Posts tagged “Salt Lake City hiking

Twin Peaks from Dimple Dell Trail

It’s a sad song, but it struck me the other day that I have now been back in Arizona for longer than I had lived in Utah….and this little gem of a photo has been sitting in my “drafts” folder for over five years.  This particular day in March of 2013 found me walking the neighborhood trail called, “Dimple Dell,” and gazing eastward at the beautiful mass of rock and earth known generally as the Wasatch Mountains and specifically as Broads Fork Twin Peaks (only the western peak is visible; it’s the one on the right).  I had posted other images from the hike…maybe even some that looked very similar to this one…which probably explains why it was sitting in the “drafts” folder for so long.

Anyway, they are always bittersweet and tender moments when I look back and reflect upon what used to be in my backyard…at what was just a few minutes’ driving time from the house.  And there it is….

Twin Peaks from Dimple Dell Trail

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Millcreek Stream in October….

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.


Aspen Comfort

Near the trail-head of the path that takes one up to the White and Red Pine lakes, as well as the Maybird lakes in Little Cottonwood Canyon of the Wasatch Mountains….


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….


A Glimpse at Bells Canyon’s Upper Falls

After my daughter and I hiked to the lower falls, as featured in this post, we continued up the trail for about another hour and then arrived at the upper falls.  Amid the spray and the treacherous footing on the soaked boulders and ground, it was difficult to manage another angle that would have provided a better or more clear perspective or presentation of this natural water-feature.

We stood in literal awe for several minutes, shifted our positions to gain different perspectives, stayed there again for several more minutes, and then retreated a bit into the woods that we had just come through to approach the falls.

You can still see the falling water through the trees to the right and behind my daughter in the above photo, so you can probably imagine how loud it must have been to be so close.  There was a pervasive serenity, sitting there in the woods, even with the roaring of the falls as near as they were…with the crashing water on the granite boulders and then the rushing of the stream in front of us….

White patches up in the trees caught my eye….

What a refreshing spray after the steep hike to get there…melted snow…living water….

Just a little further downstream is a bridge that has been chained to the trees on both sides of the bank to prevent the rising and rushing stream from carrying it away.  There is a trail that you can take off into the shoulder-high brush that will lead you in a near circular manner out and up to the area just upstream from the top of the falls…and will also eventually lead you to the upper reservoir and beyond.

If you’d like to see an image of the falls later in the season, you can click here to see what they looked like in August of 2013.


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….


Late Fall Canopy

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.”

Fall canopy on Pipeline Trail

 


Favorite images of Little Cottonwood Canyon…for a friend….

It’s been almost a full year since I drove away from the Salt Lake City area to return to my former and current home in Phoenix, Arizona.  During this year, I have longed for a return to “my mountains” and the canyons and trails that occupied so many of my weekends when I lived there….and while I haven’t actually made the drive or taken a flight to make it back up there yet, I have visited it often in my mind and through the medium of the hundreds and thousands of images that I made while I was there.

I just made a rough count of my photo library, and if it’s anywhere near correct, I went on hikes or exploratory excursions into the Wasatch Mountains at least 140 times during my 3.75 years of living in the Salt Lake area.  I forgot (I don’t know how!!) my camera on one occasion, but it was with me on the other 99.21% of those hikes.  And, of those 140 ventures into the mountains and canyons in my “back-yard,” I visited Little Cottonwood Canyon at least 27 times…sometimes hiking only the first half,  other times just the second half, sometimes hiking to a specific spot on the winter stream to capture images of the magical ice patterns and formations, and on other occasions hiking from one end to the other and then exploring further into the area beyond what was considered part of the formal trail…further away from the tracks and traces of people, into what we might consider the “wilderness,” both figuratively and literally, as certain areas of this section of the Wasatch Mountains had been designated official Wilderness Areas by the federal government.

The western-most trail-head to Little Cottonwood Trail is located at the eastern-most end of the parking-lot for the Temple Quarry nature trail….and it was roughly a 15 minute drive from my home….  I visited the canyon during all seasons, as you can see from the three galleries…Spring and Summer in the first, Fall in the second, and magical Winter in the third.

Having lived in the urban desert of Arizona for more than 20 years before moving to Utah, it was amazing and wonderful to my mountain-loving soul to find myself is such an environment…every vista made my heart soar…and near every glance around made me want to capture its image for safekeeping against a day when I might not be able to view it again.  And…it was a thrill to bring those photographs back home and look at them again on the computer…and then share them with you here on the blog….so you might recognize some, or many of these images.

And finally, the beauty and magic of Winter in the Wasatch Mountains…Little Cottonwood Canyon viewed from afar and from very close.  While it was often incredibly cold, I enjoyed being out and in the canyon at this time of year.  It was so captivating visually, that even with freezing fingers, I stayed out there for several hours at a time, slowly walking the trail, perching precariously over the ice-cold stream, and climbing over boulders in the forest and in some portions of the winter dry stream-bed (most of the water being captured upstream to be piped into town for drinking water).

While this post is for everyone to enjoy, I brought these images together specifically for one of my dear blog friends, George Weaver, at She Kept a Parrot and The Fuzzy Foto.  Ever since George and I stumbled across each other’s blogs, shortly after I moved to Utah almost five years ago, she has been a constant blog companion, following me on hikes through the mountains and canyons, and admiring the treasures of photos that I brought home to share.  At first, she said the mountains looked fearsome, but she came to love them and looked forward to seeing them week after week.  George came to especially enjoy Little Cottonwood Canyon…and we have agreed that if we were ever to meet in the Hereafter, it was going to be on the trail in this little piece of mountain heaven.

Thank you for your encouragement and companionship, George….sending you peaceful thoughts and a warm embrace.


Red Pine Lake reflections

Those are Broads Fork Twin Peaks behind the larger tree and just to the right of the center of the image…they are the highest peaks in the portion of the Wasatch Mountains that form the eastern geographic boundary of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Red Pine Lake, Wasatch Mountains, Utah


Bells Canyon Upper Falls

I made this photo in August of 2013 on what was my third trip to the upper reservoir in Bells Canyon, just south and east of Salt Lake City, Utah…it was also my last trip to these falls and the reservoir beyond…which I didn’t know at the time…couldn’t have known at the time….  But it is and was, and that’s the way it goes.  You might know that I’m living in the desert of Arizona now, again, and scenes like the one in this image are far from my experience in this new and old home of mine…they might exist, I just haven’t found them yet.

And why did I post the photo today….I don’t know…maybe a hankering or longing to be on the Wasatch trails again…thinking about where I’d be going if I was there.  Anyway, aside from the nostalgia, this image (even with the blown-out water) shows some of the damnably gorgeous scenery of the Utah mountains and canyons.  Enjoy….

Bells Canyon Upper Falls, August 2013


to the past and the future….

I made this image while standing inside of the roofless bunkhouse and looking out onto what was the front porch and yard area of the bunkhouse ruins at the Cardiff Mine in Cardiff Fork, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, USA.

Nature has already invested some serious work in reclaiming the area…and time has begun to heal our deep wounds upon the Earth….

Cardiff Mine Bunkhouse Doorway

You might remember my earlier posts on Cardiff Fork, but if not, you can visit them by exploring the Categories widget below.

 


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snow stream

snow stream


the preaching of pine trees

“Few are altogether deaf to the preaching of pine trees. Their sermons on the mountains go to our hearts; and if people in general could be got into the woods, even for once, to hear the trees speak for themselves, all difficulties in the way of forest preservation would vanish.” 

 – John Muir

Wasatch Mntn Forest in color


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Wasatch Mountain Wonderful

Wasatch Mountain Fall Panorama


Cardiff Fork…end….

Hmm…I suppose I should have gotten around to this one a while ago, as we’re approaching the end of the year and I made these images close to four months ago….the snow you see in some of the images is actually from last winter and we’re quickly approaching the snows from this coming winter.  In fact, if I were to head back to Cardiff Fork today, I believe I’d encounter some new snow to share with you.

Cardiff Fork at the cirque

I don’t know how many of you have had the opportunity to hike into the mountains at the end of June, get all hot and sweaty, soaked shirt and everything, and then reach into a pile of snow and make a nice snow-ball to eat and cool yourselves down with, but it’s a wonderful treat!  My son and I each had a large, grapefruit-sized snowball and it was fantastic…so refreshing!

Cardiff Fork over the scree field and down the valley

The above photo was taken while we were sitting at the furthest end of the fork…about four miles into the mountains, inside of the cirque that was full of broken basalt-looking rock that has tumbled down from the ridges above over the years.

Cardiff Fork moon over mountain ridge

I don’t really have much more to tell you about the canyon/fork and its associated mining history, but I thought you might enjoy seeing a few more photos of the geography and beautiful landscape of the area.  If we were to climb to the top of the ridge in the below photo, we would be looking west and into Mineral Fork….

Cardiff Fork mountains and slabs

If you can find the little finger of trees that is way down and to the left of the peak that is in the upper right corner (of the below photo), actually located between the center and right large pine/fir trees, that is where we were sitting while eating the snow-balls…where my son and I were sitting when I made the first and second photos above…we were just to the left of that little finger of trees….

Cardiff Fork snow and cirque and pines

Also in the above photo, if you were on the ridge just below the clouds in the upper left corner, you could look south and down into Little Cottonwood Canyon…the little ski town of Alta would be off toward the left…and the metropolitan area of the Salt Lake Valley would be way off to the right…..

Cardiff Fork mountainside wildflowers

The below photo is from the other side of the fork, looking across the valley area and onto the old Cardiff Mine area.  If you’ll recall the photos from the first post in this series, Cardiff Fork…beginning…, photo #8, that’s the same mine area that you can see in this below photo, but from a distance now, and with the ore sorter in the foreground.

Cardiff Fork ore sorter from afar

My son is providing a bit of perspective for us…he’s about 6’3″…so the ore sorter is rather large…..

Cardiff Fork ore sorter, how big is it?

While my son’s not in the below photo, he was standing near the lower right edge/corner of the sorter and his head came to right about the center of that large beam that is right above the tree….

Cardiff Fork Ore Sorter Iconic image

…and this last photo is looking back up into Cardiff Fork as my son and I were nearing the end of the return hike out of the canyon……

Cardiff Fork looking back

That’s all folks…I hope you’ve enjoyed the hike through Cardiff Fork.  If you’d like to view all three posts from the series in one continuous stream, you can go to the bottom of the page and click on “Cardiff Fork” under the Category widget…that will bring you all three posts together.  Thank you again for visiting and for spending a bit of your time with me….


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Red Pine Lake in September

Red Pine Lake panorama


Upper Red Pine Lake under Clouds

If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you might remember a few posts from last year that highlighted the same lake…and if you do remember those images, you might also recall that they sky was bright in its blueness and reflected wonderfully in the surface of the lake.  It is amazing how different a place can appear when the clouds and lighting are so strikingly different.  Coincidentally, these images below were made exactly one year later than the ones in the earlier posts…to the day.

Upper Red Pine Lake under clouds 1

If you’d like to visit those earlier images, you can scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Red Pine Lake category to be taken to a continuous roll of the earlier posts and photographs.

Upper Red Pine Lake under Clouds 2

And for those of you who are interested, Upper Red Pine Lake is at about 10,000 feet in elevation…400 feet higher than Red Pine Lake.  The lakes are situated in Red Pine Canyon, one of the tributary canyons or forks that extend south from Little Cottonwood Canyon…just south and east of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA…in the Lone Peak Wilderness Area of the Wasatch National Forest.  The hike from the trail-head to the upper lake is approximately four miles in length, has an elevation gain of about 2,500 feet, and may take you from 2.5 to 3.5 hours to accomplish…depending on your fitness level……….and how often you stop to make photographs….


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Bowman Fork Wildflowers

Bowman Fork Wildflowers with Grandeur Peak and Millcreek Ridge


Lake Florence in the Morning

You might remember the lake from last year when I did the posts on the Sister Lakes of the Wasatch Mountains.  You can click on “Sister Lakes – Lake Florence” to learn more about this lake.  The earlier post also has links to the other Sister Lakes if you’re interested in the more complete history of the area.

Lake Florence in the morning


Cardiff Fork…middle….

I suppose this is right about where we left off at the end of the other post, “Cardiff Fork…beginning….”  You can see my son standing on the remaining basement wall of the bunkhouse where the miners used to live and sleep.  That bit of a brown line near the stumps or logs in the foreground of the image, the part that looks something like a saw-dust trail, is actually a decomposing tree that is headed back into the ground.

Cardiff Fork remains of miners' bunkhouse

We found about a half-dozen established camping areas throughout our hike in the largely privately-owned canyon of Cardiff Fork.  This was something very unusual, given that all of the other hiking locations in the canyons of our local Wasatch Mountains are essentially wilderness areas and the most we might find is a recently used fire-ring.  My son is examining a metal arrowhead that he found laying atop the stump/post next to him.  It seems the landowners have put quite a bit of work into having a nice place to sit and cook for their camping/hunting excursions.

Cardiff Fork Private Property campsite

The below photo is looking further, or deeper into the fork…

Cardiff Fork Mountain backdrop

…and this next photo is looking back at the trail from somewhere near the base of the trees in the above image.

Cardiff Fork meadow

I would imagine that the hole was larger when the mine was being worked, but it seems to have been filled-in a bit, either naturally or intentionally, over the years since it was in operation.  There was a bit of a cool and wetly metallic breeze coming out of the ground here….

Cardiff Fork mine - Keep Out

The boiler and bit of a foundation with re-bar sticking up from the ground is all that remains of the Baby McKee mine.

Cardiff Fork hillside boiler

I’m not sure why, but it was kind of neat walking across these huge slabs of rock on the hillside.  I’ve not encountered anything like them in the dozens of other locations I’ve hiked here in the Wasatch….

Cardiff Fork mountain slab

It’s fascinating to contemplate the geological forces that must have combined to cause the canyon to appear as it does today…such mind-boggling power coming from inside the earth.

Cardiff Fork distant figure

We were nearing the end of the Cardiff Fork canyon at this point.  You can see that there’s a bit of a bowl up there above the wormy line of trees near the upper center of the photo.  We actually headed up the slope on the left side of the rock slabs toward the right of the image…our goal being to make it to the top, or right side of the line of trees and then to look down into the bowl or cirque.  We imagined that there might be another mine up there, although there were no roads leading up to it…so maybe there was no mine.

Cardiff Fork cirque from afar

My son and I couldn’t see it from the vantage point where I made the above photo, but if you’ll look at that darker spot of rock just down from nearly the very center of the line of trees in the photo, that’s where we found the shaft and broken rock structure that are in the next two photos.

Cardiff Fork grated shaft

Cardiff Fork hillside stone structure remains

Stay tuned for the next and final post in the Cardiff Fork series.


Cardiff Fork…beginning….

At this time of year, it’s nearly impossible to hike anywhere in the Wasatch Mountains and not find wildflowers of some sort or other growing in near profusion along the trails, out in the meadows, or up on the literal sides of the mountains.  Cardiff Fork is no exception. Cardiff Fork flowers My older, hiking son and I found ourselves deep in the canyons toward the end of June and this group of flowers is what greeted us on our happy Sunday morning.  The above photo shows Horsemint, Agastache urticifolia (the bottle brush looking flowers), Leafy Jacob’s Ladder, Polemonium foliosissimum (the ones in white), and Sticky Purple Geranium, Geranium viscosissimum (the purple ones).  The below image has some of the same Leafy Jacob’s Ladder with a bit of the reddish-pink Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja, thrown into the mix. Cardiff Fork Trail I’m pretty sure that the yellow flowers in the below photo are not Arrowleaf Balsamroot, Balsamohriza sagittata, but I do feel rather confident suggesting that they are part of the Sunflower family, Asteraceae. Cardiff Fork Wildflowers You might have noticed the uiae ad metalla in the second photo, the roads leading to the mines, and wondered at the Latin name for that, too, so I provided it for you at no extra cost.  And with that, I’ll pronounce myself finished with the high-highfalutin, Google-translated, proper names…… Cardiff Fork Abandoned Mine Cardiff Fork, also referred to as Mill D South, is one of the tributary drainages that heads south from Big Cottonwood Canyon in the Wasatch Mountains just east of Salt Lake City, Utah.  If you’ll click here to go back to the map that I shared in an earlier post, you can find Cardiff Fork at the third pink pin from the top of the map, in the center area of the image, just below the pink and yellow pins that are close together.  It is also the pink pin at the top of the second image in that post, the close-up of the canyons.  So now you know where we are…heading back into Utah’s mining history.  My son is looking into one of the abandoned and filled-in shaft openings in the above photo…. Cardiff Fork crumbled cabin remains And while it may appear that he’s surveying the aftermath of his own destructive forces in the above image, my son is simply standing there in the middle of the ruins that were likely a cabin in another time.  There was an electric water-heater off to the right of the image, so, while we know the enterprise existed and functioned in the past, we also know that it was recent enough that the people had some fairly modern amenities.  The information that I’ve been able to find in various sources indicates that mining activity was conducted in the area beginning in the 1870s and continued, off and on, until about 1967. Cardiff Fork private road As you can see from the sign in the photo above, the land of Cardiff Fork is privately owned…rather, much of it is…and some of it is owned by Salt Lake City…and some of it is also National Forest property…and there have been longstanding legal conflicts over who gets to do what in the area.  The Salt Lake Tribune reported in May of last year that the National Forest Service and the Cardiff Canyon Owners’ Association had come to an agreement that allowed hikers and skiers access to the private property for recreational purposes, while they respected the landowners’ property and their right to operate their motorized vehicles on the roadways of the canyon.  During my two explorations of Cardiff Fork, I’ve yet to see someone riding an ATV and have only seen a handful of hikers this far up into the canyon. Cardiff Fork tailings pile with mountain backdrop You can see the large tailings pile in the above photo, and the remains of what I believe is the main Cardiff Mine in the below photo.  The Cardiff Mine is located a bit to the left and up the mountain from this tailings pile that is from actually from another mine site.Cardiff Fork Mine Tunnel wrecked remains In the below photo, you can see the basement remains of the old two-story bunkhouse where the miners lived/slept when they weren’t working.  The bunkhouse is located between 200-300 yards to the right of the main mine that’s shown above.  I read somewhere that there was actually a tunnel connecting the bunkhouse to the mine that the workers used during the winter months.  I believe it was in Charles L. Keller’s book, The Lady in the Ore Bucket, which I’ve used as a reference in several other posts.Cardiff Fork bunkhouse foundationTo give us a little historical context, my son found this bottle bottom with the date of August 5th, 1919 in the bunkhouse.  It was actually sitting on the windowsill of the middle window facing us in the above photo.
Cardiff Fork bottle bottomAnd the below image shows us the old boiler that would/may have been used to heat the water in the bunkhouse…among other things, as it appears to have been connected to some other apparatus near the bottom right side of it.
Cardiff Fork bunkhouse boilerMore to follow in a little bit….


Toward the Saddle…

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.

Twin Peaks from the south in March

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.

Broads Fork Twin Peaks morning reflection

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.

Trail to the saddle

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.

Trail to the saddle with backpack

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….

People heading up....

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….

People almost gone

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…..

Turn around and look toward the east

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.

Mt Raymond's yellow mantle

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….

Closer to the saddle

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….

Still going upward

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….

Headed toward the notch

In the notch now and still moving upward…hanging-on to cracks in the side of the rock, scrambling on hands and feet….

Going up the notch

Looking toward the right of the notch…the lighter peak is the west twin….

Looking right from the notch at western Twin

…and after another bit of a scramble and a climb, I’m sitting on the saddle…

Sitting on the saddle

Wow!  Looking toward the south, I see the southern ridges of Little Cottonwood Canyon….

Looking south from the saddle

…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.

Looking out over Salt Lake valley

Back south again at the Pfefferhorn on the left…

Pfefferhorn and ridge

and the Lone Peak ridge….

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.

Self portrait looking east

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……

West Twin with people on right

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.

Back at the spring, safe and sound

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….

Final look at Broads Fork Twin Peaks

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.


to have a slanted view…

…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.

Mt Raymond from Bowman Fork Trail


Image

In dreaming, I saw a dark valley….

Dark Valley of Mineral Fork