Favorite images of Little Cottonwood Canyon…for a friend….

It’s been almost a full year since I drove away from the Salt Lake City area to return to my former and current home in Phoenix, Arizona.  During this year, I have longed for a return to “my mountains” and the canyons and trails that occupied so many of my weekends when I lived there….and while I haven’t actually made the drive or taken a flight to make it back up there yet, I have visited it often in my mind and through the medium of the hundreds and thousands of images that I made while I was there.

I just made a rough count of my photo library, and if it’s anywhere near correct, I went on hikes or exploratory excursions into the Wasatch Mountains at least 140 times during my 3.75 years of living in the Salt Lake area.  I forgot (I don’t know how!!) my camera on one occasion, but it was with me on the other 99.21% of those hikes.  And, of those 140 ventures into the mountains and canyons in my “back-yard,” I visited Little Cottonwood Canyon at least 27 times…sometimes hiking only the first half,  other times just the second half, sometimes hiking to a specific spot on the winter stream to capture images of the magical ice patterns and formations, and on other occasions hiking from one end to the other and then exploring further into the area beyond what was considered part of the formal trail…further away from the tracks and traces of people, into what we might consider the “wilderness,” both figuratively and literally, as certain areas of this section of the Wasatch Mountains had been designated official Wilderness Areas by the federal government.

The western-most trail-head to Little Cottonwood Trail is located at the eastern-most end of the parking-lot for the Temple Quarry nature trail….and it was roughly a 15 minute drive from my home….  I visited the canyon during all seasons, as you can see from the three galleries…Spring and Summer in the first, Fall in the second, and magical Winter in the third.

Having lived in the urban desert of Arizona for more than 20 years before moving to Utah, it was amazing and wonderful to my mountain-loving soul to find myself is such an environment…every vista made my heart soar…and near every glance around made me want to capture its image for safekeeping against a day when I might not be able to view it again.  And…it was a thrill to bring those photographs back home and look at them again on the computer…and then share them with you here on the blog….so you might recognize some, or many of these images.

And finally, the beauty and magic of Winter in the Wasatch Mountains…Little Cottonwood Canyon viewed from afar and from very close.  While it was often incredibly cold, I enjoyed being out and in the canyon at this time of year.  It was so captivating visually, that even with freezing fingers, I stayed out there for several hours at a time, slowly walking the trail, perching precariously over the ice-cold stream, and climbing over boulders in the forest and in some portions of the winter dry stream-bed (most of the water being captured upstream to be piped into town for drinking water).

While this post is for everyone to enjoy, I brought these images together specifically for one of my dear blog friends, George Weaver, at She Kept a Parrot and The Fuzzy Foto.  Ever since George and I stumbled across each other’s blogs, shortly after I moved to Utah almost five years ago, she has been a constant blog companion, following me on hikes through the mountains and canyons, and admiring the treasures of photos that I brought home to share.  At first, she said the mountains looked fearsome, but she came to love them and looked forward to seeing them week after week.  George came to especially enjoy Little Cottonwood Canyon…and we have agreed that if we were ever to meet in the Hereafter, it was going to be on the trail in this little piece of mountain heaven.

Thank you for your encouragement and companionship, George….sending you peaceful thoughts and a warm embrace.

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18 responses

  1. A beautiful collection of photographs Scott! A wonderful record of your time in Salt Lake!

    April 25, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    • Thank you, Adrian…certainly a special keepsake. 🙂

      May 3, 2015 at 1:27 pm

  2. Oh Scott… these are all breathtaking and to see them all in galleries like this is a special treat. What a wonderful tribute to George!

    April 25, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    • Thank you very much, Gunta. I hope George will be able to enjoy them.

      May 3, 2015 at 1:27 pm

  3. Tiffany

    Funny, I call those gorgeous Cottonwood Canyons “my mountains” too! Since last year when I discovered your original blog post about the power plant ruins in Little Cottonwood Canyon I have loved exploring that beautiful wilderness! I’ve visited the power plant a number of times and I’m looking forward to exploring more of the higher elevation areas this year when the snow melts off. If ever you need a current picture of your mountains to tide you over I’ll be more than happy to oblige. Thanks for your posts!

    April 25, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    • Yes, Tiffany…I think we will have to agree to share them….. 🙂 I’m so glad you’ve gotten out there so many times since you came across that first post. And feel free to send me any pictures…I’m sure I’ll love them. 🙂

      May 3, 2015 at 1:29 pm

  4. When you get to know such a beautiful place so well and fall in love with it, the photos you bring back are very precious!

    April 25, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    • And these ARE precious, Terry…..

      May 3, 2015 at 1:30 pm

  5. A very nice collection!

    April 26, 2015 at 9:25 am

    • Thank you, Bente. 🙂

      May 3, 2015 at 1:30 pm

  6. Oh, what colors… amazing and invigorating.

    April 28, 2015 at 5:01 am

    • Thank you, Shimon…they stir my heart. 🙂

      May 3, 2015 at 1:31 pm

  7. Great photos; I remember some (or some like them), but others were new to me.

    May 1, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    • Thank you, Emilio…many of them have been presented here before, but some were new, as well.

      May 3, 2015 at 1:19 pm

  8. A stunning array of images Scott. Seasons captured beautifully. Your travels become our gain.

    May 3, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    • Thank you, Mike…..happy to share them with you. 🙂

      May 9, 2015 at 12:07 pm

  9. settleandchase

    Scrolled through to see this again after seeing it a while back but no time to comment – such a beautiful love poem of images, really shows your connection with the place..thankyou for sharing!

    May 10, 2015 at 11:32 am

  10. Liana

    This belongs in a gallery . . . it’s e v e r y t h i n g

    May 12, 2015 at 2:24 pm

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