A Season’s Wanderings

Posted by on April 7, 2017 at 3:30 pm :: No Comments

Walking is entertaining stuff and mountain walking all the more so. That’s why I’m sharing the accounts of the rest of our elevated strolls from last season with you now before the 2017 treks begin. I wouldn’t want to overwhelm you with excitement.

Rattlesnake Gulch: Millcreek Canyon

Memorial Day Weekend

We did this short 3.5-mile hike on a whim because I had a hankering to get outside. Lightning and rain threated to make the occasion more memorable but, although the storm whipped and flashed about to the west of us, we only got sprinkled on.

We've hit this viewpoint many times while riding bikes but never with such a stormy show.

We’ve hit this viewpoint many times while riding bikes but never with such a stormy show.

Desolation Trail: Millcreek Canyon

June

We rambled 4 or 5 miles roundtrip on the Desolation Trail just to see an amazing sunset above the Salt Lake Valley. What did we witness? The Great Salt Lake became misty and the lights of civilization started to beam and glimmer on like winking charms. The clouds blushed strawberry and tangerine with the approach of night. It was a sky worth every step.

We waited in this beautiful spot for the sun to disappear.

We waited in this beautiful spot for the sun to disappear.

With some tiny shorts and tube socks Jason could be back in the 80s.

With some tiny shorts and tube socks Jason could be back in the 80s.

However, the thing about hiking miles to see a spectacular sunset is that you have to retrace those miles in the dark. The moon hung nearly spherical above us but we had to use flashlights on most of our return journey regardless. At one point, something in a tree made a loud clamor and sent a shower of wood chunks down on us. Griffin, hydra, sasquatch, racoon? Who’s to say? It sure didn’t fill me with warm forest feelings.

The receding sun transformed the heavens into this stratospheric punch.

The receding sun transformed the heavens into this stratospheric punch.

Sugarloaf Peak: Little Cottonwood Canyon

August

If you’re a fan of topping all 30 of the Wasatch Range’s 11,000-foot mountains, Sugarloaf Peak is a good place to start. Sugarloaf is 11,051 feet high but it doesn’t demand much skill or shape to conquer. The hike to its pinnacle is a continuation of the path to Cecret Lake and totals 5.8 miles out and back. It gains 1,381 feet with 500 of those coming in the stony steep between the saddle and the summit. Still, considering its height, that’s not much of a challenge.

Somehow we managed to get a picture of Cecret Lake without gobs of people in it.

Somehow we managed to get a picture of Cecret Lake without gobs of people in it.

The real difficulty with Sugarloaf isn’t the rocky rubble but the rabble. Despite its cryptic name, Cecret Lake is certainly no secret. The parking lots near its trailhead were so packed that we had to park a mile down the road. Notwithstanding the crowds at the lake, we didn’t see many wanderers beyond that point.

Alta doesn't allow snowboarders so this is as close as we've come to catching one of its lifts.

Alta doesn’t allow snowboarders so this is as close as we’ve come to catching one of its lifts.

Jason got at least a few more feet out of Sugarloaf Peak.

Jason got at least a few more feet out of Sugarloaf Peak.

It took us a bit less than four hours to do this hike, even with the extra two miles that the area’s vehicular surplus made necessary. We made it back to our car just before phone flashlights became needed.

Horse Flat Trail: American Fork Canyon

September

One fall afternoon we trekked across the Horse Flat Trail for an undetermined distance until the sun skedaddled. We didn’t encounter many trekkers after the first fraction of a mile but we did come across a couple of fine meadows and inspiring views. Yup, it was a gloriously generic mountain climb.

Patches of gilded groves accented the shooting hillsides around Horse Flat.

Patches of gilded groves accented the shooting hillsides around Horse Flat.

A warped aspen offered Jason a perfect perch as we progressed along Horse Flat.

A warped aspen offered Jason a perfect perch as we progressed along Horse Flat.

We ended our Horse Flat hike here... wherever "here" was.

We ended our Horse Flat hike here… wherever “here” was.

There you have it, an ambling account of our wanderings through the woods last summer and fall. Didn’t I say that walking is entertaining stuff? Let the 2017 hikes commence!

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