Category: Trip Report

Photos from Hike to Delicate Arch

I had to attend a high school mountain bike race in Moab on September 22nd in my position as an assistant coach. I took my daughter with on Friday, the 21st, and we had a day to kill waiting for the rest of the family to arrive. Mom was already there as a Utah League Crew Member, setting up the staging (starting line) and we stopped by to deliver some of her things and check in with her after our 3+ hour drive from Salt Lake City. It was a little early to check into our motel, so we planned a hike.

We headed into the National Park and used our annual pass. It’s a heck of a deal if you go to even three parks in a year. We parked in the lot for the Delicate Arch trailhead and took off up the trail. My daughter is a pretty strong hiker for her age, having hit the summit of several area peaks as well as a winter ascent of a Colorado Fourteener. We crested the rim of the bowl in a little over 30 minutes. It was really pretty. Well worth the hike.

After hanging out for a few minutes for photos we took off down the trail. The descent took right at 30 minutes. Pretty cool.

Note that we’ve done this hike a few times before with slower groups, and knew the trail well. We also had a lot of water. I had 3 liters in my pack, and my daughter 1.5. There was a ranger at the entrance to the trail checking for water. It was hot. Several people were huddled in the shade needing to slow down.

Just a warning. If you are not acclimated to hiking in the hot sun in the blazing desert, go slow, stay cool, and drink up. Oh, and use a lot of quality sunscreen. Don’t forget your face and lips.

We then went to check in and play in the pool.

Favorite Short Utah Hikes

Favorite Short Utah Hikes

Spring is upon us which means it’s the ideal time to hit Utah National Parks. What a play ground for hikers, campers, rock climbing, Jeeping and mountain biking.  Our state simply rocks.

Here are a few beautiful hikes you can enjoy.


MANY POOLS- Zion National Park
.
This is a beautiful, “easy” hike that is great for families and beginner hikers.
This is a good hike to take in the spring before the weather gets too hot. There isn’t much shade here.  Take a picnic and enjoy sitting on the slick rocks.

Directions: The Salt Lake Tribune gave these great directions.
The trailhead is not marked. There is a pullout on the southeast side of State Road 9, about 0.9 mile east of the small tunnel that is east of the big Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel. The road goes over the drainage, which you can access two ways. You can follow footpaths down to the east and walk through a tunnel that passes under the road, or you can walk just 0.1 mile north on the road and drop into the drainage at the north.

skeeze / Pixabay

BALANCED ROCK -Arches National Park.

This hike is super easy (like sidewalk easy so to speak) but beautiful and so interesting. The upper rock that is being balanced is bigger than two school busses!  Your kids will go nuts checking it out.  Look for cactus, wild flowers and even lizards as you explore the area. Remember to obey National Park Rules.

Directions:  Balanced Rock is easy to find because A: you’ll see it! And B: it’s well marked. Follow the main park road.  Balanced Rock is located on the east side of the junction with the Willow Springs Trail.

ROADSIDE RUIN -Canyonlands Needles District

Roadside is a short hike, easy for families and very educational. Built of stone and dried mud, hikers can see an Puebloan granery.

Directions: Trailed is located along the main access road (Route 211) just past the visitor’s center.

Snowshoeing in a Snowstorm

Snowshoeing in a Snowstorm

Planned on a trail run up American Fork Canyon [Jan 21] but overnight there were about 8″ of new snow in the valley and up to 3′ in the mountains. The surface was really loose and I sank in up to mid-shin so I switched to snowshoes and heavier boots.

I ended up going quite a bit slower than anticipated, but since I had two hours free I just went uphill about an hour and then turned around. I split the time evenly because I couldn’t really plan on going any faster downhill. It seems that with regular sized snowshoes (I was using a pair of backpacking snowshoes, so they are bigger for extra flotation with a heavy pack) a fit person can go uphill about as fast as downhill.

If you have never been on snowshoes before it takes only a few minutes to figure things out and it’s all good fun.

I got in about 2.5 miles with a few hundred feet of elevation gain, and felt really blessed to have gotten to see so much pretty scenery.

On the way home I helped dig out some boy scout groups that had slid off the road, and even used my SUV to pull a mini-van out of the ditch. Right place at the right time.


Hiking to Silver Lake with the Boy Scouts

Hiking to Silver Lake with the Boy Scouts

One of my favorite opportunities to provide service to my community is to work with my local Boy Scout Troop. I’m always happy to go out on hikes, backpacking and camping?with them. My 15 year old son is an Eagle Scout and a member of the Order of the Arrow. My 12 year old is working his way up through the ranks. I have lots of opportunities to serve.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to go up with 9 boys and 2 other adults to Silver Lake. It’s 2.2 miles and 1300′ above Silver Lake Reservoir. We camped for the night near the shore of the lake. Fish were hitting the surface but none were caught. It was a beautiful night and I slept quite well after my very long day. I’ll tell you more about that in another article.

The next morning we got up and had a leisurely breakfast. We broke down camp, stowed our backpacks, then took off for the upper lake. It was a steep and rocky trail most of the way about .9 miles and 900′ of elevation gain. The last quarter mile was on snow and the lake was frozen over. The boys played on the ice for a while then we returned to camp. We had lunch at the lake and descended the 2 miles back to the trailhead and cars.

Everyone had a really great time and I highly recommend working with youth as an amazingly satisfying opportunity to give back to the community and help develop future outdoor recreation participants. Let me know in a comment below if you are ready to help your community.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Quick stormy hike to Silver Lake

Quick stormy hike to Silver Lake

Next week our local Boy Scout group is heading up to Silver Lake, and there is still quite a bit of snow that high so I thought I would run up quick the weekend before to check it out myself. I’ll most likely be going with on the back packing overnight so it’s also good to check out what the trail might look like if we get to running a little bit late and hike in the dusk.

It was overall a really good hike lots of fun 12 and a half mile round trip from where I parked down at Tibble Fork Reservoir. There was one sketchy creek crossing where the snow melt run off was really deep and cold. At the lake itself the far edge has snow coming all the way down to the water (see pic below) but there were plenty of places to camp.

On the way down there was thunder and lightning on the surrounding hills and it started pouring rain by the buckets. I had a rain jacket with me but it was warm enough I chose to just wait till I got to the car.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image