Saturday, August 15, 2009

Recent Outings

Time to catch up on some outdoor activities. A few weeks ago I took my daughter Autumn (4 1/2) up Big Cottonwood Canyon. We drove to the top of Guardsman Pass, parked the car and hiked up the ridge heading to the south. The views were fantastic, particularly looking to the east. There were lots of mosquitos though, so we decided to try something else. We drove down to the Brighton area and ended up at Silver Lake. We were there for about an hour. There are wooden walkways and trails that encircle the entire lake. It is a beautiful place and a particularly good choice for kids, because it is convenient and very accessible. Next time we'll have to bring our fishing poles!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mountain Biking in Bell Canyon

Ryan Beck and I got out for a good ride up Bell Canyon last night (Ryan and I have been friends for many years. We rode and raced mountain bikes together in the mid-90s. One of our most memorable trips was the World Mountain Bike Championships in Vail, Colorado in 1994). We decided to take the service road up and the singletrack down. Wow...I forgot how steep that service road is! Add a few loose sections of rock and sand and you've got yourself a very challenging climb. Hopefully next time I ride it I won't have to walk as much. The nice thing is you gain elevation quickly and in a short time you have excellent views of the valley, particularly dimple dell park and the hidden valley area. After a long drink and enjoying the view of the reservoir we continued up the road until we crossed the stream (there is a small utility building with a sidewalk that spans the stream so getting wet isn't required, although in the heat it might have been nice). We took a short singletrack section up to an area with a handful of very large granite boulders and wondered if they had been climbed much. We didn't see any bolts or anchors. We then rode back down past the small building and turned north onto a fun singletrack trail just before the trail drops steeply. The singletrack winds around a bit, crosses a wooden bridge, and then reconnects with the service road right in the middle of a steep, loose section of road, requiring a hard right turn. I wish that stretch of trail was longer. We headed back up the road but this time turned left before getting to the stream. This is the trail that will take you all the way up Bell Canyon. We went a short distance then turned right onto another singletrack section that meanders through the forest back toward the south. This trail must not see very much traffic, as the tall grass nearly concealed most of it. It was fun rolling along, trying to stay on the trail, with the soft grass brushing against my legs. This section meets up at the utility building, so from there we headed back down the same as before. This time, partway through the singletrack section we turned left onto a trail that took us down to the reservoir. We followed it around to where the outlet stream is, hopped a few boulders to get across, and climbed up the other side. There were a number of people around the reservoir, fishing, etc. The single track descent was excellent. We came across a few hikers, as expected, but not enough to ruin the fun. There is a section of 8-10 very tight switchback turns about half-way down the trail. I surprised myself at being able to ride them, but a few them I barely made without putting a foot down! The whole ride was a little over an hour. Great time, and for me, a great workout (not nearly as challenging for Ryan). The above picture shows the Bell Canyon Reservoir, but right now it is actually much fuller than shown in this picture.

New Blog Template

This "Search and Rescue" blog template was created by friends Richard and Lisa Robbins. They have a website offering lots of free templates for websites and blogs, at Hopefully this doesn't give the wrong impression about recreating in the Utah outdoors! I haven't required search and rescue in the past, and I don't plan to in the future.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Welcome to Outdoors Utah

I created this blog to write about the fantastic outdoors that Utah offers. I enjoy many outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, mountain biking, rock climbing, skiing and snowshoeing. After spending a few years living in other states my family and I recently returned to Utah and I'm excited to rediscover the amazing outdoors that Utah has to offer. I intend to write about the various outdoor adventures that I experience. Perhaps others will find these entries useful.
Volleyball Net Free Blogger Templates