Lake Blanche in June…reprise….

The parking lot was already mostly full when my son and I arrived at the trailhead, but that was okay, as we/I prefer to park just off the road in the canyon…it’s easier to leave that way…hours later when the hordes of people are milling about with their comings and goings….  Aside from simply driving up into the canyon, one of the first wonderful things about this particular trail is the bridge crossing over the Big Cottonwood Canyon stream.  Whatever the month or season of the year, it’s an almost magical, soul-moving experience to stand on the bridge or next to the rushing stream, watching the water make its way down-canyon.  This photo shows the crush of the snow-melt…those billions of flakes that have returned to their primal form, filtered through the mountain’s soils and rocks and the vegetation’s roots…and now come at last to the stream-bed where they will be carried away and out into the city below.

Can you hear it…the rushing liquid surge that sounds like a a storm of wind in the high trees…can you feel the chilled air rushing with it down the canyon and into your face…enveloping your body…marveling your mind…soothing your soul…?

It had been more than three years since I had hiked this path, and being honest with myself, I had forgotten how steep the trail was at times…had forgotten how the faces looked of the people struggling up it as I had come down it on my many returns over the years….  It was the roughest hike I had made in quite some time…and one that didn’t use to be such a challenge.

Wonderful life in its simpler forms…the magic of a coming transformation found along the trail.

We’re not there yet, but this is one of the first glimpses of Sundial Peak as viewed from down the canyon…with the brilliant greens of the new summer growth, the patches of snow still extant on the east-facing slopes of the surrounding mountains, and the white trail of the stream that I know is running in its fullness as it drains from Lake Lillian.

Still on the approach, we can see Dromedary Peak to the right and the “Play Doh” like red rock in the foreground whose surfaces were smoothed by the passing of ancient glaciers many millions of years ago….

Looking over those smooth red rocks and back down the canyon in the photo below.

Getting even closer now, preparing for the final ascent up to the flat land before the lake…with a couple of hikers for near perspective.

I never made it up to the top of Sundial Peak during my years of living in the Salt Lake valley, but it was always something I wanted to do…something that I thought I would get to do on some weekend jaunt up there when those mountains were in my every-day…when they were a steadfast part of my eastward view.

The clouds were alive and moving with the strong breezes and winds that blew through our morning up at the lakes…constantly causing shadows to move over the water and mountain peaks….

Below is the view further to the west of the above images…where we can see the breached dam a the far end of Lake Blanche…

…and we know that the water continues down to Lake Florence and Lake Lillian…seen below in their descending order…stair-steps of cascading wonder….

We didn’t have sufficient time to explore for hours and hours like we did the first time my son and I made the trip up here in 2011…but the reward at the end of our hike up there was rich enough in itself to have made the entire effort worthwhile.

Lake Blanche and Sundial Peak in memory form.

Thank you for being here….


18 responses

  1. What a wonderful place!

    September 17, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    • It certainly is, Terry.

      October 1, 2017 at 2:10 pm

  2. I love being here with you on these jaunts. Sounds like you might be a bit out of shape since you haven’t had these mountains in your backyard these days. But I’m glad you get to revisit them again. Looks like the hike was well worth the challenge.

    September 18, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    • Yes, Gunta…definitely out of “mountain shape” these days. And it was definitely worth the challenge. Thank you. 🙂

      October 1, 2017 at 2:11 pm

  3. Yeah . . . I’ve been noticing things are not as easily accomplished as even a few years ago. But, this one seems worth it.

    Beautiful revisit of the scenery.

    September 18, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    • Definitely worth it, Emilio. Thank you.

      October 1, 2017 at 2:11 pm

  4. Thank YOU for going the distance, camera in hand…what a fantastic hike, and those lakes, one after the other. And you know I love that smooth red rock. In the 5th from the bottom, all the evergreens are so stately – that’s a familiar look. But then in the next photo, there are new leaves on deciduous trees – aspen? So pretty, and not what you’ll see in Washington, at least not that I’ve seen. I appreciate your writing, the passion and connection in it. Yes, I can hear that water!

    September 18, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    • It was my pleasure, Lynn…going the distance with camera in hand. It was still very early in the summer season, so the trees still had plenty of new growth on them…and yes, Aspen.

      The wonderful water…..

      October 1, 2017 at 2:14 pm

  5. So much lovely water, good to see 🙂

    September 19, 2017 at 11:09 am

    • It’s righteous, Captain….

      October 1, 2017 at 2:14 pm

  6. Breath taking!

    September 22, 2017 at 7:17 am

    • Indeed, it is/was!

      October 1, 2017 at 2:15 pm

  7. These are such beautiful images. I feel like I’m right there with you!

    October 3, 2017 at 10:39 am

    • Thank you, Susan…goal achieved!

      October 10, 2017 at 8:45 pm

  8. Liana

    Enjoyed this so much with my coffee this morning! I could hear that water–the rushing and the calm.

    October 4, 2017 at 5:55 am

    • You’re wonderful company…thank you for joining me there. 🙂

      October 10, 2017 at 8:46 pm

  9. LB

    What an incredible hike. I’d have spent the whole time in awe.

    October 14, 2017 at 9:58 am

    • That’s exactly what it’s like being up there, LB…awesome…awe-inspiring…and the rest of the world seems so common upon the return!

      October 15, 2017 at 1:56 pm

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