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….
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.
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.
Our mountain images of Fall can have such stark contrasts sometimes…the below image is from October of this year, looking across Mill A Basin and out into Big Cottonwood Canyon….
…and this last image is looking across the basin from a slightly different angle…just by turning to the right a few degrees…but taken in September of last year when all of the Aspen were still covered in their golden robes…..
…look at things is if you might never see them again…?
I imagine that we would see those things with a certain richness…
…one that would surpass the experience of when we first saw them.
I think it would be bittersweet, as well…
…for while we would be sad that we would never see them again, we would be joyous that we had ever beheld them at all….
The most prominent peak of the Wasatch Mountains that form the eastern geographical boundary of the greater Salt Lake Valley is actually a set of peaks named “Twin Peaks.” There is only a two-foot difference in their elevation and they lie in a somewhat east/west orientation and are often referred to with the designations of “East Twin” and “West Twin.” Located about 100 yards apart, the peaks measure 11,330 and 11,328 feet respectively, east and west, and rise approximately 7,000 feet from the valley floor.
You might remember a photo similar to the one below in my post “It’s great to be alive in the West” from March of this year. When I made this photo, I was located about 4-5 miles south of the front, or western face of the mountain, so we can only actually see the west peak from this view.
The peaks are often referred to as the Broads Fork Twin Peaks, as this is the most common approach to the peaks…and the below photo shows what they look like from Broads Fork. You might remember similar photos from my two posts on the area last summer. The saddle is located in the deepest part of the ridge-line toward the left of the image…which is still a bit of a hike from the beaver pond.
This is Sunrise Peak to the left and the southern edge of the west Twin Peak to the right…with the saddle right there in the middle.
And this photo below is right about where I ended my foray into the area last year…it should be photo #8 in the post, “Broads Fork – Part II.” Actually, I think I was a little further up the trail last year…about where you can see the people…to the right of the left-leaning stick, just down from the mass of trees…just left of the middle of the image.
There’s a man and woman toward the bottom of the below photo…the woman is wearing the neon green shirt and turquoise shorts…we’ll see them again later….
We can still see the woman and her neon clothing in the below image…just down a little and over to the right of the huge rock that is a little ways below the horizon…if it’s hard to find her, keep the rock and where the woman should be in the center third of the photo…. She’s there….
About one-third of the way up the slope, I was wondering if I was crazy…wondering if I really needed to keep going upwards…so I found a flat stone for a seat and turned around while I had another drink and an apple…….wondering…..
If you noticed the yellow hue to the side of the highest peak toward the left of the above image, here’s a closer look at it…from miles away, literally, you can see the color of thousands (and millions?) of sunflowers that covered Mt. Raymond…some of which I have already featured here.
One can only sit on the side of a mountain for so long eating an apple and having a drink before one has to decide whether to keep climbing up or to head back down to the truck…so I turned and looked up again…and up again…and figured “What the hell,” and kept climbing…one step at a time…this isn’t a race, right…….? And you can tell that we’re looking UP, right? There’s a bit of a trickle of water in that darker spot…down and to the right of the big rock that is now on the horizon….
How many of you have been to a gym or fitness center and tried their “Stair Master?” We’re still looking UP in the below photo….
Remember the man and woman from the earlier photos? I had asked them if there was a clear trail to the top…the woman said “yes” and the man said “no.” He said there’s no trail, but “you’ll know where to go.” It seemed that I needed to head toward that bit of a notch in the rock between the middle and left spots of snow….
In the notch now and still moving upward…hanging-on to cracks in the side of the rock, scrambling on hands and feet….
Looking toward the right of the notch…the lighter peak is the west twin….
…and after another bit of a scramble and a climb, I’m sitting on the saddle…
Wow! Looking toward the south, I see the southern ridges of Little Cottonwood Canyon….
…looking toward the west I can see out over the Salt Lake Valley…. Those are the Oquirrh Mountains out there, the western geographical boundary…and that lighter-colored, damnable open-pit mine is toward the right edge of the mountains.
Back south again at the Pfefferhorn on the left…
and the Lone Peak ridge….
…and now a self-portrait looking toward the east again…with that beaver pond from the earlier photo…a little bit above the tip of my boot…waaaay down there.
You can see the woman in her neon-colored clothing and her hiking companion near the top of the lower peak, down in the right-hand corner of the below image…rather tiny…. They were actually coming back DOWN from being up on Twin Peaks…already coming down and I just made it to the saddle……
After the slippery and slow climb back down from the saddle, it was nice to make it to the spring again…such clean and cold and refreshing water. I refilled my two empty bottles and headed on my way.
One last look at Broads Fork Twin Peaks before climbing a small, final rise and then hiking down the remaining three miles of trail back to the truck. If you’d like to read more about Twin Peaks and the various ways one can reach the summits, you can click right here to be taken to Summit Post, one of the leading web-sites for climbing and hiking enthusiasts…not just for Utah, but for all over the world….
If you’d like to see where Broads Fork and the Twin Peaks are located on the map I recently shared on the blog, click here, and then find the second yellow pin up from the bottom of the map in the first image…it’s just to the left of center in the photo…and then it happens to be the only yellow pin, also near the bottom, on the second photo. Also, as a reminder to help with orientation/direction, the view of the map is looking eastward up the canyons…so the right side of the map is toward the south, the left is toward the north, and behind you (not on the map) is toward the west.
Thank you, yet again, for spending a bit of your time with me…for accompanying me on another hike into the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.
…is not necessarily a bad thing. My son and I had just completed the half circle trail around the base of Mt Raymond, the prominence toward the right of the image, and were making our way down Bowman Fork and back into Millcreek Canyon. The slope where you can see my son walking is down from another mountain feature that has been named “Gobbler’s Knob” because of the wild turkeys that used to be found in the area.
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.
I think this might have been the most intensely colorful hike that I have taken in my short 14 months here in the Salt Lake area. It was incredible….
There are actually people on this trail…you can see them better if you click on the photo and then zoom in…but they are there…for whoever might be concerned that there aren’t enough people in my pictures….