Posts tagged “Broads Fork

The view from Mt Raymond

Mt Raymond is easily recognized from many locations within the Wasatch Mountains.  You might remember that there are three major canyons in the section of the Wasatch range that forms the eastern geographic boundary of Salt Lake City…Millcreek, Big Cottonwood, and Little Cottonwood…from north to south…and they all lie in an east/west orientation.  Mt Raymond lies somewhat near the middle of the ridge that separates Millcreek and Big Cottonwood Canyons.  While I had hiked around it three times and had stared at it so many more, I had never set-out to actually climb to the top of it…until the end of October of this year.  This post doesn’t highlight the hike itself…it shows what can be seen from the trail up to, and from the summit.  If you’ll click on any of the images in the gallery, you’ll be taken to a slide presentation that includes additional orientation-related commentary with most photos.

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Twin Peaks from afar…in September

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.

Twin Peaks from afar in September


Broads Fork – Part II

This post literally picks up the trail where the earlier post, Broads Fork – Part I, left off.  You can click on the highlighted name of the post to go back to it if you’d like to see where we are in reference to it….  I took this photo standing next to the beaver pond that those two people were walking past in photo #8 of the last post…looking toward the west where we now see both of the Twin Peaks….

This is another backward perspective from the middle of a scree trail…we’re actually going the opposite direction, still heading toward the cirque at the end of the trail…maybe this photo is supposed to be after the next two, but I’m not sure…maybe, though….

You might remember this one…but now it has a wider/larger view of the mountainside beneath the loving cloud….

This is where we make the final ascent into the cirque at the end of the trail.  Given that it’s the first week of July and it’s been rather warm down in the valley, I’m not too sure about walking across the remaining snow…don’t know how deep it goes…don’t know what’s under it if I fall through…so I went to the right of the snow field, up over the rocks….

…and found that the trail kept going up, up, up….  I discovered on my way down, by talking with a couple of people you shall see shortly, that the trail would have eventually taken me up to the saddle between Sunrise Peak and the western slope of the Twin Peaks.

But this is where I stopped, you can see my backpack in the lower right corner of the above photograph.  You can also see the ascending trail in lighter rocks….  I didn’t research the hike the week before, as I usually do when going on a new trail.  I had actually looked into it about a year or so ago when one of my sons and I went up to Lake Blanche (and two other lakes nearby), which is situated in the canyon to the east of Broads Fork and has it’s trailhead on the opposite end of the same parking lot as Broads Fork’s.  So I already knew where the trailhead was located and knew that I’d be hiking for a bit more than four miles up into the mountains…but had forgotten most of the rest of what I had read over the intervening year.  If I had remembered the rest of what I had read, I would have known that I could have hiked a bit further, switchback by switchback, up to that saddle, and then went up to either Sunrise Peak or to the western summit of Twin Peaks.  But I was hiking alone and wouldn’t have attempted that on this trip anyway…so it doesn’t really matter that I had forgotten….

This is another shot, below, that I’ve provided for perspective’s sake…that’s actually a 57yo mother and her 25yo son crossing the snow field, with mom behind the son.  I had turned around again to see my back-trail and noticed them at the top left of the snow field…and it took me a few long seconds to get the camera set enough to zoom in and capture them before they left the white background of the snow…so please forgive the uneven shot with the top of the peak missing….

There is a story in one of the religious texts or holy books that details an incident where the people’s god tells their leader to speak to a particular stone and it will bring forth water…the leader was angry with the people for being disobedient, so he struck the stone instead…and it still brought forth water…but he had to pay the consequences later by not being allowed to enter into the land that the god had promised to his people….  I think of this story whenever I see water coming out of the ground like this…sometimes I see it seeping directly out of a hillside and forming a tiny little stream that flows down that hill until it reaches another and larger stream…other times I have seen larger streams, again, seeping out of a hillside.  This is the first time, though, that I have seen such a stream flowing directly out of the mostly flat ground…and appearing almost to come out of a rock.   When I examined the spring more closely, I found that the water was not seeping from the rock field above it…the ground above the spring was not waterlogged…there was no water flowing from the rocks above, nor seeping or flowing down from the large snow field seen above…so either the snow is melting and draining into a natural cistern below all of those rocks and then pouring out of this spring, or this is a true spring with water flowing up from the ground…at over 8,500 ft in elevation.  I don’t know which it is and I suppose it doesn’t really matter for our purposes here…but I thought it was rather fascinating…and beautiful….

These next two photographs are especially for Allen from New Hampshire Garden Solutions…another blog friend who knows and loves wildflowers….  I want to say that the flowers in the first photo are Pygmyflower Rock Jasmine, because that’s what the flowers looks like, even though the stem and the rest of the plant don’t….

…and we have a definite match with this second one…it’s called a Green Gentian, or Monument Plant…the coloring rather looks like a lizard’s skin to me…but maybe that just means that I lived in the desert for too long….

And now a final “Thank You” to the gentleman hiker who caught my camera before it hit the ground as he was changing the camera’s position from landscape to portrait orientation for this last shot….


Broads Fork – Part I

I would guess that there is some historical significance to the name, but I haven’t been able to identify it yet…but Broads Fork itself is located about four miles into Big Cottonwood Canyon, which is just south and east of Salt Lake City, and is one of the three or four main canyons that lead into the Wasatch Mountain front that is the eastern border for the Salt Lake Valley.  The trail is reported to be just over four and a half miles in length from the parking lot to the cirque, or bowl-shaped meadow at the end, and gains just over 2,000 feet in elevation.

I’m not sure of the exact length of this portion of the trail, but it starts out as something resembling a logging trail and then turns into a single track that winds through very thick brush that is often waist to shoulder high….

I haven’t been able to identify these flowers in any of the sources I have at hand, but they look like a variation of hops to me….

UPDATE: While I was out hiking yesterday, Sunday July 15, I met Knick Knickerbocker from the Wasatch Mountain Club and gave him one of my blog cards.  He emailed me this morning after reading this post to tell me that these flowers are called Mountain Horsemint…and the taxonomic name is something like Agastache urticifolia…if anyone wanted to know that.  Thank you again, Knick.  🙂

This was the first view of what the on-line literature calls the “lower meadow” in Broads Fork.  After climbing through old-growth pine forest and then a thick stand of aspen and the brush that I mentioned above, the trail makes a sharp turn around a rise in the terrain and this panorama is suddenly in front of you…it is so unexpected…breath-taking, jaw-dropping, however you want to describe it.

This is the view looking to the left of the above meadow….

The trail proceeds through the meadow and immediately into a stand of aspen and pines, again with the thick brush on each side…slowly climbing higher and higher as it makes its way out of this lower meadow and on toward the upper meadow.

When I’m hiking, especially when I’m on a trail for the first time, I frequently stop and turn around to take a look at the trail coming from the opposite direction…it helps with orientation on the way back if I will be taking the same route.  It’s amazing sometimes to see what’s behind you as you come out of the woods, arrive at the top of a ridge, or otherwise gain a dramatically different view of your surroundings than you had only moments before….  This is the view I encountered upon leaving the thick aspen that covers the side of the bowl where the lower meadow is situated.  I stood on the rise in the trail as it makes its entry into the upper meadow and turned around….

Here’s an infrequent “people picture” offered to demonstrate scale….  It’s rather difficult to feel significant or important out here…the notions of “Self” and “Me” seem to disolve somewhere between the first few steps on the trail….  This photo was taken near that rise in the trail mentioned above, but a little further down and facing into the second meadow, and with a nearly full view of the rest of the fork or gulch.

And this is a wider view that encompasses more of the area to the right of the location in the above photograph…I understand the peak in the middle to be Sunrise Peak, the one on the left to be Dromedary Peak, and the one in the upper right of the photo to be the western peak of the Twin Peaks set.  The western summit has been measured at 11,330 ft and the eastern summit at 11,328 ft in elevation.  These peaks are reported to be the tallest of the Wasatch Mountains that border Salt Lake City.

More to follow…in Broads Fork – Park II.


Did I love it…?

I went hiking today…it’s Sunday, and that’s typically what I do on Sundays….

And you might ask me…did I enjoy myself out there, did I have fun…did I like it…and maybe even, did I love it?  Well…I couldn’t have said it better myself….