Mineral Fork in June…part two….

Here we are again, picking up where we left-off at the end of the other post, Mineral Fork in June…part one….  This is the mining artifact that we couldn’t really see at the end of the trail in the next to last photo of the other post…and this is also the location where I was standing when looking down upon the person and trail in the very last photo of the previous post.

Mineral Fork Johnson Regulator Mine artifacts

And another “people shot” below to help add some perspective to the grandness of the location….

Mineral Fork human perspective

The below photo shows the trail in August of last year, 2012…taken at essentially the same location…so you can see how much of it is covered with snow in the above photo.

Mineral Fork trail August 2012

This is my first sighting of a mountain goat out in the wild, ever.  I’ve heard and read that they were in the area….and are usually found very high in the more rocky aspects of the Wasatch Mountains….  This one happened to be waaaaaay up on the side of the cirque, or bowl, at the end of the fork/valley….and I was waaaaaay down on the trail, so this is the best photo that  I could get…but you can still tell what it is…right?

Mountain Goat in Mineral Fork

Below, my son is sitting on a rock about 50-75 yards down from the head-water, or origin, of the stream that runs the entire length of Mineral Fork and joins Big Cottonwood Stream at the other end, roughly four miles away.  Imagine walking about that distance back up into the bowl that is behind him and listening to water running under the rocks….  It was quite loud…almost rushing, as it passed beneath the scree and finally made its way out from under the rock and became a recognizable stream…..and Holy Buddha, that was some cold water!

Mineral Fork stream headwater

And here I am on a rock in the middle of the nascent stream…loving my little spot in the mountains…..

Scott at Mineral Fork stream

My son and I followed this lower switchback trail up to the higher switchbacks (that you can see in the earlier post), but went off trail and followed the stream through its windings and droppings in elevation back down to a a similar location on the opposite side of the canyon…which affords us this distant look at the trail as it begins to climb upward.  These prominent switchbacks cause this trail to be referred to as the “zigzag trail” in various literature on the area…and can be seen clearly from the mountain ridges several miles to the north.

Mineral Fork early switchbacks from afar

Here’s another view of the zigzag trail, below, that I’ve provided to help with scale and proportion again….  Can you see the two people highlighted against the snow…slightly below and to the left of the center of the photo?

Mineral Fork people perspective against the snow

This is the eastern ridge of Mineral Fork…facing south…and illuminated with the full brightness of the afternoon sun.

Mineral Fork eastern ridge

And this is a final look at Mineral Fork…looking backwards, though, toward its beginning at Big Cottonwood Canyon.

Mineral Fork mountain vista

If you’d like to see a visual reference to where Mineral Fork is situated in Big Cottonwood Canyon itself, you can click on this link to be taken to my last post that includes a map of the area….find the central spine of mountains in the approximate middle of the map and then find the second purple pin up from the bottom of the image.

As always, thank you for being here, for spending a bit of your time with me…I hope you’ve enjoyed exploring another section of the Wasatch Mountains, just east of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

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28 responses

  1. Nice series, Scott. Help with a person to see dimensions. And it must have been exciting to see a mountain goat. 🙂

    July 8, 2013 at 8:42 am

    • Thank you, Bente…and yes, it was very exciting…my son actually spotted it after he heard some rocks tumbling high above us.

      July 8, 2013 at 9:25 am

  2. Nice . . . and yes, glacial water is cold; was it also extraordinarily limpid? That’s what strikes me when I come across it.

    July 8, 2013 at 9:12 am

    • Yes, Emilio, it was incredibly clear…and very refreshing, as well. 🙂

      July 8, 2013 at 9:24 am

  3. Well, I looked at the map and concluded that you were LOST. I would have been “lost” in more ways than one! I just can’t imagine being surrounded by those magnificent mountains. I feel as if I am in untraveled territory just looking at it. No wonder you and son appear to be in such good shape. These adventures are not strolls around the neighborhood. I understand why you go there and a bit of how you feel there. I really enjoy seeing these mountains and the streams and everything that lives and grows there. Putting it “on the map” helps tremendously. We get a sense of where you are and the enormity of it all. These are beautiful photographs as always, Scott. 🙂

    July 8, 2013 at 10:56 am

    • There’s a peace to be had out there, George, which you seem to know…which you seem to feel with me. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and the help of the map…it sure is nice to have you and our other friends for company in the reliving of the hike. Thank you for your kind words…as always.

      July 17, 2013 at 10:06 pm

  4. wonderful! 🙂

    July 8, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    • Thanks, Angie. 🙂

      July 17, 2013 at 10:06 pm

  5. Very nice to see more of this area… and especially to get a peek at you.

    July 8, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    • It’s my pleasure to share it with you, Shimon…even the infrequent glimpses of me. Thank you for being here.

      July 17, 2013 at 10:07 pm

  6. Breathtaking…just breathtaking!

    July 8, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    • It sure is, Susan….

      July 18, 2013 at 8:41 pm

  7. Those mountains are just awesome, Scott! You are indeed fortunate to be so close to them! It’s pretty special to get to see a goat any more. When I was a kid we would see them with quite a bit of regularity, but not so these days. In the last dozen years I’ve seen only one outside of Glacier.

    July 8, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    • I am very fortunate, Terry…and specifically look at them every single day…making sure they don’t disappear on me. 🙂 I’ve heard about the goats and read that they were here, someone even said they were relocated here from somewhere up north….hopefully we’re not all loving them to extinction outside of our parks…..

      July 18, 2013 at 8:44 pm

  8. It’s a beautiful area and seeing the goat must have been a thrill. What I wonder though, is who dragged what’s left of that truck all the way up there!

    July 9, 2013 at 4:35 am

    • It was a thrill, Allen, to see the goat…and the remains of the truck…close inspection, in-person, shows that it’s something that was likely jerry-rigged to help turn a belt that did something with the mine, not just a piece of junk that was hauled out there and dumped…. That would be a whole lot of unnecessary effort. 😉

      July 9, 2013 at 10:30 am

  9. What a wonderful hike you and your son shared! Beautifully captured!

    July 9, 2013 at 8:12 am

    • Thank you, Laura…it’s always special going out there…..

      July 18, 2013 at 8:45 pm

  10. Love the human touch here – you saw a mountain goat – wow, congrats. Maybe someday I’ll see one here in WA. I like the first photo, for the scale and interest, and the one of you – fun! I like the next to last image very much. Nice to get a sense of going along with you. Such rough, wild country!

    July 9, 2013 at 11:49 am

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the hike, Lynn…and yes, we need that human touch in there, too….kind of makes it personal…..

      July 18, 2013 at 8:46 pm

  11. It certainly is grand Scott. Fabulous photos of a stunning landscape! 🙂

    July 9, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    • Thank you, Adrian…and the word “grand” has certainly taken on a new meaning to me since moving out here. 🙂

      July 18, 2013 at 8:47 pm

  12. Wonderful walking country. So similar to the Alps in many ways except the absence of the really tall peaks that are so often the backdrop in the Alps. But maybe you have some of them too that I haven’t seen.

    July 10, 2013 at 11:41 am

    • It is wonderful walking country, Andy…we find the trails steepest that take us up to the ridges or up to the alpine lakes that we find near the 9,500 – 10,000 ft level. Our highest peaks in the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City are around 11,300 ft, the highest a little further south are at 11,700 ft, and the highest in the state of Utah is a bit over 13,500 ft in elevation with a prominence of about 6,350 ft…so while they certainly do get up there, relatively speaking, they don’t really compare to the 14 and 15,000 peaks of the Alps. But I’ll take them anyway for a backyard playground. 🙂

      July 18, 2013 at 9:28 pm

      • It’s not a bad playground, Scott. How I wish I had been born Swiss!

        July 19, 2013 at 4:39 am

  13. Very like large chunks of Wales Scott

    July 15, 2013 at 9:48 am

    • Then Wales must have some rather beautiful chunks. 😉

      July 18, 2013 at 9:29 pm

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