Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Hike to Cascade Falls, Navajo Lake Utah

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Hike to Cascade Falls, Navajo Lake Utah
Cascade Falls is located near Navajo Lake, and is in fact, a major drainage port for the lake. The trail offers amazing view of Zion National Park on a clear day, and all ages and all types of hikers plus dogs will enjoy this area. The water from the falls is supplied by the lake through an underground lava tube (sink hole). The water flows through this for a few miles underground before exiting at the Virgin River Rim. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Brian Head Peak, Iron County High Point

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Brian Head Peak, Iron County High Point
Brian Head Peak (11,307ft) is the Iron County High Point, and located at Brian Head Ski Resort. There is no hiking, but rather a very casual walk to the summit that even kids can do. It's a great place to take visitors and tourists to "bag" a peak they can literally drive to and have amazing views of the area. The gate to drive to the summit is typically open June though October, or whenever it's free of snow and dry. Even in summer the temperatures can be quite chilly up there at that high of elevation. Bring a light jacket and a camera, and check out the views!

Hiking to Andy Nelson Peak & Kane County High Point

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Hiking to Andy Nelson Peak & Kane County High Point
The Kane County High Point (10,080 ft) is located on a small ridge similar to the Wasatch County High point, rather than on an actual peak. The highest actual peak, Andy Nelson Peak (10,027 ft) is nearby so it is worth to do both on the same day. In one day, we actually did the Kane CoHP, Andy Nelson Peak, hiked Cascade Falls, drove through the lava fields, and then drove to the Iron County HP (Brian Head Peak). 

Friday, July 26, 2019

Hiking to the Smith Creek Lakes, Wasatch Mountains

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Hiking to the Smith Creek Lakes, Wasatch Mountains
Smith Creek Lakes is located along the Skyline Drive, near Farmington, Utah. The hike starts from Francis Peak, then follows a jeep/ATV road as it drops into the basin where a chain of three lakes sits. All three lakes are fairly big for a high alpine lake, and each lake had at least one campsite. The hike itself is really easy, and you can't get lost. Plan on taking a half day to explore all three lakes, and to let the dogs swim and cool off. Smith Creek Lakes is only available when the Farmington Canyon Road is open, typically June through October. There is only a little shade, so plan to start hiking early to beat the heat on the hike back up to the car.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Hiking to Murdock Mountain, Uintas

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Hiking to Murdock Mountain, Uintas, Day hiking in the Uintas, Uinta peak bagging
Murdock Mountain (11,212 ft) is located in the High Uintas Wilderness, right off the Mirror Lake Highway. While its neighbor peak, Bald Mountain, see hundreds of hikers each summer, less than 50-75 people will make the Murdock Mountain summit each year. While there is no trail, hiking up the boulder field is fairly easy and only 1 mile to reach the top. The 360 degree views can't be beat, and you're not likely to see people up there either. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Hiking to Murdock Peak

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Hiking to Murdock Peak via Millcreek Canyon
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! 

Hiking to Reids Peak, Uintas

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Hiking to Reids Peak, Uintas, Uinta peaks, hiking in the uintas, hiking in utah with dogs
Reids Peak (11,708 ft) is located in the High Uintas Wilderness, just off the Mirror Lake Highway. While its neighbor peak, Bald Mountain, see hundreds of hikers each summer, less than 50 people will make the Reids Peak summit each year, and for good reason. There is no trail to the summit and requires light scrambling, so it's not a good peak for the average/newbie hiker. Typically, only experienced peak baggers are the ones looking to make the summit, and knowledge of route finding will make this hike successful. 

Monday, July 22, 2019

Gear Review: ROAM Wallets

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Gear Review: ROAM Wallets
ROAM Wallets are minimalist wallets designed to get you hands-free while shopping, doing outdoor activities, or simplify your accessories. These ultra slim and ultra light wallets come in several designs, with close to half designed by actual artists. ROAM Wallets are made from an elastic knit, made to hold up to 10 or 15 cards, depending on the size of wallet you get. No more hassling with huge purses, too many stuffed cards in your wallet they fall out, and way lighter and cooler looking to carry around.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Hiking to 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. 

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Hiking to Bridger Peak, Rich County High Point

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Hiking to Bridger Peak, Rich County High Point
Bridger Peak (9,225 ft) is the Rich County High Point, but also the lowest in elevation of all Utah County High Points (CoHPs)! Bridger Peak was Unnamed Peak until 1999 when the Tribune ran a contest for someone to name the peak. Briger Peak won for Jim Bridger who was an early explorer of Utah and the Yellowstone area, Now Yellowstone National Park.  He was a great mediator between the Native American tribes and European-American settlers, and was in excellent shape aiding him to explore the West.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Waymark Gear Co. LITE 50 Liter Pack

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Waymark Gear Co. LITE 50 Liter Pack, Ultralight Thru Packs, Ultralight Backpacking, Ultralight Camping, Best UL Packs
Waymark Gear Company, founded and made in SLC, is an Ultralight (UL) backpacking company aimed to offer affordable, custom-made packs for thru-hikers, weekend warriors, or the week-day hiker. Mark Benson, owner, designer, and self-taught sewing extraordinaire, makes packs that are designed to go the extra mile (literally). Waymark Gear Co is a cottage company with a vision of creating frameless packs that allow more freedom, going from bulky and heavy, to comfy and light. Most backpacks with frames weigh in the 4-7 pound range, while going frameless can cut your weight to 1-2 pound per pack. 

Monday, July 15, 2019

Hiking to Bull Mountain, Box Elder County High Point

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Hiking to Bull Mountain, Box Elder County High Point
Bull Mountain (9,938 ft) is the Box Elder County High Point, and highest peak in the Raft River Mountain Range. This range is a mix of desert-like terrain on the lower half, and high alpine terrain on the upper half. This unique mix of land makes for a beautiful hike, but is typically only accessible in Summer and Fall. 

Friday, July 12, 2019

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. 

Backpacking to Red Castle Lakes, Uintas

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Backpacking to Red Castle Lakes, Uintas
Red Castle Lakes is sure to be on everyone's Uintas "to-do" list, especially if you are a backpacker. Not only does the Red Castle area offer four high alpine lakes to chose from, pristine meadows, and great backcountry camping, it also offers a stark contrast of red peaks and a ridgeline to clear blue water that make for great photography. The only thing you won't find at Red Castle Lakes? Solitude.

9 Ways to Clean & Dry Your Camelbak Bladder

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9 Ways to Clean & Dry Your Camelbak Bladder
Whether you are a novice or experience hiker, I think we are all together when I say, "I hate cleaning my Camelbak bladder!" Yet, it's a necessary evil. Reservoir maintenance is essential to make sure you're getting hydrated properly without sucking in mold or bacteria. Reservoir cleaning should be given priority after every one to two uses. Cleaning your bladder doesn't have to be hard, use these 9 Ways to Clean & Dry Your Camelbak Bladder!

Backpacking Gear List

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Backpacking Gear List
Let's talk Gear!

Walk into REI or any other outdoor store and you'll definitely feel overwhelmed with so many options for backpacking. Do you want to go Ultralight (UL)? Do you want to cook food or eat dehydrated? Do you want comfort or style? So many questions, right?! Then you have to pick the coolest color...

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Backpacking the Yellow Pine Trail, Uintas

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Backpacking the Yellow Pine Trail, Uintas
The Yellow Pine Trail is one of the first trailheads you will pass after entering the Mirror Lake Highway, coming from Kamas, UT. The trail leads to three lakes - lower & upper Yellow Pine Lakes, as well as Castle Lake. You can also day hike to Duke & Castle Peak, both over 10,000 ft. This is a great early-season backpacking route when the higher Uintas is covered in snow. The trail is mostly well shaded and offers plenty of water along the way for your pup to drink from or to filter from. It is slightly steep and rocky in sections, so this trail took longer to reach the lakes than anticipated. 
The best time to hike here is late June though October, or when the first snow flies. 

Monday, July 8, 2019

Hiking to Dog Lake, Millcreek Canyon

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Hiking to Dog Lake, 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.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Hiking to Brumley Arch, LaSal Mountains

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Hiking to Brumley Arch, LaSal Mountains, Hiking in Moab with Dogs
Brumley Arch is located in the LaSal Mountains, just outside Moab, Utah. It is only 2 miles round trip, making this a great family-friendly hike that even dogs are allowed to hike to. The trail is very shaded, but has some steep spots, especially to get to the bottom of the creek and to see the arch so it's best for kids over age 6. Brumley Creek runs year round, though water levels may be quite low in late Summer to Fall. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Hiking to Mt. Aire

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Hiking to Mt. Aire, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Mt. Aire (8,621 ft) may not be the highest peak in Millcreek Canyon nor the surrounding area, but it does offer a fantastic view in all directions.  This short but steep trail is great to do as an after work hike with your dogs or friends, since it only takes about 2-3 hours round trip. The most popular route to summit  Mt. Aire is via Elbow Fork in Millcreek Canyon, and it is only 2 miles to the top. This trail is nicely shaded and there is a year round stream up until the ridge; after that, you will hike through scrub oak to the summit. Keep your eyes out for moose - they like to hang out in the lower meadow.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Hiking to Mann's Peak, LaSal Mountains

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Hiking to Mann's Peak, LaSal Mountains, Hiking in Moab, Utah
Mann's Peak (12,272 ft) 5th highest peak in the LaSal Mountains, and one of seven "12ers" in the range. The LaSal Mountains are the 2nd highest mountain range in Utah, behind the Uinta Mountains. Mann's Peak is easily accessible by a trail the entire way from the West at Warner Lake Campground, or coming from the East in Beaver Basin. The trail itself is mostly well-shaded, with plenty of water from the Dry Fork Mill Creek. As you reach the saddle, you'll hike above tree line and will be fully exposed. Start hiking early in the morning to beat the afternoon thunderstorms that occur almost daily in this mountain range. The best time to summit is Summer and Fall (typically late June to the first snowfall in October).