Friday, August 12, 2016

Hike: Rock Canyon

I had been itching to hike but my brother left. I naturally woke up at 7, debated on whether or not I could call a friend that early and then decided to take the dog instead. I am a smart hiker so why not. We got ready and sneaked out. Since Max is unable to hike and would have been sad had he realized I left without him, I let him see me lock Mick up and then locked him up and went back for Mick without him knowing. I know but it had to be done.

I hadn't been up Rock Canyon since the 90's. I remember my last walk up the canyon was with Buster and it had a very sketchy feel to it so we never went again. My friend Julie (avid hiker) told me it has changed quite a bit since then so I finally decided to give it another chance.
Pic 1: Mick approaching one of the several bridges. They were numbered and now I can't remember how many (Five?). I only remember that the water didn't begin until bridge 2 and that was just a trickle. I think this may have been bridge 3.

Pic 2: The purpose of this hike was to find the cut off to Slide Canyon so that we can hike to this side too. I think this may be it. Great sign! This sign is right near the fork in the trail. Left to Squaw Peak, Right to Rock Canyon Campground. Also where we left Mick's bag of goodies that we picked up on the way back down.

Pic 1: One of two random water fountains along the trail. No thanks, I brought my own water. I did see a girl fill up her water bottle though.

Pic 2: Mick posing on a rock. Notice the leash! This was also the second cut off to the trail that looped back around to the post without a sign above. I found that out for sure later.

Pic 1: Random pile of rocks. I had this feeling like I should add a rock but I didn't. 

Pic 2: One of many perfect spider webs. It was hard to capture a good picture of them. I didn't want to get too close. 

As I was hiking up this trail I noticed everyone that passed me on the way up was passing me on their way down. Wait, I'm not that slow. Okay, so maybe I am at first but then I hit my stride and can hike forever. I have trouble knowing when to turn back so loops work good for me. It turns out that they were only hiking to the fork in the trail and then turning back. I kept going and I took the fork to the right which leads to the campground. Someone I passed on their way down (past the fork) said their was a spot where you could look back and see the view.

Pic 1: View looking back toward Provo

Pic 2: View looking southeast? I think that is Provo Peak in the distance. There was a valley just past the fire pit and the trail went back to the left to get to the campground.

Pic 3: Same view as above but Panoramic and standing closer to the edge. There was a creek/river way below.

Since I was very alone up here and the trail ahead headed back down into another canyon I opted not to go any farther. We had a snack and when I was about to water Mick I heard someone coming. I met Cindy and Sandy and Penny (little girl) and Mary (hound dog). They were very nice and quite helpful with information about the trail. They told me that this was 2.5 miles according to her smart watch and that she thinks the campground was only about 10 minutes more. We all turned back anyway.

With confirmation and a tip to follow the trail down to the creek from the ladies we met Mick and I took the turn off where he had posed on the rock. We found this sign confirming that it was indeed the correct way to get to Slide Canyon from Rock Canyon or vise versa. This trail met back up with the post without a sign by the fork. Mick crossed a his first and second creek and did very well on a log. I'm so proud.

We took a selfie together when we were almost to the end of the trail. Mick did great. He drank water out of a small plastic bowl no problem. I wondered whether or not he would. I checked his paws for rocks several times and did find some. Also checked again when we got home and found another one stuck behind his claw with tree sap so I will be sure to check there too while hiking next time. Checked for ticks too. It was a 5 mile hike round trip.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Hike: Mick on Y Trail

Check out this cute boy on his first hike! I hadn't planned to go far since it was late so we weren't prepped properly and only went a little way up the Y trail. We made it to the 2nd bench before we turned around and went back down. He proved himself to be a decent hiker and seemed to really be enjoying himself. 

After getting home he got plenty of water, I checked his paws for rocks and his body for ticks. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Hike: Bell Canyon Reservoir

This is the reservoir that you pass on the way to the Bells Canyon Waterfall hike. I didn't take a picture back when we passed it the first time so I thought I'd come back on my own. This was the first hike I did absolutely by myself on the way back from dropping my brother off at the airport. 

I actually drove a little ways up Little Cottonwood Canyon looking for the Lisa Falls trail head but never found it so I came back to Granite trail head and did this one again. It is a nice and easy hike and pretty well traveled so I felt fine doing it alone.

Because of my slight detour partially around the reservoir last time I wanted to go around it for real coming from the other side. Unfortunately, I did it all wrong. Again with the horrible trail markings and goat trails everywhere. I ended up in a bog and too close to the lake on the other side. I never found the bridge I almost crossed the last time. Whatever, I made it around, it was just a little annoying.

There were lots of hummingbirds and dragon flies and ducks and Canadian Geese around the reservoir. I captured this one stretching out or something. You can also see them in the panoramic pic above.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Hike: Timp Falls

Hike #3 out of 3 using our 3 day pass to American Fork Canyon. Looks like I need to find and plan another 3 day hiking adventure.

I have lived in and visited this area of Utah since the early 90's and never realized this hike/waterfall existed. I had hiked to Stewart Falls several times and even hiked to the shelter almost to the top of Timp. 

Two shots above of what we thought at first was Timp Falls. Turns out it's just the first of what we were told after of four sets of falls. I should mention that I got a phone call not long before I got to the falls. I had a nice conversation (as always) with my long time friend Rebecca out in the middle of the woods. 

My brother hiked farther up the trail and then texted me to tell me to keep coming and that it was worth the hike. It really wasn't that much farther and was definitely worth it even though it was midday. I brought a lunch and had it on a rock near the mist.

This was hard to capture but the rocks were dripping and water was shooting off of them. This was to the left of the falls.

Beautiful. This was the 2nd set of falls. I look forward to finding the other two sets some day.

Lots of butterflies this summer. It's like they follow you around. 

You shouldn't be surprised that we took the wrong trail to the trail on the way up and the real trail on the way back. We didn't know that of course until we found this on the way back down. It's very gravelly though so the other trail we took was nicer in our opinion. This trail also goes all the way to the top of Timp.

This trail is/was paved at one time and so there is half of a paved trail in many spots making it quite the ankle twister if you aren't careful. Someone should really get rid of the old half paved sections. Otherwise this is a fabulous trail. I can't understand why I had never been before. I like it much better than Stewart Falls.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Hike: Silver Lake

Hike #2 out of 3 using our 3 day pass to American Fork Canyon. I chose wisely. A similar sign was featured on the Bells Canyon Waterfall hike in Sandy.

A few of the views along the way and my shoes. This was the first hike with the real (or close to real) hiking shoes. I did all of the other hikes in a very comfortable pair of almost worn out shoes but that beats blisters. These shoes were snug so my brother told me to walk them out wet which what I did the day before and it worked out great. No blisters and a much more comfortable hike.

First arriving at the top. It wasn't that dark, just went the wrong way on the panoramic and didn't feel like fixing it.

As you can see, this was a wonderful hike to a beautiful scenic lake. I definitely recommend doing it at least once. Unfortunately there were a lot of hooks and lines everywhere (not cool) since it is apparently a great place to fish.

Love this selfie of me in front of the lake. It was just chilly enough to have to wear my new to me orange Columbia windbreaker on the way down. There was a nice breeze. Again, a beautiful evening hike. We saw several people on their way up in shorts and t-shirts. Live and learn.

I was almost to the parking lot when I met a friend. Here's a little video. I could have gotten a better one but as you see in the previous picture I had taken a selfie and so the first video was of myself and not the deer. Oops.

By the way, you park at Silver Lake Reservoir to hike to Silver Lake. Here's a pic before we left the parking lot. Then there is the scary dirt road that I didn't mention until now. Scary as in powdery not quite two lane road (somehow people can pass each other) and cliffs. Yikes. I really loved this hike but I'm not sure I can outweigh that over the road to get there. That's why I said you should do it at least once. Maybe the road won't bother you.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

HIke: Scout Falls

We decided to finally buy a pass to enter American Fork Canyon. I know, I know, it's only $6 but I just don't feel like I should have to pay to hike in my own back yard. Either way, we thought we would get our moneys worth out of it so this is Hike #1 of 3.

There isn't actually a real sign telling you were Scout Falls is but someone had taped one up on the side of the little ranger station with an arrow. Online it tells you to go to the Timpanoke trail head but there were several different trail heads leaving from that parking lot. Thank you to the person that put up the little sign. You also sign in and out on a log sheet. 

It was an actual single line trail which is very nice. Along the way there were several little waterfalls and spots where you had to cross a creek.

This was the view back over the meadow that we went around (not through). It was a very pretty hike.

I approached the falls the wrong way. I climbed up a bunch of rocks because I didn't know that the trail had turned until it was too late. Either way, it was sketchy at the top. 

 I carefully crossed over to the other side where you can get a good picture of the falls. They weren't nearly as big as I had thought from the pictures I had seen online. They were about 30ft but there wasn't much water. Good mist though.

I took a few scenic shots on the way back and saw one deer down in the meadow. It was a beautiful evening. I'd give this hike only 4 out of 5 stars because of where the trail gets a little iffy at the top. On the actual trail, which I only took on the way back (we think), there's a tangle of tree roots that you have to climb up/down. Maybe I was still on the wrong trail?

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Hike: Big Springs Hollow Trail

I don't have anything good to say about this hike so I will keep it short. There are several trails you see online that crisscross, it's a gravel road and a trail. I tried both and the actual trail was ten times better. As you can see, there were several signs along this trail but we never found anything that looked like a spring. I pretty much got eaten alive by horseflies (and I mean eaten alive!!!) while hiking to a construction site. Fun. We even hiked a short way past where we thought the spring was supposed to and nothing. If there is a next time it will be with the Cascade Saddle destination instead.

My little happy moment on this hike. I met this young moose. We had a nice little conversation while I tried to get a decent picture. It just watched me and twitched it's ear. I couldn't stay long because of the fly situation. Not that moving helped any.