I had visited the canyon probably multiple dozens of times during the three-plus years that I lived in the Salt Lake valley, but this was the first time I actually hiked/walked on this particular trail. It’s more of a nature walk…or even just a pathway going from one picnic area to another…in the forest, alongside a stream, in the mountains, alone, with an occasional car to be heard coming or going up or down the canyon road…no crowds, no yelling teenagers or smaller people, just the sound of the stream, the chilled air, and the smell of a wet forest floor caught riding the occasional breeze to make me feel that I was where I belonged.
Dipping into the archives again…January 8, 2012…an uncommon beauty….
Another visit to the archives brings this image from a hike I took on the Sunday before Thanksgiving two years ago. Exactly four weeks prior to this day, I was sitting atop that summit in the distance, Mt. Raymond, admiring the view of the canyons and mountains around me…360 degrees of wonderfulness…and a fantastic experience rivaled by few others….
An image from another time and place, sitting in the draft folder for nearly two years…it holds memories that are fresh with a crisp mountain air that rides with the iron smell of a coming snow…the sound of booted footsteps on a narrow trail…and a companion named “Solitude.”
My kind of traffic jam…Baker’s Pass, as viewed from the trail (bottom left) that leads to the summit of Mt Raymond. This is one of the few trail junctions that I’ve found here in the Wasatch Mountains that provides so many choices for destinations. This particular spot is approximately four miles from the nearest trail-head, so at minimum, it’s roughly midpoint for an eight-mile hike. If you head toward the upper right, the trail leads to the top of Gobblers Knob…if you follow the one toward the upper left, the trail goes down into Bowman Fork…and if you go toward the bottom right, you could either go back down into Butler Fork…a little further and down into Mill B North…or past those two selections and head west around Mt Raymond itself and then down into Porter Fork…and there are still further options from there.
The following are separate images of the same mountain ridges…the presentations are only altered by distance and the change in the elevation of my position on the opposite mountain slope and ridge.
It’s amazing how grand and vast your view becomes when you’re another few to several hundred feet higher on the mountain.
I made these images on the slope about half a mile south and above Lambs Canyon Pass in Millcreek Canyon of the Wasatch Mountains, just east of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.
My older son and I were hiking the Desolation Trail back in July of this year and happened to visit the tree-house that I featured in this post, Trail-side Tree-house, from June of last year. You might remember the little purple door in the base of tree? Well, it looks like someone has done a little bit of renovation or remodeling in the last year and some months….
Here’s another view from a little more to the right….
Nobody answered when we knocked on the door….
My son noticed this little lock-box hanging in the branches on the left side of the tree…and among other things, there was a little notebook inside.
“Peace of the breeze…joy of the sun….”
“There’s no wi-fi out here, but I promise you, the connection is much better.”
Many of the other entries pertained to people remembering their dogs who have passed over the years, but who loved to join their human companions out on the trails of Millcreek Canyon.
Some final images, maybe, of our quickly fading Fall….
This is the view facing east…up into Big Cottonwood Canyon, from Baker’s Pass, which is at the base of Gobbler’s Knob, above Mill A Flat, and positioned in front of Mount Raymond, on the east side…as one is preparing to turn to the left and head down into Bowman Fork…which leads to Millcreek Canyon…just east of Salt Lake City proper. Wildflowers and clouds are hard to resist when presented with a Wasatch Mountain backdrop…..
You saw the mountainside flower garden just below the other side of the ridge here…and the image below is what you can see when you look down the ridge in the opposite direction. From approximately 9,600 feet in elevation, you can see out through Millcreek Canyon, clear across the Salt Lake Valley, and visualize the open pit mine on the eastern face of the Oquirrh Mountains…the western geographical boundary of the Valley….
When hiking in the Wasatch Mountains, depending upon one’s elevation, one can see past the mountaintops and into the beyond…and in this case, out into the Great Salt Lake…where one can discern the familiar silhouette image of Antelope Island…approximately 30 miles to the north and west.
I made this image from the mountainside in Bowman Fork, one of the tributary drainages that run south from Millcreek Canyon…just east of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.
On top of the world, so to speak, is where I found this natural garden…that is the crest or ridge-line along the top of a chain of mountains…and the flowers grow in profusion on the east-facing down-slope. If you’d like to know where this is, exactly, go back to the map that I posted recently, find the yellow and pink pins toward the top of the map, follow the arcing white ridge down and to the left of the yellow pin until you come to the next pink pin….these flowers are literally right above that pink pin on the white ridge…or just down the other side, precisely.
The “winter gate” is still closed in Millcreek Canyon…allowing pedestrian and bicycle traffic clear passage to the end of the road without the interference of motor vehicles, excepting the occasional motorist who actually lives or stays at one of the cabins further into the greenwood. The road is closed from the first of November until the first of July…or I could say that it’s only open from the first of July to the first of November…at any rate, here’s another glimpse into the marvelousness of full Spring in Millcreek Canyon…the snow is gone and the Green has returned…and it’s a beautiful place to take a walk….. If you’d like another look at the green explosion that is MillCreek Canyon in season, you can visit my post from last July for another saturated view of the place, Millcreek Canyon in Green.
This bit of bowl-shaped terrain in the distance was named “Gobblers’ Knob,” supposedly, because of the abundance of wild turkeys found in the vicinity…. I made the photo from the trail on the opposite slope heading toward Grandeur Peak in Millcreek Canyon…another part of the Wasatch Mountain range that forms the eastern border of the greater Salt Lake Valley. ‘Twas a beautiful winter morn’.
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.