This bit of bowl-shaped terrain in the distance was named “Gobblers’ Knob,” supposedly, because of the abundance of wild turkeys found in the vicinity…. I made the photo from the trail on the opposite slope heading toward Grandeur Peak in Millcreek Canyon…another part of the Wasatch Mountain range that forms the eastern border of the greater Salt Lake Valley. ’Twas a beautiful winter morn’.
A few months ago, I hiked up Porter Fork from its trail-head in Millcreek Canyon, essentially did the loop or horseshoe-shaped trail around Mt. Raymond, and then went down Bowman Fork back to its trail-head in Millcreek Canyon. Near the base of Mt. Raymond, which is technically on the north side of Big Cottonwood Canyon and faces south, you can see into the other drainages or tributary canyons that lie perpendicular and head in a southerly direction from Big Cottonwood Canyon, which runs east and west; I hope all of that makes sense. At any rate, you can see Twin Peaks (11,330/11,328 ft) near the top center of this image…the drainage that is down and slightly to the left of the peaks is Broads Fork…and if you take the ridge-line to the left, you might notice Dromedary Peak (11,107 ft) as the last prominence…which you might remember is just above and to the right/west of Lake Blanche and the other Sister Lakes…and lie in the drainage called, Mill B South. When I’m out hiking, I always find it fascinating to encounter new views or perspectives of the places I’ve visited in the mountains and canyons…such wonderful and beautiful places…..
To see more images of Twin Peaks, Broads Fork, Dromedary Peak, and Lake Blanche, you can scroll down and utilize the “Search” feature near the end of the page to locate several posts about those subjects.
My older son and I were hiking in Millcreek Canyon the other day, marveling in the winter wonderland and giving our new snow-shoes a test-drive.
After taking the above photo, a man on cross-country skis came up the trail behind us and entered into the area that I had used to frame the photo….
I had noticed the little opening in the canopy of trees up the trail and was hoping to capture an image that had eluded me a couple of months earlier when hiking on a beautifully golden, Fall trail in another canyon.
Ever since I had seen Andy Hooker’s photograph of a woman passing an open garden gate, I had been looking for an opportunity to capture a similar image….
…and here it is, below…my rendition of the woman silhouetted against the opening of the garden gate…the man on cross-country skis passing through the snowy canopy of trees along Millcreek Canyon’s stream….
Thank you, Andy….
I’m sure there’s a fancy name for them somewhere, but that information eluded me in my half-hour search of the internet…so here they are anyway, just sitting there prettily along the side of the trail in Millcreek Canyon.
No longer the guardian of the Wood…he is returning to the earth…from whence he came….
I have tried not to love this place as much as I do…
…but each time I go out, it becomes that much more difficult…
…and you may know that I lived in the desert of Arizona for more than 20 years before moving here to Salt Lake City…
…but I spent much of my childhood exploring and playing in forests similar to these…
…so it’s like returning to my origins to be in this type of environment again….
You might remember the bridge from an earlier post….
This is as beautiful with snow and ice along its banks…but in a much different way….
There are many places along the road in Millcreek Canyon where the trees envelope the road with a canopy of green….
These photos were taken the last weekend of June, which means that the canyon would be opening in a few days…and the road would be bustling with cars and motorcycles…so I relished in the quiet, hearing only my footsteps…and the stream and birds…and the slight wind in the tree-tops….
This is the last segment of wildflower photos from my hike from Millcreek Canyon, over the Lambs Canyon Pass, and down to Lambs Canyon. To see the first two posts, click here and here…and, as always, thank you for visiting.
…picking-up where we left-off in “One hike…and 23 wildflowers…part one“….
To be continued one more time….
This was a longish hike, to Lambs Canyon Pass and beyond, part of which I had made before…once in the middle of January or February when I had turned around 30 yards shy of the pass, as the snow was over my knees and making the hike more work than fun. At any rate, I set out this past Sunday to accomplish the entire trail, two miles along the Pipeline Trail in Millcreek Canyon to the trailhead just beyond Elbow Fork, two miles up to the pass, and then another two miles down to the road in Lambs Canyon…and then turned around and did it all in reverse order to make it home again. As I began the hike, I noticed different flowers that appeared in single bunches or individual plants and then didn’t notice any others of their kind anywhere along the trail…so I started taking pictures of what I found…and as the hours and miles ticked by, I thought about all of the different flowers that I had encountered and couldn’t help but smile and think of Allen from New Hampshire Garden Solutions and his comments on earlier posts, something to the effect of “Wow…that looks like a good place to find a bunch of wildflowers.” If you aren’t familiar with Allen’s blog, I highly recommend a visit…it’s chock-full of beautiful photographs of wildflowers and plants that he encounters during his own forays into the wild, as well as those from his garden and other New Hampshire locations that he frequents…each post of photographs also includes an interesting narrative about each plant. So here you are, Allen…part one of three. The photos aren’t of the best quality, as the morning sun was quite bright and caused a bit of over-exposure on some of them, but I think they are still a fair representation of the natural beauty of the flowers as they adorned the trail to Lambs Canyon.
to be continued….
Walking the Great Western Trail from above Desolation Lake toward Guardsman Pass in the Wasatch Mountains, I happened to uncautiously look up from the steeply slanted snowbank that I was crossing and had to quickly steady myself from falling backwards as I stood upright and gazed at the strange clouds above me….
Another mile or so down the trail, I happened to look up again and off to the east beyond the mountains and found that the cloud was slowly dispersing….
The Pipeline Trail in Millcreek Canyon, in the north-eastern part of the Wasatch Mountain front that borders Salt Lake City, runs for close to seven miles, starting just outside of the canyon (you actually start from inside the canyon, but have to go backwards to reach the closest end of it) and terminating at a significant bend in the canyon that is called Elbow Fork.
The first location to access the trail is at Rattlesnake Gulch…and it is a one mile hike back out of the canyon to get to the outside terminus (which is located at a fantastic overlook of the Salt Lake Valley). If one continues into the canyon, the trail can next be accessed at the Church Fork picnic area…or further into Millcreek, one can pick it up at the Burch Hollow Trailhead, just across from the Porter Fork trail…or one can continue up Millcreek Canyon Road until it turns sharply toward the right at Elbow Fork.
There are a couple of steeper grades, but most of the trail climbs gradually, levels out, and then continues at a slight incline for much of its length. Supposedly, it only gains just over 600 ft in total elevation from the beginning to the end.
If one starts at Rattlesnake Gulch and follows the trail up into the canyon, it is 1.6 miles to the access-point at Church Fork; it is another 2.1 miles to the access-point at Burch Hollow trailhead, and another two miles to the junction at Elbow Fork.
Lightning or nerve endings or naked Aspen in the sky….
A co-worker shared with me how she spent an afternoon a few months ago looking for little treasures, or caches, that had been left behind by others who played the game/hobby of Geocaching. I was unfamiliar with the past-time, so she explained how she and others use their GPS devices to find little caches of whatever that have been left behind by other enthusiasts…kind of like a high-tech scavenger hunt (?).
As I was hiking along the Pipeline Trail today, from Rattlesnake Gulch toward Church Fork, in Millcreek Canyon, on the east side of Salt Lake City, I was looking at the sides of the trail, trying to find something interesting to photograph. I happened to spy a little box under a piece of rock, both of which were tucked between a larger rock and a tree-trunk.
I didn’t really know what I was looking at, but thought that someone might have simply forgotten or lost their Tupperware-type sandwich box while hiking. Other hikers often leave found-items on the sides of trails so that their owners can find them on their return trip or if/when they come back to look for them. When I opened the box and looked inside, it occurred to me that this might be one of the cache items that players look for when Geocaching.
I looked inside the little notebook that was included and discovered that I was correct. This particular box has been out there on the side of the trail since at least June, 2006….
The Geocaching website included above mentions that people often leave things in the caches that can be used by other players. There was a note by Dave23 from a couple of months ago saying that he left a Power-Bar gel….
Since I had kind of stumbled into the game, I wrote a note to future Geocache players who might find the cache, inviting them to visit my blog and let me know that they found my note. I don’t know if anyone will, of course, but it seemed like an interesting idea. And since I wasn’t on a Geocaching trek myself, and hadn’t brought an appropriate treasure or token to add to the cache, I left a piece of Jolly Rancher candy with my note. It should be safe from insects and the elements in the weather-proof box.
A couple of weeks ago, my son and I stopped in the middle of a trail to admire and wonder at a twisted Aspen tree that was rather pretzel-like at about 10 feet up the trunk. Another hiker noticed our noticing of the tree and commented that it was “Redecorating by Avalanche.” It appears that the weight and force of the snow cause the trees to bend and nearly break during the winter months, but then the drive to keep growing in the spring is so great that the young trees continue to do so, often changing directions from their downward or sideward leanings and back toward their natural and upward growth pattern. The results can be crazy…. I wonder how this might be a metaphor for us and our lives, not succumbing to the pressures and challenges of life, but being touched by them, changed even, and maybe drastically, but still enduring in our drive to live, to experience what comes our way…and pressing-on, regardless, on the journey that is our life.
I guess the theme is natural white…the color we find in the elegantly contrasting clouds against the rich blue sky, the massive mountains of White, or “Temple” Granite that were the birthplace for the boulders that were used to build the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City, and the crush of water that is flying and thundering down the Little Cottonwood Canyon Stream…all beautifully brilliant and alluring….
It’s been a while since I’ve climbed a mountain…it has literally been half of my lifetime. I’ve climbed among them, through their forests, and along their streams, but not since I was 24 have I actually climbed to the summit of a mountain. When I was of that younger age, a friend and I took our dogs and climbed the north spur of Blodgett Peak just north of Colorado Springs…back in the days before they cleared a trail that led to the summit from the south side. At any rate, yesterday, I followed the trail to the top of Grandeur Peak with numerous other Saturday-morning hikers, single individuals and groups of two and three or more. I started essentially at the Church Fork trailhead, at 5,900 feet, followed the three-mile trail, and made the summit at 8,299 feet approximately two and a half hours later. I hope you enjoy the photos.
Looking to the west through Millcreek Canyon, you can see the Oquirrh Mountains on the far side of the Salt Lake Valley.
Another forest pathway…taking you away….
The higher I climbed, the greater and more spectacular the view….
I came across probably a dozen streams rushing or slowly making their way down the mountainsides.
As the trail climbed across the mountains, there were many switchbacks….
I had never seen Mt. Olympus from the west before, I have always seen it while looking east, so this is essentially the backside of the mountain…the standing plates from the other side….
And this is Grandeur Peak…not much to look at from its backside, really, but it does afford quite a view of the surrounding mountains.
And now those surrounding mountains and valleys…astoundingly beautiful…
A closer look at what is actually the eastern side of Mt. Olympus….
I asked another hiker to take a picture of me on the summit, but this one is more interesting, the National Geodetic Survey marker planted on the mountain-top in 1973.
And finally, near the last quarter of the trip back down the mountain pathway, it was like entering a forest cathedral with the living arches of a beautiful sanctuary….