Posts Tagged ‘hikes’

Lake Catherine via Alta

Date: July 13, 2017 5lake

Distance: About 3 miles total (out and back)

Last July, I hiked to Lakes Mary, Martha, and Catherine via Big Cottonwood Canyon. This year, I got to join a group hiking to Lake Catherine via Little Cottonwood Canyon (Alta Ski Resort).

This is a great, short hike with amazing views. Just remember to bring insect repellent. We aren’t used to having too much of a bug problem down in the valley, but get up into the higher elevations where it’s cooler, and the mosquitoes will be quite annoying.

This hike makes me want to go to the top of sunset peak. I imagine the view from there is amazing…

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It’s Groundhog Day and I have a bad case of spring fever

Last weekend I made it up Millcreek Canyon for a hike with friends and our dogs. Millcreek is convenient because it’s so close to my house and on Regret runodd-numbered days, dogs are allowed. The downside? Sometimes it is super crowded. Which it was–even with the snowy conditions. Also, I can’t exactly call our walk up and down the main road a hike. I’ll have to save the real hikes for later in the season when the trails aren’t covered in snow and ice.

Anyway, Millcreek is a good outdoor option every-once-in-awhile and my dog loved it.

Today I jumped at the chance to be able to complete my long run outside. The sun is out, the temperatures are hovering around 32-degrees (downright balmy compared to recent conditions), and one of last week’s hiking buddies offered to join me. How could I pass that up?

Afterwards I felt great and I couldn’t stop thinking of the quote I’ve often heard repeated, “I really regret that run–said no one. Ever.”

The quote popped into my head because I have been having such a hard time making time to work out and motivating myself when I do have time. The weather has been so cold, snowy, and icy. That, combined with the limited daylight, has resulted in very inconsistent workouts over the past three weeks.

I needed today. I was reminded how great I feel when I force myself to lace up my running shoes and get out the door, and I was also reminded that spring truly is just around the corner. (And so is my Nashville race)! That, alone, should provide the motivation I need.

Adams Canyon hike

heading up the canyon

Date: April 4, 2012

Distance: 3 miles

Time: almost 2 hours

Our first hike of the season caught me a bit off guard.

The other day I was looking for local hikes and stumbled upon a description of the Adams Canyon hike. The post and other reader comments indicated “fun for the whole family,” “dog-friendly,” and “easily accessible” with a beautiful, forty-foot waterfall at the end. The summary indicates that the hike is “moderate” in difficulty with trail in good condition with only “a few difficult spots.”  The trail head is about half an hour from our house and the website made it sound like the perfect spring break hike for our family of teenagers and our dog.

about a mile in

The entrance to the trail was easy to find and the two dozen other cars in the parking lot indicated that lots of other people had the same idea we did. We had perfect, mid-60-degree weather and a windless, clear sky. The first half mile of the trail was wide, covered with sand, and clearly marked. We were off to a great start and were treated to beautiful views right from the beginning.

After the first portion, the trail became much more wooded and we followed a stream the rest of the way up the canyon. There were several places where multiple trails branched out and it wasn’t always clear which trail to follow. We managed to figure it out, however, and hikers coming back down the trail every few minutes served to assure us we were still on the right track. Earthy pine smells and the sound of the running water provided the ideal hiking experience. Dog was happy, kids were happy, husband was happy. We were looking forward to the promised forty-foot waterfall as we made good progress.

along the creek

Here’s where it gets hairy.

Just over a mile in, the “trail” became almost non-existent, muddy, and very rocky. The sound and quantity of the water increased and even our dog was starting to have a difficult time deciding which route to pursue. The steepening route forced us to grab onto random tree branches to keep our footing and be especially careful about our foot placement on the unstable rocks. We continued our way up the canyon this way until our dog slipped on a large rock slab and fell backwards and down a couple of feet. Not a big deal, but it could have been. The trail was becoming increasingly treacherous and outright dangerous, as far as I was concerned. “How were these people hiking with small children?” I thought repeatedly. I couldn’t believe the number of little kids–some as young as three our four–who were on this hike.

I would not have called this hike “family friendly”. I could easily imagine small kids getting easily hurt at several points along the trail. I was even worried about my teenagers in some places.

heading back--Great Salt Lake and Antelope Island in the distance

About a mile-and-a-half in, as we reached a portion of the route where the deafening, rushing creek was to our left, about ten feet down from a steep drop off and all possible routes ahead of us would require literal rock climbing, we made the decision to turn around and head back.

Even though we did not reach the falls, we enjoyed the hike and still put in about three miles of hard-core cross-training. My quads, glutes, and hamstrings will probably feel quite sore in the morning. That’s a good thing.

Burgers, Anyone?

We rewarded ourselves with a trip to the Burger Bar in Roy, Utah–just ten miles away from our hiking spot. This family owned diner, open since 1954, was featured in an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and we had it on our “must check out” list for the past few months. The boys ordered the standard “Big Ben” burgers and I tried the elk burger. We were not disappointed. The homemade buns and ample fry sauce really made the burgers great and were a great repast following our harrowing hike.

All-in-all, a fun way to spend a day of spring break. Now I’m off to give our dog a much-needed bath.

Wanna Go to the Doggy Park!?

Date: October 30, 2011

Normally I blog about races, hikes, or other noteworthy adventures. Instead, I want to tell you about my dog’s favorite place in the whole world–a place we frequent almost every week–THE DOGGY PARK!

That’s how I refer to it, at least–and in a high-pitched voice that drives my dog into a frenzy of excitement. When I ask him if he wants to go to the dog park, he rushes to his leash and can’t wait to get out the door. It’s about two miles from our house so we normally drive–except for that unfortunate hot summer day when I made him walk both ways with me and he collapsed from the heat.

Anyway, the drive there is a riot. He anxiously watches out the car window and scans the horizon for signs that we are nearing his beloved playground. With every dog we see along the way, he lets out this funny sound that can only be described as half whining and half talking. It’s not quite a growl or a howl, but this sound of excited anticipation that must translate to something like, “Hurry! I can barely stand it! Are we there yet?”

Tanner Park (the official name) is an off leash area that consists of several acres of dirt trails, trees, and a creek. I like it because it is close to my house and I enjoy being able to let my dog run off leash. He loves it too. 

Rocco loves splashing in the many access points to Parley’s Creek and on most visits he finds several other dogs who also want to chase and play.

This time of year has been particularly beautiful and I’ve enjoyed getting out to savor some wonderful autumn walks with my dog and sometimes other human members of our pack.

As I watch my dog’s unbridled joy during these quick escapes, I am reminded to savor the moment, breathe deeply, and look around each turn in the pathway for new reasons to wag my tail.

Grandeur Peak Hike

Date: September 5, 2011

Distance: 3.48 miles

Time: 1:42

Someone else's picture of the view from Grandeur Peak, since my camera wouldn't work. (Google images).

Orlando and I took Rocco most of the way up the Grandeur Peak trail in Millcreek Canyon this morning. The trail head is about ten minutes from our house and the view from the top was spectacular–the entire Salt Lake Valley opened up to us as we made our final turn.

Batteries in my camera were drained (as usual) so I am unable to post any cool pictures.

In any case, it was a nice way to spend a couple of hours on a rare day when neither of us have to work.

Today was a cross-training day for me and the hike certainly fit the bill. The trail was especially steep in several places so my quads and glutes certainly got a workout.

2011 Dog Lake Hike

Date: July 11, 2011

On the way up the trail.

Location: Millcreek Canyon

Distance: about 3 miles total

Time: about three hours with rest & snack break at the lake

First hike of the season! Husband, kids, family friend, and I decided to brave muddy trails and take our dog on his first ever mountain hike (he is only one-and-a-half).

We chose this particular hike since it is close to our house and is especially dog-friendly. Dogs can be off leash in this hiking area on odd days, and the destination is a popular one for dogs and owners alike. We were looking forward to taking our dog, Rocco, off leash and hoping he would enjoy a swim in the lake when we arrived at our destination.

Rocco, deciding he wanted to sit this one out.

While he loved to stop and drink from the streams all along the way, and wade into the water up to his chest, he

Dog Lake

decided he did NOT want to go for a swim. There were plenty of dogs up there showing him how, but he decided he would sit on the sidelines and watch.

Maybe next time we can talk him into it.

We bought hiking maps so we plan to do more hiking this summer. What a great reason to get out of the house with the kids. We all enjoyed it. I should take more days off in the middle of the week!