Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Hike: Grotto Falls and Devil's Kitchen via Nebo Loop

We decided to head to Grotto Falls again because the time before had lots of snow. This time it was raining a little but that was nice too. There were very few people on the trail and so I was able to get a nice panoramic shot.

Beaver Dam Overlook: Facing east.
I jokingly said we should drive the loop since we had nothing else to do. It was a mild storm and was a very pretty night for a drive so we went for it.

Utah Valley Overlook: Facing North
A little farther down the road on the other side. That's Utah Lake.

Devil's Kitchen

I had read about it and assumed it was much closer than it was.  Just this one spot of red rock and formations. There is a paved path that leads you up to a small overlook.

The southern half of the Nebo look has quite a few treacherous curves and no sharp turn/cliff signs so be careful. I found it to be quite nerve racking.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Hike: Slide Canyon to Slate Canyon Loop

I had a kind neighbor give me a ride to the Y trail head just before 7AM. My goal was to make it to the top in one hour and I did. This is the terrible picture I took. There wasn't much I could do from that angle but I thought I should get something to document the occasion.

The next trail started at the top far right corner of the Y (when facing it). From there you begin your hike on a single line trail that leads you up through the canyon. Below are a few of the pics I took along the way. 

There's a big rock that isn't too far from the Y if you just want to hike to that and go back down. I love to see the wildflowers along the way and I also spotted a GeoCache. I didn't stop for the cache since I was trying to get as far as I could before my brother left the house.

Isn't it beautiful?! I was so close to the sun peeking over that I had to walk toward it a few times to put it back behind the mountain for the pic. Silly me, I was taking my panoramic photo with my phone vertically. I didn't realize this until the next hike. ha ha ha. 

This was a big flat rock on a slant that I carefully stepped up on to get the view. We found out later that it is called the alter. I put my shadow and the rock in the pic to show how far up I was. 

Another pic of how beautiful my hike was. I only had two separate people pass me on their way down. Otherwise, I had the trail all to myself until my brother showed up around 10AM.

More beautiful wildflowers, the trail, and me after hiking about 3 hours up hill. My brother caught up to me within minutes of me taking the selfie at the log and fire pit that I found where I sat and ate some chocolate chip cookies. There was a small meadow just after that.

This was a really pretty section of the hike. Do you see a trail? Yeah, I don't think so. It is there though, under all of that greenery and it came up to my shoulders so I hiked with my arms up in the air. It was also the section that makes you reconsider wearing shorts and where we thing my brother lost his hat from his pack. Also somewhere in here the trail splits and you need to stay to the right.

 This is where we thought we were at the top the first time. Again, stay to the right. The trail was very well traveled so it was easy to follow. The sign says First Right Fork Trail < (arrow facing north) Rock Canyon 1.9 Miles. We were headed to Slate Canyon (south).

A pretty view looking back from where we came. Heading into a few more aspens and tall greenery again which included white columbine flowers (in the first area too) and lots of butterflies along the way. 

Here is where I gripe about the signage in the mountains.  We see that it is 3.5 miles to the Slate Canyon Trailhead but it doesn't tell us how far it is to the Slide Canyon Trailhead (the Y). At least this one had arrows. We got to this sign at 11AM so it took me 4 hours to get to the top. 

My brother is in the first picture on the far right. He is just a speck. I really love this second pic with the aspens in the middle. I think I even may have turned my camera the right way or slowed down when taking it. 

Just past those aspens is where we began our descent. Down, down, down. Some parts very steep. Lots more butterflies along the way too. Since it was getting hotter by the minute we did not stop for lunch but kept hiking. I ate my sandwich while walking and completely forgot about my carrots. 

This first one (left) is looking back up into Slate Canyon (not the trail) and this second one (right) is looking down. Lots of turns on the way down as you hike on a very gravelly road. I actually lost my footing and fell at one point and scraped up my leg. 

The entire hike took me 6.5 hours. It took my brother about 4 hours. This took me a little longer than the hike around the G mountain but I believe the climb on this one was to a higher elevation in a shorter distance. It was about 7.4 miles. For my brother it was about 8.8 since he ran ahead at the end and back across the Bonneville Shoreline Trail to get the car from the Y,  drive back to Slate Canyon and pick me up. By then I had hiked out of the canyon to Slate Canyon Road.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Hike: Horsetail Falls

There seem to be quite a few waterfall hikes that aren't mentioned on the majority of the websites that I find related to local waterfall hikes. I stumbled upon this one the other day and so we went for it. Unfortunately we didn't get started until 11:30AM. Luckily, it was a cooler day than usual.

This is Chipman Canyon? in Alpine, UT. You hike along side of Dry Creek which is anything but dry this time of year. It is a rocky/road like trail with a constant incline and you hike for 2 miles before you get to the sign (pictured below). Then, if you want to get to the falls you take a quick left off of the left trail down a steep hill to a single line trail that you have to somewhat blaze your way through until you get to the falls. We took that way back since we didn't know how to get to the falls we kept hiking up the left trail which lead us toward the top of the falls.

 Here I am.

Look! There it is! We're so close but yet so far. We took a little detour from the main path just off of this rock/overlook to your left. It was a much smaller rockier trail that ultimately met up with the main trail. You will also cross a few creeks.

This is the sign junction where you will go left and then left down the steep hill within a few hundred yards.  Notice how it doesn't mention what is to your left? I promise you there is a clear trail going in that direction.

This was the view from above the falls before I worked my way down without killing myself.

This was the view from down by the falls.

Here we are! There was a wonderful mist coming off of the falls. We hung out for a few minutes to relax and enjoy the view before heading back down. It took us about 3 hours round trip.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Hike: Bells Canyon Waterfall

You can start this hike in two different places. We started at the Granite Trailhead just below Little Cottonwood Canyon. I recommend starting from this trail head vs. the actual Bells Canyon Trailhead over on Wasatch Blvd. since I came down that way. It was much steeper and rockier. 

I didn't start taking pictures until I got past the reservoir. No reason in particular that I can remember. 
Another thing I should mention is that I had taken a short detour on the other side of the lake hoping there was another way up the trail rather than the rocky road. I ended up going partly around the lake and I came to a bridge and a pump house before trail blazing on goat trails along the creek until I got back to the real trail. I found my brother on the other side of the creek sitting on a rock waiting for me. 

Later, after my brother ditched me (hiked at his own pace) I was confronted by a hummingbird. That was cool. I could hear them along different parts of the trail so watch for them if you do this hike in June.

Pic 4 (above): The seems to be never ending rock staircase to the falls. Very difficult in my opinion and it was also around noon on a very hot day. Luckily it was shaded but still. 

 I can hardly believe I made it! Check this out though, so beautiful. I love how this picture turned out.

A close up of the falls from down below them. There is quite a steep hill down to the falls once you get up to the falls.

 As usual, my brother went up and around to the top. He's pictured in this one in the upper right hand corner wearing an orange shirt.

A little selfie proof I was here shot...

Stepped back a little and was able to get a pic without anyone else in it before I climbed back up this hill you see on the right side. It was a well traveled hike. 

View from the top of Sandy City down below. 

Headed back down the rock staircase. Tried to get a pic of how long it is and this doesn't even come close in my mind. Tricky coming down too. It was a good work out and I'm glad I accomplished it. Turns out this was only the lower falls and there's an Upper Bells Canyon Waterfall in addition to the Upper Reservoir but I don't know that I will ever get there. We'll see.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Hike: Bonneville Shoreline Trail - Rock Canyon to the Y

I do not recommend this section of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. So far it is my least favorite section and I can honestly say I will never hike it again. You are on a decent double trail/dirt road that runs just behind the houses and follows the power lines the whole way. Don't count on a good sunset picture or view without the power lines. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

DIY: Back Porch

This is my new happy place, especially after we got the lights. All summer I spend just about every morning and evening (avoiding getting baked by the sun) out on the porch watching the hummingbirds that now greet me, hanging out on my phone or reading a book. Still to come are the sheer curtains that I already have and found for only $3 at a yard sale. Also working on finishing the patio stones and the new cushion covers.