Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Guest Post: Utah's Mighty Five

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GUEST POST by Katie Wanders
Katie Wanders follows New England native, Katie, around the globe. Katie swapped her oceans for mountains and moved to Utah for two years to see what "Life Elevated" was all about. Katie Wanders follows trips around the American West, adventures along the coasts, trips abroad, and showcases her love of New England. Currently, you can find her in a 2016 Penske truck with her dog and cat, wandering around National Parks and making her way back to the Atlantic. You can follow all of her adventures on FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest!
Utah's Might Five National Parks

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bells Canyon Waterfall

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Bells Canyon Waterfall trail guide
Bells Canyon Waterfall is in the canyon just south of Little Cottonwood Canyon, and apart of the watershed, so dogs are banned from this trail. The trail passes Bells Canyon Reservoir, passes the waterfall, and actually leads to an upper pond, 4.5 miles one way. This was our goal on Saturday, but as we quickly got soaked from the downpour of rain at 7am, we knew that wasn't going to happen for us.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Farmington Canyon Trail & Waterfall

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Farmington Canyon Trail, Farmington Canyon Waterfalls, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
The Farmington Canyon Trail and waterfall is one of my new favorite trails in Davis County. I was surprised at how big this canyon felt, how green it is in Spring, and I loved the 40 ft waterfall. Our dogs had a blast on this trail since there were plenty of stream crossings for them to drink from and play in. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Holbrook Canyon

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Holbrook Canyon Trail, Bountiful, Utah, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Earlier this week I hiked up Holbrook Canyon in Bountiful, UT. It's one of my favorite trails in Davis County for a few reasons. Dogs are allowed off leash on Davis County trails, it follows a stream, its really well shaded, not too steep, and you can choose your mileage. If you follow Holbrook Canyon all the way, you can reach the ridgeline, which is about 5 miles one way. Since we started at 6:30pm, we hiked 4 miles round trip. I was surprised at how high the stream was flowing - I've never seen it that high. Be prepared to wear water hiking shoes, such as Chacos or Keens. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Bridal Veil Falls

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Bridal Veil Falls, Provo Canyon, Utah
Bridal Veil Falls is located in Provo Canyon - you can't miss if you've ever driven through the canyon. You can clearly see Bridal Veil Falls from HWY 189, but to get a better sense of how big it is, there is a nice, small trail that takes you to the base of the falls. At the top of this 600 ft tiered waterfall, there used to be a restaurant, called the Eagle's Nest Lodge. The restaurant had a fire, and years later, after the cables and been dangling up there, an avalanche finally sealed the fate of it but forever removing all the loose cables. You can still see the loading station at the main parking lot. On weekends this is a very popular waterfall for families to stop and look at, so arrive early if you wish to get photos without other people in your pictures.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

First Falls, Aspen Grove Trail

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First Falls, Aspen Grove Trail, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
First Falls is the, well, the first waterfall along the Aspen Grove Trail, a popular route to the Mt. Timpanogos summit. After we hiked Stewart Falls, we headed over to this trail since it starts from the same parking lot. First Falls is only 1 mile up the Aspen Grove Trail, and is paved for half of it. The first half is rocky, from when the forest service reconstructed the trail due to a wash out from heavy snow melt. The second half is paved from when the trail first went in, in the early 1930s. First Falls is fun for the whole family, and those looking for a short, yet scenic destination.

Stewart Falls

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Stewart Falls Hiking Guide, Hiking in utah with dogs
Stewart Falls is a two tier waterfall located near Sundance Ski Resort in Provo Canyon. The best time to hike here is in late spring, when the snow has melted from the trail and the waterfall is raging. This is a great hike for all levels of hikers since it's not too long, not too steep, and mostly shaded. Because of this, the trail gets very crowded on weekends. Arrive early to beat the crowds. This 200 ft waterfall is surrounded by a large rock face, and if you look closely, in Spring you'll see other small waterfalls near it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Davis Creek Waterfall

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Davis Creek Waterfall, Davis Creek Trail, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
The Davis Creek Waterfall is accessed via the Davis Creek Trail, and is a good hike for all levels of hikers. At only 1 mile (RT), this hike is somewhat steep the first section, but soon levels out with a view of the waterfall. There are several trails that branch off of the Davis Creek Trail, so if you have time I suggest doing all of it. However, if you are short on time but still want a great destination, the waterfalls is the perfect turnaround point.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Icebox Canyon via Wheeler Creek

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Hiking Icebox Canyon, Wheeler Creek trail, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
This weekend was the first official "Hike Like a Girl" weekend, so I grabbed a few girlfriends (and our dogs!) and we hiked The Wheeler Creek Trail to Icebox Canyon. Hike Like a Girl weekend is a national event sponsored by the African American Nature & Parks Experience for all women to get outdoors, meet other awesome ladies, enjoy nature, and show unity in numbers. To showcase what hike you did and who you hiked with, they encourage you to plaster social media with #hikeLAG on Instagram and Twitter photos. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Avenue's Twin Peaks

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Hiking the Avenues Twin Peaks, Utah, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
The Avenues Twin Peaks is another one of my go-to after work hikes. This hike is the most beautiful in Spring during Sunset, when the yellow flowers are blooming, the hills are green, and the temperature is just right; however this trail can be hiked year round. The Avenues Twin Peaks is almost always windy, so a light jacket is recommended. There is no water and no shade, and the trailhead is a popular spot for mountain bikers to depart on their ride.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

8 Beginner Backpacking Tips for Women

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8 Beginner Backpacking Tips for Women
Have you always wanted to go into the back country, sleep next to a pristine lake, on a mountain side, off the beaten path, in the middle of a dense forest, next to a campfire? Have you looked at your girlfriends photos or social media and been jealous of these places? Backpacking is fun and takes you to some of the most beautiful places in the world. It doesn't have to be tough - check out my tips on 8 Backpacking Tips for Women so your first trip is as enjoyable as possible.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Woods Trail & Dog Park

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The Woods Trail and Dog Park, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
The Woods Trail & Dog Park is one of Kimball Junction, Utah's newest dog parks. Located in a neighborhood to the north of I-80, this small dog park is fenced in for your furry pal to run around and get his energy out. After playing ball, grab your leash and take your choice of two trails starting from the dog park - the easy 0.5 mile loop that wraps around the pond, or the longer 1.3 mile loop that weaves it's way through the neighborhood with view of Summit Park Peak.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Bowman Fork Trail

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Bowman Fork Trail, Millcreek Canyon, Utah, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
The Bowman Fork Trail is located in Millcreek Canyon, and is popular for summiting Gobbler's Knob. I usually do this hike after work during the week and don't have time (or sometimes the energy!) to hike to the summit, so my goal is always White Fir Pass. I really like this trail in the summer months because it's really well shaded, cooler, and it follows a stream that the dogs and drink from and play in. In Winter, it's nice snowshoeing because you will hardly see anyone up here. 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Flowers of Grand Canyon National Park

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Flowers of Grand Canyon National Park, Bright Angel Trail, Ribbon Falls
While Backpacking the Bright Angel Trail and Ribbon Falls in Grand Canyon National Park, I was amazed at all the beautiful flowers appearing for Spring along the canyon. Bright pinks, purples, lavender, and yellow flowers appeared everywhere! I couldn't help but stop and take a photo of each type of flower I came across.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Ribbon Falls, Grand Canyon National Park

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Hiking to Ribbon Falls, Grand Canyon National Park
On Day Two of backpacking The Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon, we woke up at 5am to do a day hike to Ribbon Falls, a 6 mile hike from the Bright Angel Campground. It was pouring down rain that whole day, which made Ribbon Falls look even more glorious. Ribbon Falls is about 140 ft high, and the flow of water has created a giant travertine spire below the falls, which collects at two small pools, one at the base and one at about 50 ft above the travertine. You are allowed to swim in the falls, but when we hiked here, the temperature was about 45F with rain. Too cold for a swim! You can hike up and beneath the falls. Though Ribbon Falls takes a lot of planning combined with backpacking permit in the Grand Canyon, the 2.5 hour hike from the Bright Angel Campground is well worth the effort!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Backpacking the Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon National Park

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Backpacking the Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon National Park
Backpacking the Bright Angel Trail in Grand Canyon National Park has been one of my long-time backpacking goals. I had been to GCNP about 6 years about, but wasn't able to hike below the rim since I had a dog with me (dogs aren't allowed below the rim). Yes, I could visit the overlooks, but I couldn't get a feel for how deep, wide, gorgeous, and massive the Grand Canyon really was. I knew I had to get back. 

Backpacking the Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon National Park

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Backpacking the Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon National Park
Backpacking the Bright Angel Trail in Grand Canyon National Park has been one of my long-time backpacking goals. I had been to GCNP about 6 years about, but wasn't able to hike below the rim since I had a dog with me (dogs aren't allowed below the rim). Yes, I could visit the overlooks, but I couldn't get a feel for how deep, wide, gorgeous, and massive the Grand Canyon really was. I knew I had to get back. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Horseshoe Bend

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Horseshoe Bend, Page, Arizona, Glen Canyon Recreation Area
Horseshoe Bend is one of my favorite overlooks in the U.S. Horseshoe Bend is along the Colorado River, and is only 3 miles south of Page, Arizona along Highway 89, 5 miles downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam, and requires a 3/4 mile walk to the overlook. The 1,000 ft drop to the bottom offers fantastic views, and if you have a wide angle lens or panorama option, you can capture the full horseshoe-shaped river and canyon.