Nestled at the foot of the Wasatch Range, Logan Utah is natural beauty at its purest. Originally called Willow Valley for its abundance of flowing willow trees, the valley is 50 miles long and 20 miles wide, perched right at the Utah-Idaho border. Its unique location gives it an abundant supply of water, a novelty in the normally desert-like, dry West. Cache Valley is often referred to as "Utah's Greenland."
Known for its fishing, biking, skiing and hiking, Cache Valley is a outdoor-lover's dream. With a sprawling park system, world-class zoos and a huge golf course, the town of Logan and Cache Valley is a must-visit for your next mountain vacation.
The Top Reasons to Visit Cache Valley, Utah
Utah draws people from all over the world for its towering mountain ranges, and Cache Valley is no different. Logan Canyon is one of the most popular destinations in the region, and offers one of the countries most scenic drives. The canyon is listed as one of America's National Scenic Byways, and visitors to Logan Canyon are treated to breathtaking views of vertical limestone cliffs towering over sparkling blue lakes. With more than 300 miles of snowmobile trails for winter sports enthusiasts, and the oldest family-owned ski resort in the country, people love visiting Cache Valley year round.
Cache Valley is not only home to some of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the country, it is within a day's drive of many other amazing destinations in the region. A short drive from Salt Lake City, Provo and Ogden, a four-hour drive from Yellowstone National Park and a day's drive from Aspen, Colorado, Cache Valley is a nature lover's dream vacation. The region is accessible by Greyhound to Salt Lake City, which gives visitors access to hundreds of cities within Utah in in surrounding Idaho and Colorado.
Named one of the "10 Most Beautiful Counties in Utah," a visit to Cache County is like stepping into another world.
Listed as one of the top-rated small cities in America for business, Cache Valley is an excellent place for people looking for economic security. The region is ripe with new businesses, excellent educational opportunities and a robust job market. Cache County has an unemployment rate of 2.7 percent, lower than the US average of 3.7 percent. Utah State University is the region's largest employer, and the region is also the area leader in agriculture, food production and manufacturing, keeping residents employed.
The overall cost of living in Cache County is lower than the state's and national average, making it not only a good place to work but a great place to live. Cache County is also one of the healthiest places to live. The county has an air quality index of 83 out of 100, several points higher than the national average of 58 out of 100.
In addition to natural beauty, technological innovation and a robust job market, Cache Valley is a safe place to live. BestPlaces gives it a ranking of 8.8 (on a scale from 1 to 100, 1 being no crime) for violent crime. The US average is 22. Property crimes score low as well, with Cache County's 22.4 score coming in well below the national average of 35.4. U.S. News gave Cache County an overall health score of 65, much higher than the state's average of 61.
Cache County residents have a smoking rate of 8.1%, lower than the national average of 17.1%. The life expectancy here is 82, five years longer than the US average of 77. A whopping 46% of Cache County's residents have an advanced degree, higher than the national median of 29%.
One of the great perks of living in Cache Valley is that all of the buses are free. The region has chosen to make public transportation free in order to alleviate barriers to transportation and to make getting around simpler and more efficient for all.
Not only is the transportation in the Cachey Valley free, it is also highly efficient. Buses run within five minutes of their scheduled times 95 percent of the time. They also run in such a way that allows for ease of transfer between buses. The bus system runs so smoothly partially because they are free to the public. Without the challenges of paying fares, riders can quickly board and exit the bus, making the entire process smooth and helping to keep the buses on schedule.
Riders can travel all over the valley, from Logan, Lewiston and Preston to Utah State University's campus and to area hospitals and recreation centers. The buses run all day and follow a loop, making it easy to get around.
In addition to the free bus system, much of Cache Valley is somewhat walkable and bike-friendly. While you will need wheels for most errands in the region, there are some neighborhoods like Adams, Ellis and Bridger that are well suited for those that want to make their way around town on foot.
Cache Valley has such great food options that there is even a foodie trek that will take visitors all over the region, sampling delicacies from hundreds of restaurants. If you want to eat like a local, Angie's Restaurant is not to be missed. The homemade pies are worth the trip. The Black Bear Diner serves down home comfort food in a casual environment and is also a local fave. Bluebird Restaurant is a Logan landmark, and since 1914 has been the go-to spot for steak and seafood. They even still have the original soda fountain. Stacked Quality Pancakes is the place to go for breakfast food, and with an extensive menu of some of the best griddle specialties West of the Mississippi, you definitely want to make a stop here. In addition to the local Mom and Pop joints, Cache Valley has its share of chains like Texas Roadhouse, Chili's and Buffalo Wild Wings.
Fairs and Rodeos
The highlight of the year is the Cache County Fair and Rodeo. Held each August in Logan, this fair is one of the most attended events in Utah. From the 4-H dog competition and show, the alfalfa hay contest and the horse shows, there is no shortage of exhibits to keep you entertained at the fair. Enter your pee wee sheep in the sheep showmanship competition or submit your photography for judging by one of the hand selected judges.
The main event, however, is the rodeo. Usually held on the Saturday afternoon of the fair, this high energy event is fun for the whole family. The Rodeo Queen contest and the Mutton Bustin' contests are a crowd favorite.
February brings out the best for visitors with a sweet tooth. The Chocolate Festival is a friendly culinary competition that raises money for a good cause while making the entire valley smell like sugar heaven.
The first blush of spring brings the Baby Animal Days, an exhibition of some of the valley's cutest residents on four legs. Expect to see sheep, ponies and bears as well as enjoy train rides, crafts and food.
The Wasatch Back Relay is a heart-pumping, high energy event as thousands of spectators pack the streets to watch a 170-mile, 24 hour relay race that starts in Logan and ends in Park City.
Cache Valley Cruise-In is one of the oldest and largest vintage car shows in the United States. Classic car lovers from all over the country flock to the valley to show off their shiny wheels, win prizes and wow the crowd. At the end of the event, the cars cruise down Main Street for the Logan's Run Parade.
Fall brings with it the Historic Home Show Tour that showcases the finest homes built by early settlers to the region.
The American West Heritage Center
Located on the scenic road that leads to Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park is the American West Heritage Center. This sprawling center sits at the foothills of the Wellsville Mountains and celebrates the cultures that founded, built and inhabited the historic Cache Valley from 1820 to 1920. Take a step back in time and embark on frontier adventures from identifying furs to trapping and cooking on a wood-burning stove. The youngest members of the family enjoy storytelling, train rides, pony rides and crafts. Proper little ladies will love Tea Party Fridays where they can don their Sunday best and enjoy an afternoon of tea and conversation. The center also hosts monthly events, from concerts on the farm to the Mountain Man Rendezvous to Farm Animal Days and the Pioneer Day Festival.
The American West Heritage Center is a not to be missed family favorite.
There is no denying that Cache Valley has natural beauty, a high quality of life and excellent opportunities. The real treasure, however, lies in its people. From the descendants of the early pioneers to immigrants all over the world, the people who make up Cache Valley represent community and diversity. The Valley is packed with people who came for a visit and loved the towns so much that they never left. Cache Valley is known for its warm and welcoming residents who always greet you with "hello," or "good afternoon," and make you feel like family. No matter where residents hail from, when they arrive in Cache Valley, they are truly at home. Whether you make the Valley your home for a week or a lifetime, you'll always feel like you belong.
Getting to Cache Valley
Cache Valley straddles the Utah-Idaho border, and is accessible by air and land. Just 50 miles from Ogden-Hinkley airport in Ogden, 86 miles from Salt Lake City's International airport and 128 miles from Provo municipal airport, it is easy to get to Cache Valley from anywhere in the world. Logan is served by Greyhound lines, and visitors can also access the area by the Amtrak station in Ogden. The best way, however, to access Cache Valley is by car. The Logan Canyon Scenic Byway is one of the most breathtaking scenic drives in the country, and the 41-mile trip winds its way past trailheads, fishing spots and campgrounds before lumbering past the Beaver Mountain Ski area and climbing into the mountains. This route is especially popular in fall where deep reds and yellows dot the canyon, aglow in picturesque splendor.
When it comes to enjoying a family friendly vacation, a mountaineering expedition or a complete relocation to the county with some of the cleanest air in the United States, you can't go wrong with Cache Valley. From world-class skiing, hiking and snowboarding to pristine valleys and sparkling lakes, many people flock to the area each year to enjoy nature at its purest.