Hike n Bike

Posted by on February 24, 2015 at 11:00 pm :: No Comments

I’ve been planning on posting about our summer hiking and biking adventures for months but I didn’t want to do so until the season was decisively over. Well, since it is now February and it oddly feels like warm weather is nearly upon us again, at this point I think it’s safe to summarize last summer’s trail flings.

This nameless path up the North Fork of American Fork Canyon provided great views and no company.

This nameless path up the North Fork of American Fork Canyon provided great views and no company.

Silver Lake was secluded and stunning.

Silver Lake was secluded and stunning.

We frequented American Fork Canyon with both bikes and boots last summer; it was our most common outdoor playground. Besides a few trips to Lambert Park and Corner Canyon, it monopolized our mountain time.

The peaceful waters of Silver Lake doubled the expanse of the encircling summits.

The peaceful waters of Silver Lake doubled the expanse of the encircling summits.

This is my favorite meadow and a frequent pedaling point of ours in AF Canyon.

This is my favorite meadow and a frequent pedaling point of ours in AF Canyon.

We were rambling in AF Canyon on foot before the ski resorts even closed last spring, hitting both renowned and anonymous paths. Silver Lake, not to be confused with plainer Silver Lake Flat Reservoir, is about a 4.5-mile hike roundtrip and was our favorite destination discovery last summer. Its trail gains about 1500 feet but it’s too short to be too difficult. The lake is situated in a narrow basin surrounded by towering peaks and boulder-strewn hillsides; ideal about covers it. We walked around the whole lagoon at Jason’s request, or insistence really. Circumnavigating Silver Lake was a little rough, especially where chutes of rock chunks invaded the shore, but we had a good time boldly going where no man had gone for a few days.

Although barely a hike, Jason and I enjoyed walking to the Silver King Mine at Park City Mountain Resort.

Although barely a hike, Jason and I enjoyed walking to the Silver King Mine at Park City Mountain Resort.

As fun as our two-legged meanderings were, we pedaled in American Fork Canyon more than we trekked. We regularly visited our usual tracks, like Great Western and Ridge Trail 157, but we also checked out an area in the canyon we’d never been to: Pole Line Pass. Pole Line Pass separates Utah Valley from Heber Valley at a little over 8,000 feet. You have to travel 8 miles on a dirt road to reach it. Eight miles doesn’t sound like much but the path is pretty bumpy so our Subaru needed an hour to churn through it. Unfortunately, that left us less time than expected to fling ourselves, and our cycles, down Pole Line’s dusty crest but, taken as a whole kit and caboodle, it was still a gratifying adventure.

Heading south from Pole Line Pass, valleys hugged both sides of our path.

Heading south from Pole Line Pass, valleys hugged both sides of our path.

Fall is a terrific time to bike American Fork Canyon when cooler conditions turn the aspens and oaks into fiery forests.

Fall is a terrific time to bike American Fork Canyon when cooler conditions turn the aspens and oaks into fiery forests.

Summer, like its cooler counterparts, provides ample opportunities to get your heart tuckered out in scenic style. Jason and I are not ones to save our energy and waste a season. No sir, we like to expend and experience it all.

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