Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Slide Canyon and Y Mountain

Tonight on the way home I was mesmerized by the view.  I tried to take a pic with my phone but it sucked so I got my Canon Rebel Xsi SLR and threw on the Zoom lens to get these. I especially love the view of Slide Canyon (which I have every intention of hiking once the weather permits). The dark sky followed by the snow covered pines and then the green pines with the spring landscape is breathtaking. Y Mountain looks nice too.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Hike: Grove Creek to Battle Creek Loop

I had already been to Battle Creek Falls and heard that my friend Anna did this loop with her father. So rather than just hiking to Grove Creek and back down my brother and I decided to do the loop. This was my first big hike since I did Timp with some strangers back in the 90's. That hike was hell on my hip so I thought I couldn't hike. They didn't let me go at my own pace which I can tell you now is very important.

Both of these trail heads are located in Pleasant Grove only a few blocks from each other. To keep this short I'll let you look it up if you're interested in either one. 

Below are the pictures I took (in order). There are quite a few since it was my first long hike and there were so many changes in scenery because of when we went. 

The trail starts out straight but then you switchback a few times to the north and then your hiking on a cliff for a bit until you come to the waterfall. I only got a picture of that from the distance. There's also a bench at the top of the falls and a small sketchy bridge between the waterfall and the trickling water (below) that isn't shown. Most people just hike to that and turn around and go back down. 

Getting to the springs was tricky since we found a different spot that we thought was the springs way before. Turns out you're looking for an actual spring with a sign and camp area (pictured above).

This first pic is the view of Grove Creek Canyon from the top. Then we hiked up a hill of snow It was very slippery so this was very difficult. I did my best to stay in other footprints that were packed down. 

When we finally got to the top it was a huge meadow. The wind and snow had flattened all of the grass. My brother is pictured in the first pic and last pic. That is about how far ahead of me he usually is but he waits up for me here and there. We found a few signs that weren't very helpful (as usual). Notice that there aren't any arrows (just distances) and there are trails every which way. None of them clearly marked the canyon we were looking for. 

Oh look! Another sign. I'm not sure why it lists Kiwanis Park. That's the park at the trail head and now I know the name of it. I didn't take any pictures of Battle Creek Falls on the way down since I had done that already. We were done. The hike over all was about 7.8 miles and took us 6 hours. We made it home just as the sun was going down.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Hike: Slate Canyon Trail

First of all, we actually hiked a side route around this sign (not that it would have helped) so we had no idea how far this other trail head/split was.

We (my brother and I) just decided to explore this trail since it had newly been upgraded to an actually trail head entrance complete with parking lot, pavilions and a pit style toilet (no thanks).

Up we went, and up, and up, and up. This one is all up hill like Battle Creek but it seemed steeper and longer. I took several pictures along the way:


This hike had beautiful scenery (like they all do minus the occasional mattress?). My favorite part was that when you got to a certain point you could no longer hear the construction on the houses below and the interstate. You could only hear nature. It was silent except for the occasional birds, rustling lizards, falling rocks, wind, etc. It was so incredibly peaceful. I also love that this hike is so close to my house. 

I gave up after about an hour and turned back. My brother on the other hand kept going until he reached a meadow. I drove home to get a drink and let the dogs out and by the time I went back he was coming out of the canyon. Perfect timing. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Hike: Grotto Falls

Grotto Falls Trail is located in Payson, UT on the Nebo Loop. 

This is another really short hike but in this case we started from the Uinta National Forest gate that was still closed so we were unable to drive to the Grotto trail head. We walked on the road (1.3 miles) until we found the trail head which is clearly marked by a sign on the road at one of the switchbacks. Once we got on the trail itself (0.3 miles) we hit the snow. It was clearly marked by other hikers but it was quite slippery and soft in spots. This one pic is where my foot went in and it is all the way up to my knee.

As you can see by the snow, it was a little cold for us to wade into the pool under the falls but I hear this is a great hike for kids. I'm glad we went when we did because we only passed a few people so we had the falls to ourselves for unobstructed pictures. 

On the way out I saw this fungi growing on a log. I like the colors and the fact that it seemed so out of place right then. Beautiful against the surrounding snow.

We got a late start so we booked it out of there and down the mountain just before the sun went down since we weren't expecting to have to hike from the gate.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Hike: Battle Creek Falls

Battle Creek Falls Trail head is located at the East end of 200 South in Pleasant Grove, UT.

Our first hike of Spring 2016 was Battle Creek Falls. The trail head is located just to the south of the "G". It is a short well marked uphill hike to a few beautiful waterfalls.

This first one is about a 20 ft. drop. You can walk down to the bottom and go under it but we went in the spring so it was too cold for that. I've also seen people sit on that rock in the center of the pic but I don't recommend that. 

Here is the 2nd decent waterfall at this time of year. I say that because there may be more when the runoff increases. I know this one gets a little fuller. It is only about 3-4 ft. at the first drop. There are some large flat rocks just above it where you can sit and hang out before you hike back down the trail. This is also as far as I had ever been since we didn't know where the trail went from there.

This hike is great because you get a lot of bang for your buck. Short uphill climb to a great destination.