Friday, July 29, 2016

Hiking to American Fork Twin Peaks

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Hiking to the American Fork Twin Peaks (11,490 ft), is not for the beginner hiker. Not to be confused with the other twin peaks in the valley, Broads Fork Twin Peaks and The Avenues Twin Peaks, this route leads hikers across a long knife edge with a very faint trail. Do not attempt this hike if you've never cross a very narrow, and rocky ridgeline before - it takes a little route finding, skill, no fear of heights, and requires some light scrambling. Gloves are useful for this hike so they provide extra grip and protection from the sharp rocks.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

How to Camp for FREE In Utah!

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How to Camp for FREE In Utah!
Breathing fresh air, relaxing in a camp chair, drink in your hand, the dogs and kids are running around getting muddy, and the fire crackles in the distance. Camping is one of my most enjoyable experience during summer, but it doesn't have to cost money. Many people think camping is "too expensive" or "too hard" to get to a "good" campsite. Sure it may cost money to get all your gear, but after that, camping (and backpacking in particular) can be free, especially in Utah! Here's everything you need to know, on How to Camp for FREE in Utah!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Backpacking to Rock Creek Basin, High Uintas

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Backpacking to Rock Creek Basin, High Uintas
Rock Creek Basin is located in the High Uinta Wilderness, in between Rocky Sea Pass and Dead Horse Pass. Getting into the basin requires a minimum 9 mile hike; I highly recommend that you spend at least two nights in Rock Creek Basin to fully explore the area. Some people can backpack it in one night, but doing so won't allow enough time to see everything. There are three ways you can reach Rock Creek Basin: 1) via the Highline Trail from Hayden Pass 2) From West Black's Fork or 3) Rock Creek TH from the Stillwater Reservoir. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Hiking to Murdock Peak

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Hiking to Murdock Peak, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Murdock Peak (9,600 ft) is a peak located in the Central Wasatch mountains and can be access three ways: 1) Millcreek Canyon 2) Guardsmans Pass or 3) The Canyons Ski Resort in Park City, UT. In summer months you'll hardly see anyone on the summit, but winter is a different story. Taking the lift up from The Canyons resort will shorten the hike, oh, about 3.5 miles! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Hiking the Red Cloud Trail, Deer Valley Ski Resort

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Hiking the Red Cloud Trail, Deer Valley Ski Resort
Hiking the Red Cloud Trail at Deer Valley Ski Resort is a very scenic hikers-only trail that begins at the Silver Lake Village, at an elevation of 8,100 ft. Many people do not know that anyone can hike at Deer Valley for free! You don't have to be a member or have to have a "friend of a friend" to be able to visit and hike on the mountain during the Summer months. If fact, you can hike to any peak or on any trail, and ride the chair lift down for free. This hike was apart of the free guided monthly Deer Valley History Hike.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Mt. Superior & Monte Cristo Peak

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Hiking to Mt. Superior & Monte Cristo Peak
Mount Superior (11,040ft) & Monte Cristo Peak (11,132 ft) are two classic and iconic Wasatch Peaks that every peak bagger should summit. Both peaks dominate the Little Cottonwood Canyon Ridge, and are focal points to the north when skiing at Alta or Snowbird. Both Mt. Superior and Monte Cristo are summited year round - in the winter by backcountry skiers, and in the summer by hikers looking for a fun little scramble.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Clayton Peak

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Hiking to Clayton Peak via Guardsmans Pass
Clayton Peak (10,721 ft) is one of my favorite, after work peaks to summit. Not only is the trail a mere 1.5 miles (one way), but you get amazing 360 degree views of the surrounding canyons. On a clear day you can see the Uinta Mountains, Jordanelle State Park, Heber, and the Strawberry Reservoir. There are two ways to summit Clayton Peak - Guardsmans Pass or Brighton Ski Resort.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Hiking from Mooney Falls to the Colorado River!

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Hiking from Mooney Falls to the Colorado River!
Hiking from Mooney Falls to the Colorado River confluence is a must-see on your adventure to Havasupai! Only half of the people visiting will hike to Beaver Falls, which is on the way, yet almost nobody will make the entire trek down to the confluence. A confluence is where two rivers meet - in this case the turquoise Havasu Creek meets the brown Colorado River, creating an interesting mix of colors and water temperatures. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Hiking to Havasu Falls

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Hiking to Havasu Falls, Arizona
Hiking to Havasu Falls is not your typical day hike - it requires a 10 mile trek through the desert, a large canyon, and finally through the small village of Supai, AZ. The people of Supai are apart of the Havasupai tribe, which is an American Indian tribe that has lived in this area of the canyon for the past 800 years. Havasu means "blue-green water", and pai means "people". Havasu Falls is one of the most well-known waterfalls in the world due to its paradise-like location.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Kroex Double Hammock

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Kroex Double Hammock
Within the last month or so, I was on the search for the best, lightweight, backpacking hammock I could find. Hammocks have become super popular in the last few years, as a lightweight alternative to sleep while backpacking, are used to simply hang out by a lake or river, at picnics, at ballgames, and the outdoors in general. So when I came across the Kroex Double Hammock, I knew it would be the best fit for me. 

How to Get a Havasupai Permit

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How to get a Havasupai Permit, How to get a Havasu Falls Permit
Getting a permit to Havasupai Falls is the first step in your adventure to the beautiful, turquoise falls, but how do you get one? And how far in advance? What about group size? These are all questions I hear all the time when it comes to wanting to travel to Havasu & Mooney Falls. I'll fill you in on some secrets, tips, and the know-how so you can have the best waterfall adventure yet!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Dog Lake, Millcreek Canyon

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Hiking to Dog Lake, Hiking in Utah with Dogs, Millcreek Canyon
Dog Lake in Millcreek Canyon is a popular trail for dog owners during the summer months, when the upper Millcreek Road is open, and the heat in the SLC valley is unbearable. Though you can access Dog Lake year round via the Mill D North Fork Trail in Big Cottonwood Canyon, dogs are not allowed to take that trail due to watershed rules. When the winter gate is open in Millcreek July 1st through October 31st, you can bet this trailhead and parking lot will be packed, especially in the evening hours when it is cooler, and the dogs are begging to swim. This 3 mile (one way) hike meanders up long switchbacks, through forested areas, passes a lot of wildflowers, streams, crosses bridges, and finally ends at Dog Lake. Dogs are only allowed off leash on ODD days in Millcreek, and though they are allowed in the canyon every day, they must remain leashed on all trails on EVEN days.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Ruffwear Quinzee Insulated Dog Jacket

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The Ruffwear Quinzee Insulated Dog Jacket Gear Review
The Ruffwear Quinzee Insulated Dog Jacket is perfect for dogs who backpack and get cold easily. Not only is this jacket super packable at just under 1 pound, it also packs down into it's integrated stuff sack. If you like to hike during winter or backpack at higher elevations in cold weather, the Ruffwear Quinzee won't break your back carrying it in, and you dog will thank you for many warm nights to come.

Bald Mountain, Uintas

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Hiking to Bald Mountain in the Uintas, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Bald Mountain (11,942 ft) in the High Uintas Wilderness is one of my favorite peaks to summit. Not only is this peak on of the easiest to summit in the area, but it also offers grand views of the Mirror Lake Highway, surrounding lakes, several peaks, and on a clear day you can see Mt. Timpanogos. Along the Bald Mountain trail you may see mountain goats, pika, squirrels, and an abundance of wildflowers in early summer. As with any high altitude terrain, start this hike early in the day to beat the daily afternoon thunderstorms, the afternoon heat, and crowds. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Backpacking to Amethyst Lake, Uintas

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Backpacking to Amethyst Lake, Uintas, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Backpacking to Amethyst Lake in the High Uinta Wilderness is a backpackers dream - a high alpine lake, lots of hiking and fishing, great campsites, not too many people, and cooler temperatures. Although the hike in is somewhat tough (especially if you are carrying a 30-40 lb pack), the reward and view is well worth the hard effort. 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Julie Andrews Meadow

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Hiking to Julie Andrews Meadow, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Julie Andrews Meadow is located in American Fork Canyon, along the Timpooneke-Chris' Flat Trail (#151). Early summer is the best time to hike here, as the field is as alive as Mrs. Julie Andrews was in the movie, The Sound of Music. The grass is green, the wildflowers are blooming, and snow is scattered along the northern end of the Timpanogos ridge. The views are endless - to the North is the Little Cottonwood Ridgeline, to the East is Heber Valley, and to the West is Utah County. Anywhere you turn, it makes you want to spin around with arms wide open to take in the surroundings. Grab the whole family and turn this into a picnic hike, or a quick overnight backpacking adventure.