Cross country skiing in the Uintas is one of my favorite winter activities! I've been cross country (XC) skiing since 2008 when I lived in Montana. My favorite place to ski was Lone Mountain Ranch, but when we moved to Utah, no resort compared to that. So, I had to find new places to ski, and of course, I wanted to bring Charlie along. Yes, Utah has some small xc ski resorts like White Pine Touring, but you can't bring dogs to those places. Round Valley is a nice dog-friendly option but gets boring after awhile. The past few years I've been dying to get out and xc ski in the Uintas but didn't have a good car to get there in winter. I was afraid my little Sonata would get stuck, and I didn't want to deal with it.
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.
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.
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!
The Top 10 Hikes in American Fork Canyon (called AF Canyon by locals) are located near Lehi, Utah and home to the Timpanogos Cave National Monument and Alpine Scenic Loop Road. In summer, you can drive over the entire scenic loop road, however in Winter it is closed for a bulk of the road. You can still enter via the East entrance at AF Canyon or via the South entrance in Provo Canyon just past Sundance Resort. AF Canyon is home to several outdoor activities - biking, camping, swimming, backpacking, dirt biking, snowmobiles, and of course my favorite, hiking!
Backpacking with your dog is one of the most enjoyable bonding activities you can do together. Whenever I pull out Charlie's Ruffwear Pack he starts jumping around - he knows that another adventure is around the corner. There's nothing that compares to seeing Charlie's smiling face as he runs free in the back country, then having him snuggle me by the campfire after a long day of hiking and exploring. With the right planning and preparation, your trip will be fun, safe, & memorable!
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.
Hiking the Pine Hollow Trail in American Fork Canyon is a great hike year-round for the whole family. Plus, you can bring your dog along! AF Canyon is home to several scenic trails, including the famous Timpoonekee Trail, Stewart Falls, and First Falls, but one of the lesser known trails is Pine Hollow. In Winter this trail offers beautiful snowy views of the nearby Mt. Timpanogos to the Southwest, and a view of Heber, Utah to the East. In Summer, Pine Hollow offers a well-shaded path for those needing some cool relief, and in Fall the mix of reds, oranges, and yellows offer amazing photography. To reach the Pine Hollow Overlook in summer, use this trail guide.
The Pine Hollow Overlook is in American Fork Canyon, and provides an amazing view of the North side of the Timpanogos basin. It's a perfect hike in Fall because you pass several meadows and Aspen groves that showcase their Fall colors, plus the temperatues are cooler. There are several access points for the overlook - the official Pine Hollow Trailhead, Tibble Fork Reservoir (the longest route), the Salamander Flat Campground, the Summit Trailhead, or how I did this, was via the Alpine Loop Road.