Bells Canyon Reservoir and Lower Falls

I have stood in this exact same spot, on a bench mind you, overlooking the Bells Canyon lower reservoir so many times that I cannot begin to number them from memory.

…and I have walked this trail in all seasons, heading toward the lower and upper falls, and even toward the upper reservoir another couple of miles up into the mountains.

If you look closely, in the above and below photographs, you can see a tiny splash of white that is brighter than the rocks below and to the left of it…that white splash is what I perceive to be the lower falls…something that I have observed from several miles down the road, and even as far away as the back balcony of my children’s home in West Jordan on the other side of the Salt Lake Valley.  Some might suggest that it is the upper falls, but there are no singular monstrous rocks beneath the upper ones, only the lower ones, where I and my hiking companion sons have rested and snacked after admiring the falls face to face.

Below is a favorite spot along the Bells Canyon stream…another special place that I have photographed multiple times…with snow on the banks and perched like cones or caps on top of the rocks with the water barely trickling among them, or with the rich greens of spring and summer when the water was crashing or running over the tiers of rocks like a flood.

It’s always such a pleasure to stand back and watch as someone beholds the falls for the first time…to see the delight in their eyes, and to watch the slight grin grow into a full-on smile as they are slowly christened with the over-spray and mist….

My daughter shared with me that someone had slipped into the falls a couple of weeks earlier while attempting to jump over the stream that led into them…and of the near futile efforts to locate and recover the body from under the logs where it was eventually found…a rescuer saw a flash of color in the crush of water that didn’t belong in the middle of it all…the red or yellow or blue jacket that was still on the the body….

In the last 100 yards or so climbing up to the falls, more than 30 hikers passed us on their way down the trail…and fortunately, there was only one other person up there when my daughter and I arrived…another quiet individual who we only glimpsed once or twice as we cherished the amazing wonderfulness that surrounded us.

The above photo is from near the spot above the falls where the individual likely attempted to jump across the stream.  I have sat there in the past with at least one of my sons…admiring the view and the crush of the melted snow that thundered over the falls…while having a snack of a crisp apple and “Indulgent” trail mix.

My daughter and I continued up the trail to the upper falls (to be shared in a later post)…but this is what it looked like, in the above photo, facing back up the canyon on our return trip down to the reservoir….

And lastly, an afternoon view of the Bells Canyon lower reservoir….  It used to take me 15 minutes to drive to the trailhead for the trail that leads to the reservoir…now it takes more than 10 hours….

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10 responses

  1. It must have been wonderful to visit there again! It’s a beautiful place!

    July 8, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    • Beyond words, Terry…

      July 22, 2017 at 2:52 pm

  2. Kind of a downer about the water-jumper, but otherwise a fine accounting of a beautiful place.

    July 8, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    • Yeah, downer, but real….and thank you.

      July 22, 2017 at 2:52 pm

  3. Ten hours now! You’ve written beautifully again, and your deep appreciation for a particular place shows though. I love the photos of the lake, and the first, rushing water photo of the river. There is that awareness of life and death in powerful places like this, and it doesn’t detract from them. Not at all. It’s part of a reality that’s so keenly felt.

    July 9, 2017 at 7:59 am

    • Thank you, Lynn….and yes, ten hours driving from PHX to SLC…. I could live there forever.

      July 22, 2017 at 2:53 pm

  4. But well worth the trip to this amazing wonderfulness! So nice to see you enjoying the hike with your daughter!

    July 10, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    • Yes, it was, Gunta…very well worth it. And yes, too, so nice to share it with my daughter…it was our first time taking a “real” hike together…. Wonderful memories.

      July 22, 2017 at 2:54 pm

  5. Must have been absolutely gorgeous to see in person.

    July 14, 2017 at 10:28 am

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