowmobiling opportunities can be found throughout the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Rentals are available at Beaver Creek Lodge, which offers access to more than 300 miles of groomed snowmobile trails. Full-day rental rates are $169 to $189 for one rider, and $30 more for two riders. Guided day trips run $325. Another popular activity is taking a sleigh ride among a herd of about 400 elk at the Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area (tel. 435/753-6168; www.hardwareranch.com), about 20 miles southeast of Logan. Information on snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing can be obtained from the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest's Logan Ranger District office. Downhill skiing is at Beaver Mountain Ski Area.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.