I was lucky enough last week to go on a great adventure with my new roommate before he moved to Miami. Him and I have gone on a few hikes in the short time that he lived with us, and I learn a ton from him every time I am able to get a moment of his busy schedule.
The day hike in big cottonwood canyon near Salt Lake City was on a somewhat gloomy and cloudy day. This spring has been a bit of a bummer so far because I am so excited for warm weather and backpacking. It is making it difficult to appreciate the winter hikes because I have to change my mind so often.
This hike began at the S curve. You cross the road and go directly north to see a beautiful waterfall: Hidden Falls. You only have to walk 2 minutes and you’re in the stream.
We enjoyed the falls for a moment before we turned East and upward. The trail was a simple one. Most trails in big cottonwood are easy to follow. I do specifically remember a very nice, calm section of the trail next to a stream and within a grove of pine trees.
We kept going upward until we switched from the Southwest face of the hill to the Southeast. This section of the trail provided an incredible view of the route I took up Broad Forks Twin Peaks last summer. Next to the Twins were Dromedary and Sunrise/O’Sullivan peaks. All were so covered and daunting.
We kept onward and rounded to the East face to continue North. We began encountering snow here and had to trudge along a section that was pretty steep.
The trail turned to a rocky cliff side and we came to a saddle that passed into a snow covered valley. We walked along the snow until the valley turned into a bit of a gully. There were natural snow slides all around and we thought it might be best to go a different way, since neither one of us were geared up for avalanche conditions.
So, we turned back and started upward. We went straight up the East face of this ridge. On our hands and feet, using shrubs for stability, we made it up to a rock wall that stuck up above us.
We continued up, scrambling through the rocks and doing some pretty interesting rock climbing without rope.
We got to the top of the cliff and were back in the snow. It felt a bit safer being on top of the ridge, so we keep going up.
Finally we reach a highpoint. I am not sure what the peak is, but we could see the 10100ft Mount Raymond to the Northeast.
We debated continuing along the ridge and getting to Raymond, but we both agreed there was not enough daylight to do so.
So we went back down the way we came, scrambling down the cliff. Once you become used to the idea of being exposed on a rock, the fear of exposure rolls away and you begin to enjoy it.
We were careful in our foot and hand placements because the rock was wet from the snow melt. Eventually, we slide back down the muddy shrub hill back to the trail.
We followed it back, listening to the elk calls in the distance.
I love the outdoors.
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