Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Hike the Bayliss Fork Trail, Emigration Canyon

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Hike the Bayliss Fork Trail, Emigration Canyon
The Bayliss Fork Trail is located in Emigration Canyon, not quite a mile past Ruth's Diner. The trail follows one of the many drainages from the ridge line that connects Mt. Wire over to Lookout Peak. Eventually the trail turns into an old jeep road, and follows the ridge to reach the top. Don't forget to look back as you hike higher in elevation - the best views are when you turn around. On the main ridge/saddle, you can see down into Red Butte Canyon Research Natural Area, and several other local peaks such as Grandview Peak


This trail can get really muddy in early Spring, so the best seasons are Summer/Fall. This trail is dog-friendly, however kids may struggle with the steepness towards the top. There's very little shade and no water, so if the temperatures are going to be hot, be sure to start early or carry a lot of water for both you and your dogs. Afterwards stop at Ruth's Diner for lunch!


From I-80 in SLC, head North on Foothill Drive. Turn left on E Sunnyside Ave (Emigration Canyon Rd). Reset your odometer as you turn. Drive 3.7 miles up the canyon, past the Hogle Zoo and Ruth's Diner. You'll see a pull out on the North (left) side of the road with two white signs: one says no motorized vehicles, and the other is a hunting sign. Park here. If you drive past the fire station you went too far.

Here is a driving map.

Distance: 3.6 miles RT
Elevation gain: 1,700 ft
Time: 2-4 hours
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? Yes, but only for the first mile or so (due to steepness)
Fees/Permits? None

Hike the Bayliss Fork Trail, Emigration Canyon
The trail starts on the north side of the road by these two sign signs, and boulder barricade. Back in the day people could drive ATV's up here, but that is no longer allowed.
Hike the Bayliss Fork Trail, Emigration Canyon
Pass the wire & post fence.
Hike the Bayliss Fork Trail, Emigration Canyon
The trail then curves North.
Hike the Bayliss Fork Trail, Emigration Canyon
The first mile is pretty mellow.
Hike the Bayliss Fork Trail, Emigration Canyon
Within 10 minutes of hiking, the dogs found this elk carcass right on the trail. Byron is a hunter and said this one looked like it was killed by coyote, as a hunter wouldn't leave it like this right on the trail, and there was a pile of guts nearby. I put Charlie on leash since he can't help himself with dead animals (gross!). I can't tell you the gross things I've seen him gulp down, including some guts on the way back down.
Hike the Bayliss Fork Trail, Emigration Canyon
The view opens a little. The nice thing about this trail is you can always see your destination. It's up there in the clouds!
Hike the Bayliss Fork Trail, Emigration Canyon
Clouds threatened to rain/snow on us all morning. 
Hike the Bayliss Fork Trail, Emigration Canyon
One of the reasons Spring is my least favorite season - mud. It was caking up so bad, it felt like 5 lb weights on my feet. I wouldn't hike this trail after a big rainstorm again. You'll come to a 4-way intersection (not pictured), turn left.
Hike the Bayliss Fork Trail, Emigration Canyon
After you turn left the trail naturally curves North again. The trail is now an old jeep road. You can see how it leads up to the clouds/ridge.
Hike the Bayliss Fork Trail, Emigration Canyon
Now the fun begins, and the trail gets pretty steep.
Hike the Bayliss Fork Trail, Emigration Canyon
Instead of walking through dirt, the trail is now more rocky. It's almost like steps, helping you up.
Hike the Bayliss Fork Trail, Emigration Canyon
A little SnapChat fun on the way up. Byron searches for elk, I take #selfies LOL. We did end up seeing about 20 elk on the ridge!
Hike the Bayliss Fork Trail, Emigration Canyon
Charlie finds a patch of leftover snow, and does his usual face-plant into it.
Hike the Bayliss Fork Trail, Emigration Canyon
Keep following the ridge.
Hike the Bayliss Fork Trail, Emigration Canyon
Trail kisses with my baby.
Hike the Bayliss Fork Trail, Emigration Canyon
And once on the ridge, we couldn't see a thing! We were socked in by all the clouds, and the temperature dropped about 15F degrees.
Hike the Bayliss Fork Trail, Emigration Canyon
My hands were so cold, but we took a summit selfie as usual. I'll definitely come back when the trail dries out and it's a clear day.
Hike the Bayliss Fork Trail, Emigration Canyon
Hiking buddies! Our friend Copper is a blue-tick Coonhound rescue, and loves to explore new scents off-trail. That wire sticking out is part of his GPS tracker. Coonhounds have a very strong nose, and he often can be up to 900 yards away from us once he catches on to a new smell. The GPS tracker helps his dad know where he is, and can call him back.
Hike the Bayliss Fork Trail, Emigration Canyon
On the way back down, the clouds dropped below us and it was fun to watch them build up. Once we got back towards the cars, it started snowing again! 




 

Hike the South Ridge of Mt. Wire
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Hike the Bayliss Fork Trail, Emigration Canyon