Friday, August 30, 2019

Dining at Log Haven's the Dogs Days of Summer

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Dining at Log Haven's the Dogs Days of Summer
Log Haven is a popular restaurant located in Millcreek Canyon, Utah. Built in 1920, this log cabin hideaway was built as an anniversary gift for L.F. Rains' wife. Logs were shipped from San Francisco to SLC and hauled up the four miles by horse-drawn wagon. It was built at the base of cliffs and two small waterfalls. It was then used as a summer home for the family but when the Great Depression hit, an insurance executive named Gleed Miller bought the home and made additions to the home, also adding in an ice skating pond and stable. During the late 1980s it fell to despair - flash forward to the mid-90s and Margo Provost purchased the home and renovated it into a historic retreat and restaurant. 

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Hike to Clayton Peak via Brighton Ski Resort

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Hike to Clayton Peak via Brighton Ski Resort
Clayton Peak (10,721 ft) is a fun local peak located at the top of Brighton Ski Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon. It's right on the ridge of the watershed, so if hiking this route, dogs are not allowed. However, dogs can make the summit from Bloods Lake Trailhead, and going that way is allowed for them. This time, however, my friend and I decided to hike to Clayton Peak via Brighton Ski Resort. I hadn't hiked this route in over four years so it was time to revisit this trail. 

Hiking to Clayton Peak via Bloods Lake Trailhead

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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.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Hiking to Desolation Overlook

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Hiking to Desolation Overlook, Hiking to the Salt Lake Overlook, Millcreek Canyon
Desolation Overlook is a popular trail located in Millcreek Canyon that can be hiked year round. I love taking the dogs up here for a great view of the canyon and valley in the distance. The trail is on the north slope, so it is very shaded, and in winter, can be very icy. Be sure to wear microspikes in Winter to keep from falling. The trail makes its way up the side of the mountain using long switchbacks. This trail is accessible year-round, with my favorite being Fall.

Hiking to Scout Falls - In Summer!

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Hiking to Scout Falls - In Summer!, Scout Falls American Fork Canyon, Hiking the Timpooneke Trail, utah waterfalls
Scout Falls is a waterfall located along the popular Timpooneke Trail in American Fork Canyon, which eventually leads to Mt.Timpanogos. Many people chose to only hike 1.5 miles to Scout Falls then return to their car for a short yet scenic hike. This hike is very gradual and is great for dogs off leash as well as kids. The best time to hike here is June through October, when the Alpine Loop Road is open and the trail is dry. The waterfall is much higher during and after snowmelt in early Summer, but by late summer the water flow is much lower, making it fun to stand underneath the falls and cool off or get sprayed by this mist. Hiking or riding a fat tire bike in winter is also doable - read about that here! The hike is longer at 4 miles one way, however, you aren't likely to see anyone.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Monument Peak, Carbon County High Point

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Monument Peak, Carbon County High Point
Monument Peak (10, 452 ft) is the the Carbon County High Point, and for those working on the Utah County High Points (CoHPs), this one is the easiest since you can drive to the summit. It's located along the Wasatch Plateau, and because its simply a drive, it should be combined with other CoHPs such as East Mountain and South Tent Mountain. There is nothing special about this peak except for the fact that you can see three CoHPs from the summit. The best time to drive here is in late Summer to Fall when the road is completely dry.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Hiking to East Mountain, Emery County High Point

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Hiking to East Mountain, Emery County High Point
East Mountain (10, 743 ft) is the Emery County High Point, and is one of several peaks along the Wasatch Plateau. The hike itself is straight forward, following a well-worn trail used by horses, hunters, and hikers. The main reason why people hike to this peak is for checking off the Utah County High Points (CoHPs) list. It's one of the easier CoHPs, and is often combined with Monument Peak, South Tent Mountain, or all three in one day. For our trip, we only did East & Monument on the same day since I had hiked South Tent Mountain a month earlier. From the summit you can see three CoHPs. Camping is plentiful and the drive is scenic. Both dogs and older kids can hike this route.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Hiking to Bloods & Lackawaxen Lakes

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Hiking to Lackawaxen Lake
Lackawaxen Lake sits just below Clayton Peak, off of Guardsmans Pass. Because this trail is on the other side of Big Cottonwood Canyon, dogs are allowed off leash. In fact, this trail is a perfect summer hike for the pups since there are two lakes for them to swim in, Bloods Lake and Lackawaxen Lake.

Climbing the South Ridge of Mt.Superior

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Climbing the South Ridge of Mt.Superior
The South Ridge of Mt.Superior is a popular class 5 scramble to reach the summit. You can hike this on a actual trail this route, however the appeal of taking the South Ridge is that is offers a more challenging & technical approach. The South Ridge of Superior is considered a "Wasatch Classic" scramble with a lot of exposure and big views. It is highly recommended that if this is your first time taking this route, to go with someone who knows the way and can also help coach you through tough and exposed spots.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Hiking to Silver Lake & Silver Glance Lake

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Hiking to Silver Lake & Silver Glance Lake, American Fork Canyon, Utah
Silver Lake in American Fork Canyon is a beautiful high alpine lake that sits just below the Little Cottonwood Canyon ridgeline on the south side. This moderate trail slowly gains elevation, so it's not super hard to reach this awesome destination. The trail passes by some boulders, crosses a stream, climbs up 3-4 long switchbacks, and finally reaches the lake after only 2.2 miles (one way). This is a great hike for dogs to be off leash, and there is plenty of water for them to drink from. Bring some snacks, and take in the scenery at Silver Lake, or for those needing some extra mileage, continue on to Silver Glance Lake.

Hiking Sulphur Creek, Capitol Reef National Park

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Hiking Sulphur Creek, Capitol Reef National Park
Sulphur Creek is located in Capitol Reef National Park and provides a beautiful water hike through a narrow canyon, with subway-like channels, cutting through layered, orange and red sandstone. It's considered the "Subway" or "Narrows" of CRNP, though really it lives up to it's own name. The water is rarely more than ankle deep and there are three waterfalls that you can easily bypass, one forces you to slide down it's 5 foot drop!

Monday, August 19, 2019

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.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Backpacking Death Hollow, Escalante

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Backpacking Death Hollow, Escalante, Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
Death Hollow is located in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, just outside of Escalante, Utah. The first 6 miles of the trail follows the Boulder Mail Trail - the old route, that even up until 1924, the mules would carry mail on from the residents of Boulder, UT to Escalante, UT. Boulder, UT is right along Highway 12, which wasn't even paved until the 1970's, was the last area in the US to gain automobile access! No matter how much this area has changed due to technology, you'll immediately find yourself in the backcountry and won't see people for days. Over our 3 day adventure, my friend and I only saw two other people the entire time.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Hiking Mt.Whitney

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Hiking to Mt.Whitney, Hiking Mt.Whitney in 2020, Hiking the highest point in the lower 48 states, hiking in California
Mt.Whitney (14, 505 ft) is the highest peak in the lower 48 United States, the tallest peak of California, and sits a full 2 miles above the town of Lone Pine, CA! Hiking Mt.Whitney is on many peoples' hiking/backpacking bucket list but requires a long day of hiking, if doing it in one day. This 20 mile round-trip trek is not for the faint of heart - it gains just over 6,100 ft of elevation over 10 miles one way. But wait, that's not even the hard part. Getting a permit will be your first step - only 1/3 of 17,000 applicants are rewarded a day hiking permit! Combined with backpackers hiking through the John Muir Trail (JMT), close to 20,000 people will summit Mt.Whitney in one year!

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Hiking to South Tent Mountain, Sanpete County High Point

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Hiking to South Tent Mountain, Sanpete County High Point
South Tent Mountain (11,285 ft) is the Sanpete County High Point, and an amazing hike along a ridge with wide, open views the entire hike. Most people chose to hike South to North (on the South end of the mountain) and just aim for the South Tent saddle. However, we hiked the entire ridge to also bag North Tent Mountain (11,230 ft). The ridge is a very easy hike, and no technical gear or scrambling is required. This route is only 5 miles RT - only a little longer than the traditional saddle route, yet you'll bag two peaks.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Hiking to Mine Camp Peak, Millard County High Point

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Hiking to Mine Camp Peak, Millard County High Point, Utah county high points
Mine Camp Peak (10, 222ft) is the Millard County High Point (CoHP), and one of the easiest to summit out of all the CoHPs at only 1 mile round trip. The drive will take much longer than the actual hike, so be prepared to spend close to half a day at least to summit this peak, and make the drive in and out. Mine Camp Peak should be combined with other peaks in the area since it's so short. In one weekend, we knocked out Brian Head Peak (Iron County High Point), Andy Nelson Peak & the Kane County High Point, Cascade Falls, and South Tent Mountain (Sanpete County High Point).