Saturday, July 25, 2015

2015 White Pine Trail Hike


After running 11 miles in the morning I had to make a decision: what to do next?

Initially I thought about going up north to Logan or Pineview Reservoir and hiking around, but I was looking at the clock and it was inching closer to noon.  Couple that with the fact that I was thinking about going to Wendover on Sunday, I figured I'd spare my car the miles and head back up to Alta and revisit White Pine Lake.

Readers may recall that I did the hike in 2013, and you can see the pictures and recap here.  Since 2013, I haven't been back up there (well I started to go for a hike there late spring of 2014 but the trail was still too snowy) and I've always wanted to get back up there.

The Hike

The first part of this trail is shared with the trail to Red Pine Lake, probably the more popular of the hikes.  White Pine has the same ascent, but it is spread out and the climb is less intense.  It also changes scenery frequently.

The first part of the hike is a gradual uphill and at about a mile in the trail splits, one going to White Pine and the other going to Red Pine.

You climb a bit more before it levels off and you get a respite from the hills.  It is also heavy pine and I always feel like there is going to be moose in the area.  The only wildlife I saw were a handful of deer and a snake or two.

Eventually after getting through the pines (which smelled heavenly) you begin some more ascent.  You also get to walk through some flowery meadows, which at this time of year smelled great.

The final mile or so is all rock and contrasts greatly from the initial part of the trail.  There is virtually no shrubbery or trees of any sort and you can see for a long ways.

After getting through the rock garden you descend into a grotto of pines and you are greeted with the beauty of White Pine Lake.  I had forgotten just how pretty this lake is.  It seems to almost magically drop off the end of the mountain, giving it an appearance of an infinity lake.

It took me about 2 hours and fifteen minutes to make it to the top and that was booking it - but not running.  I got the impression from others that it took 3 hours (or more) and I saw some people in pretty bad shape up there.  Looked like the distance and the altitude had gotten to them.

Overall a great hike.  Enjoy the photos:

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