Thursday, September 22, 2016

Hiking Utah's 8 Ultra Prominence Peaks

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Hiking Utah's 8 Ultra Prominence Peaks
Hiking Utah's Ultra Prominence Peaks is not for the average hiker - many of these peaks require hiking off trail, very early morning starts (sometimes 3am), route finding, long days, crossing exposed ridge lines, extremely steep and rugged terrain, and sometimes a river crossing. In addition to these "fun" circumstances, I've also dealt with bad sun burns, running out of food, running out of water, reading the map wrong, forgetting socks, starting out too late in the day, ending after dark, getting annoyed by people I'm hiking with, and as the movies say, have experienced blood, sweat, and tears. So why do I keep doing it? What is the draw for people to complete Ultra Prominent Peaks?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Flat Top Mountain, Oquirrh Mountains

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Hiking to Flat Top Mountain, Oquirrh Mountains
Flat Top Mountain (10,620 ft) is the highest peak in the Oquirrh Mountains (pronounced like "oaker") in Utah, which lies to the southwest of Salt Lake City. Most of the Oquirrhs are private property and mining land for the Rio Tinto Kennecott Mine, however the two areas you are allowed to hike are in Butterfield Canyon, and the Flat Top Mountain trail. Flat Top Mountain has a prominence of 5,370 ft, making it Utah's 6th highest prominent peak.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Willow Heights Lake

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Hiking to Willow Heights Lake, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, Kid friendly Trails in Salt Lake City
Willow Heights Lake is a popular destination year-round in Big Cottonwood Canyon for families looking for a short hike with the kids, for backcountry skiers in Winter, and for me, what I call a "bonus hike". A bonus hike is a super short hike that I will do after another longer hike in the area. In this case I just hiked the Mt. Wolverine Cirque to Brighton Lakes (8 miles), and wanted to see Willow Heights at the height of Fall.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Hiking the Wolverine Cirque to Brighton Lakes (Loop)

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Hiking the Wolverine Cirque to Brighton Lakes (Loop)
Mt. Wolverine & the Wolverine Cirque above Brighton Ski Resort is a very popular backcountry skiing destination during winter. But hiking this route in Summer, is just as fun and very scenic, and for Peak Baggers, you can knock out up to six peaks in one day. This can be done as a point-to-point hike, but to really see everything, turn it into a loop and take half a day to explore. On this route, I was able to summit four peaks, pass four lakes, and see some of the Wasatch's best 360 degree views.