Friday, July 27, 2018

Book Review - Utah Canyon Country: 20 Must-see Sites and Short Hikes

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Book Review - Utah Canyon Country: 20 Must-see Sites and Short Hikes
Utah Canyon Country: 20 Must-See Sites and Short Hikes is Laurie J. Schmidt's newest book release - I was so excited to get my hands on a copy! Packed with local tales and history, I was curious as to which hikes I had not yet completed. As most Utahan's know, southern Utah is home to thousands of miles of arches, slot canyon, natural bridges, hoodoos, and more. Laurie does a great job of pointing out the best of the best - 20 sites and short hikes you can't miss! This book is the perfect option for those just looking to visit Utah for a few days, or even those that have lived in Utah for years, but have not yet explored this territory. Grab your reading glasses, cup of coffee, and check out everything Utah Canyon Country has to offer!
Book Review - Utah Canyon Country: 20 Must-see Sites and Short Hikes
 The book itself is a decent size - not too large for carrying around in your backpack, yet light enough to take a long on a backpacking trip.
Book Review - Utah Canyon Country: 20 Must-see Sites and Short Hikes
The book includes easy-to-reach sites that can be accessed by all family members, entertaining tales and history near each location, basic geology descriptions, sidebars that point out special sites along the way, and full-color original photographs taken by Laurie.
Book Review - Utah Canyon Country: 20 Must-see Sites and Short Hikes
 I love how organized each hike description is. They are all a quick read, yet provide all the necessary info you need to safely reach the destination. Distance, elevation gain, difficult, fees, cautions, and the closest local services are all included per site and hike as well. It's makes planning your time here a breeze. Laurie also offers the best time to see certain locations - for example, it's highly recommended to see Mesa Arch at sunrise!
Book Review - Utah Canyon Country: 20 Must-see Sites and Short Hikes
 Several "On the Way" locations are pointed out as well. Ever heard of the Behunin Cabin? Neither had I! Adding these special pages were really a plus for me. Often times we drive straight to our destination or trailhead, without ever thinking (or knowing) about these places. Wouldn't it be great to stop at a new place, stretch your legs, and learn some history? Call me a nerd, but I love that stuff!
Book Review - Utah Canyon Country: 20 Must-see Sites and Short Hikes
All of Laurie's must-see 20 sites and locations are marked on a map toward the beginning of the book as well. This section only shows the Moab, UT area, but other locations include Canyonlands NP, Capitol Reef NP, and the Escalante, UT area.
Book Review - Utah Canyon Country: 20 Must-see Sites and Short Hikes
Not sure of a certain word? Check the glossary in the back. If you are new to Utah, this will be a huge help in understanding Laurie's descriptions. Currently the book is only available to purchase directly from her website, as well as all the Utah National Park Visitor Centers.

I'm super excited to add Utah Canyon Country: 20 Must-see Sites and Short Hikes to my library. I think this is a well-written book, with the best sites and trails everyone should visit. Make it a goal to visit all 20! 

UPDATE
You can now buy this book on Amazon for 15% less than retail!


Book Review - Utah Canyon Country: 20 Must-see Sites and Short HikesLaurie J. Schmidt is a writer and photographer based in Colorado. She has worked as a NASA science writer and editor, developed web content for the Phoenix Mars Mission, and served as editor of several science magazines and publications. Her science and travel writing has been published in regional and national publications, including PopSci.com, NASA’s Earth Observatory, NASA Global Climate Change, National Parks, and Earth magazine. She holds a master’s degree in journalism, with a focus in science communication. Laurie first discovered Utah canyon country in the early 1990s and has spent 25 years hiking and photographing the geology of the Colorado Plateau region.
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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Hiking to Eccentric Benchmark, Uintah/Dagget County High Point

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Hiking to Eccentric Benchmark, Uintah/Dagget County High Point
Eccentric Benchmark (12,276 ft) is the highest point for both Uintah & Daggest Counties in Utah, making it a popular summit for peak baggers. It's a high, rounded mountain in the Far East Uintas. What it lacks in views from the summit, makes up along the cross country trek with views as far as King's Peak to the West, and the Flaming Gorge to the Northeast. Although there is no official trail leading to the summit, hiking here is actually quite easy. You'll first pass by three man-made lakes (Chepeta, Papoose, & Moccasin), then work up a short, but steep boulder field, before hiking across high-alpine terrain and reaching the peak.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Hiking the "Wasatch 7" Peaks

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Hiking the "Wasatch 7" Peaks
The "Wasatch 7" Peaks are the seven major peaks that line the Salt Lake Valley. They are all challenging peaks that require a full day of hiking - some with route finding, some with a perfect trail. Most of these peaks also have a lot of elevation gain, and therefore are not for the beginner hiker. Because the Wasatch 7 Peaks are all over 10,000 ft, they are typically only accessible in summer months, when the dirt roads are open, and the trails are free of snow - this only leaves a few months to summit all 7 peaks. Most people take a few years to complete all summits - others have completed them in one summer. No matter how much time you have to dedicate to completing all of them, they surely live up to Utah's motto - "Life Elevated!"

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Hiking to Cascade Mountain

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Hiking to Cascade Peak, Utah, Hiking the Wasatch 7 Peaks, Utah Peak Baggers, Wasatch Peak Baggers
Cascade Mountain (10,908 ft) is the large mountain located directly above Orem, Utah and is one of the "Wasatch 7" Peaks. Not many people hike to summit, as it requires a full day and all routes are difficult. However, for Peak Baggers it's a must. It's crazy how just to the north of Provo Canyon is one of the most popular summits - Mt. Timpanogos. It's also interesting how different the terrain is compared to each other, and how much more difficult Cascade is. 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Best Dog Friendly Waterfalls Hikes in Utah

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The Best Dog Friendly Waterfalls Hikes in Utah
Ready to learn about the BEST Dog Friendly Waterfall Hikes in Utah? 
I've complied all of them into one post - no more researching, asking around, or spending hours looking at AllTrails. All of these listed are dog-friendly (off leash) of course, and are separated by location. There are not ranked in any order. Click the link for each hike to learn more, to see all the trail stats (distance, elevation gain, etc), and to view a trail map. Directions are also provided for each hike. 

Download your FREE Dog-Friendly Waterfall Hikes Checklist here - mark each one off as you go, and make it a goal to complete them all! Did I forget a waterfall hike? Please message me on my Facebook page, and I'll add it to this list. Have fun!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Backpacking the Shingle Creek Trail, Uintas

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Backpacking the Shingle Creek Trail, Uintas
The Shingle Creek Trail in the High Uintas is a popular trail for an "early season" trail for hikers and backpackers to follow when the higher elevations haven't thawed out from winter. I have driven past this trail so many times, yet had never done it - until now! I decided to head up for one night with two friends and our destination was South Erickson Lake. East Shingle Creek Lake is more popular, but a little lower in elevation, and seemed to have more mosquitos so we wanted to keep going.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Hiking to Mt. Watson, Uintas

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Hiking to Mt. Watson, Uintas, Hiking with dogs in the Uintas, Hiking with dogs in Utah, Hiking in the Uintas
Mt. Watson (11,521 ft) is located on the East side of the High Uintas Wilderness, and though it is surrounded by several popular trails and lakes, most people do not summit this peak. There is a trail for the first 2 miles, but you're on your own after that to reach the top. That's what makes part of this peak fun - it's a "choose your own path" adventure!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Backpacking to Kermsuh Lake, Uintas

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Backpacking to Kermsuh Lake, Uintas, Christmas Meadows
Kermsuh Lake is an alpine lake in the High Uintas Wilderness. It sits at an elevation of 10,200 ft, making it the perfect cooler destination while the SLC valley is baking in heat. Kermsuh Lake sits in one of the three basins in Christmas Meadows - Ryder and Amethyst Lake are the other two, more popular lakes.