Posts tagged “Utah hiking

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….


Portal….

On the trail to Lake Blanche and the other Sister Lakes in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah.  An image to take one away…to another place and time…another existence or life, even…so it might seem.


Sundial Peak and Lake Blanche….

One could probably say that I’ve been guilty of overdoing things with my posts on Lake Blanche and Sundial Peak, so I’ll keep this one to a bare minimum and only post one photo from my most recent trip…although it’s been more than three years since I have been able to make the hike up there, so I should probably lay it on thick and post something like 20 or more photos….  Anyway, here’s the postcard image with the little people included so you can appreciate the grandness of the place….

If you’re relatively new to the blog, you can start here in viewing other posts on the lake and it’s surrounding area…or you can scroll down a little bit past this post, find the “Search” widgit, and enter “Lake Blanche” or “Sundial Peak” into that feature to be presented with a veritable list of options for seeing more of the place.


The blue-white of Winter….

Dipping into the archives again…January 8, 2012…an uncommon beauty….

Snow covered hillside in Millcreek Canyon


Change of scenery….from the archives

little-cottonwood-creek-11-13-2010

Exactly six years ago today…in another world.


into the treasure box

The camera-phone six hundred and some miles away clicked in my daughter’s hand…fingers poked a message into the screen, and the image was transported across digital waves of something/nothingness and caused a small vibration from my phone…and I found it, many hours later, a tiny treasure…full of meaning and memories…of little ones cuddling on my lap, whispered words of “Papa’s mountains,” and the feel of a trail underfoot…images cascading in flashes of recall…sounds of water crashing or quietly rolling down the canyon…a scent of warm summer pine and wildflower…or the comforting wood-smoke on an icy morning while snow crunched underfoot….

girls-on-the-bridge-in-lcc-rev

I have crossed that bridge dozens of times…under the thick canopy of spring and summer fullness in the trees above, while the heady aroma of the mountains blew light or strong down the canyon….or atop a foot or more of snow piled high and reassuring, while I stood or knelt and made images of Christmas-tree-like reflections in the ice and snow rimmed stream…and then gone home to little one’s arms around my neck…”Did you have a nice hike, Papa…?”

 

*Iphound treasure courtesy of K. Brill, 8/31/16, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Salt Lake City, Utah.


Mt Raymond from the trail to Lake Desolation

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….

Mt Raymond from Lake Desolation Trail

 


Desolation Trail Memories

I can’t assume that it’s a body memory, as my body only made this particular venture once, exactly two years ago this weekend, although I had been on various parts of the trail several times over the years, but this occasion, this hike, has been floating around in my mind for the past few weeks and I decided to take a look at the photos again.  I won’t present an entire gallery or series of images as I did after taking the hike, but I will share a couple of photographs that I find to be particularly appealing and representative of the beauty of the region.

Desolation Trail Wildflowers 2013

The above image is but a fragment of what must have been acres and acres of wildflowers that were covering the south and western facing slope of Mount Raymond.  When I was sitting in the saddle of the mountains in the below image, the deeper cup shaped spot to the left of the highest points (the Twin Peaks), one week later, I could still visualize the yellow blanket of wonderfulness that I was standing beside as I made these two photos…even though I was probably six or more miles away.

Broads Fork Twin Peaks over Desolation Trail wildflowers

Thank you for visiting and sharing some sweet memories with me….


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.