Monday, February 29, 2016

Hiking the Pine Hollow Trail

Share this Post Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This
Hiking the Pine Hollow Trail, American Fork Canyon, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
The Pine Hollow Trail in American Fork Canyon is a great hike year-round for the whole family. Plus, you can bring your dog along! AF Canyon is home to several scenic trails, including the famous Timpoonekee Trail, Stewart Falls, and First Falls, but one of the lesser known trails is Pine Hollow. In Winter this trail offers beautiful snowy views of the nearby Mt. Timpanogos to the Southwest, and a view of Heber, Utah to the East. In Summer, Pine Hollow offers a well-shaded path for those needing some cool relief, and in Fall the mix of reds, oranges, and yellows offer amazing photography.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Share this Post Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This
Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada State Parks
Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada has been on my "hiking to do list" for almost two years, but I had never made it one of my travel priorities. Every year something else that seemed "better" came up, and I passed on the opportunity to visit here. This weekend I made it there, and realized how much I had been missing out on! The amazing vistas of colored rock, petroglyphs, arches, slot canyons, beautiful desert scenery, blue bird skies, and an awesome campground had me smiling all weekend. My friends and I picked the perfect weekend to go. It wasn't a holiday weekend so there were less people, plus the temperatures in February are perfect, with an average temperature of 62F. This past weekend it got up to 80F, which is the hottest I've felt since last summer! Temperatures in summer can reach 120F, so it's best to visit the park from December-March.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Backpacking with Dogs

Share this Post Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This
Backpacking with Dogs, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Backpacking with your dog is one of the most enjoyable bonding activities you can do together. Whenever I pull out Charlie's Ruffwear Pack he starts jumping around - he knows that another adventure is around the corner. There's nothing that compares to seeing Charlie's smiling face as he runs free in the back country, then having him snuggle me by the campfire after a long day of hiking and exploring. With the right planning and preparation, your trip will be fun, safe, & memorable!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Black Diamond Z Poles

Share this Post Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This

Black Diamond Women's Z Poles Gear Review

 When I go backpacking or on bigger day hikes, I like to use my hiking/trekking poles. I feel that they help give me balance, help me get uphill easier, and help protect my knees on the downhill. I use the Black Diamond Z Poles. Here's why I love them:

  • lightweight aluminum structure (15oz)
  • rapid deployment system
  • soft grip for the handles
  • three-section fold-able shaft
Black Diamond Women's Z Poles Gear Review
Prior to using these poles, I used the Leki Adjustable Poles with the lock system. I don't know why I used them, I never needed a different length! With the Black Diamond Poles I love that they can be super compacted yet always be the exact length I want them.
Black Diamond Women's Z Poles Gear Review

This is what they look like when compacted. Black Diamond also provides a small bag to place them when, when not in use. 

Not sure what size to get? Click here.

Sand Flats Recreation Area, Moab

Share this Post Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This
Sand Flats Recreation Area, Camping with dogs in Moab
For Valentine's Day weekend, we wanted to escape the SLC inversion, and get into warm, clean air. Since it's February, and day time highs can be up to 50-55F, we knew most places would be a mud pit from all the snow melting. We also wanted to go somewhere Charlie could be off leash, and where hiking was available. I had been to Sand Flats about two years ago when a bunch of friends and I went jeeping for my birthday. I remembered thinking it would be a cool place to camp. We also knew we'd be arriving after dark, so we needed a place that would have designated campsites. Sand Flats ended up being perfect!

REI Flex Lite Chair

Share this Post Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This
REI Flex Lite Chair review
Let me start off by saying that I used to scoff at backpackers who carried chairs with them into the backcountry. My thought has always been, "just find a log to sit on - why carry the extra weight?" and "tough backpackers like me don't need a chair." It wasn't until last year that I started to get lower back pain after doing really long day hikes or backpacking trips, that I started looking at various options to relieve the pain. At first, I bought REI's Sit Pad, which popped after it's first use. Thankfully REI gave me another one (it was within the time frame of when I could exchange it), but I still felt like I hunched over and had to balance on it. I'm still worried that it will pop again.

Some of my friends started buying different types of backpacking chairs, and through their purchases I was able to try out different kinds. The REI Flex Lite Chair seemed to be the best option for what I was looking for in a backpacking chair. 

Here's why I love it
It only weighs 1 lb 10 oz
Quick & easy set up 
4 legs provide stability
The mesh back helps dry sweat and let the breeze through
Small side pocket to keep a flashlight or book in

Usually the Flex Lite chairs runs about $80, but you can often find these on sale throughout the year. I got my purple chair on sale through for $50 simply because they were fading out the purple. Keep an eye on sales, and grab yourself one of these before they no longer make them.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Hiking Negro Bill (Grandstaff) Canyon, Moab

Share this Post Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This
Negro Bill Canyon Trail Guide and Maps, Hiking with Dogs in Utah, Hiking Moab, Morning Glory Natural Bridge
Negro Bill Canyon (aka Morning Glory Canyon & Natural Bridge) was our second hike on our quick weekend camping trip in Moab. We hiked this the day after Slickrock Trail, and I was glad we had a shorter hiked planned since my legs were a little tired after our 10.5 mile adventure. I have been to Moab probably five times, have always passed by this trailhead, but never really interested to hike here. My main reasoning was because the parking area was always packed, and I like to stay away from the most popular trails. Since we were here in February, we figured it wouldn't be too crowded so on our way out of town, we stopped here for a quick hike.

Hike the Slickrock Trail, Moab

Share this Post Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This
Slickrock Trail Guide, Slickrock Trail Maps, Slickrock Moab, Sand Flats Recreation Area, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Slickrock Trail, the world famous mountain biking trail, is located in Moab, Utah. Most people bike this 10.5 mile loop, but we hiked it! Slickrock Trail is located at the Sand Flats Recreation Area, about 10 minutes outside of Moab, where we also camped for two nights. This trail is popular for its scenic, rugged expanse of Navajo Sandstone, the remnant of wind blown sand dunes. Slickrock Trail was established in 1969 for motorcycles, but the trail is now popular for both mountain bikes and motorcycles - it is closed to all four-wheeled vehicles.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Hidden Falls, Big Cottonwood Canyon

Share this Post Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This
Hidden Falls Big Cottonwood Canyon, Hidden Falls trail map

Hidden Falls is a quick walk off the side of the road up Big Cottonwood Canyon - with only a .07 mile walk up the road, there's no good reason to pass it up! This is perfect in Spring when the waterfall is running full. On the 5 minute walk you will also pass by an old, closed off mine. This walk is perfect for those with little kids or family visiting that aren't big hikers but still want to see pretty scenery.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Parrish Canyon Trail

Share this Post Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This
 Parrish Canyon Trail, Parrish Creek Trail, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
The Parrish Canyon Trail starts along the Wasatch Mountains in Centerville, Utah. Despite it's name, the hike actually takes you up the face of the mountain, over a course of several switchbacks, gaining elevation steeply until you have beautiful views of Davis County. This is a nice hike to do in Winter to get out of the inversion and to get the dogs out. If you hike up the actual creek, about 1/2 mile up you will see the Parrish Creek Pictographs. In Winter they are not usually visible due to snow.