Sunday, May 4, 2014

Little Cottonwood Trail Hike, Alta, Utah Part 2

Today afforded the opportunity to go for another awesome hike.

With the mountains still under quite a bit of snow, I decided to hit up Little Cottonwood Canyon trail again and go a bit further than what Shari and I had explored a few weeks ago.

I parked in the same spot and decided to wade through the bone chilling water.  I had hoped to find a different and more sane place to cross but I did exactly what I did last week.  The water seemed colder and deeper than a few weeks ago, but I made it across, dried off and proceeded to go north.

I can really haul up this trail.  It is wide, easy to navigate and the inclines aren't that bad.  Within short order, I had made it to the first mill where Shari had backed off 2 weeks ago.  I jumped over a stream and kept climbing.

The trail at times got spotty as it led through a copse of pine trees.  The smell was incredible and what was even cooler was the Little Cottonwood Creek was constantly by my side (so no chance of getting lost).  I managed to find a secluded spot and just sat in solitude appreciating the babbling creek.  I'd love to bring a picnic lunch up here or a book.  The weather was absolutely perfect too: sunny and in the low 70's with a slight breeze.

I kept climbing after this and the trail got dicey.  There were several spots were a wrong step could send you plunging into the icy waters below (but you'd survive).  After a bit though the trail dumps you into what looked like another tributary stream and my pace slacked off.  I hadn't seen anyone in a while and I wasn't wearing hiking boots.  The fact that I was climbing up rocks with a stream below me didn't sit well with me and I wasn't even sure I was on the trail anymore.

I decided I had had enough and turned around.

Instead of crossing the stream to get back to my car I decided to go further down the canyon.  I had seen a service road (private property) link up with the trail and figured I'd come to that and then go and walk up the main road.  However, I did cross a bridge and climb up an embankment on a well-marked trail and it popped me up right at the mile 5 marker on Little Cottonwood Road.  A quarter mile walk later I was back at my car, dry and basking in a glow of a nice hike.

Enjoy the photos:

I sat about 30 minutes here enjoying the view

Old mill

Still snow on the mountains

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