Donut Falls Hike

We have a million and one things to do before we move out of our apartment this week, so why not take a half-day break to go on an adventure?

Today, we drove about 20 minutes out of town up Big Cottonwood Canyon to the Donut Falls Trailhead. We had done this hike before, but were very disappointed that it didn’t look anything like the pictures we had seen. Turns out we didn’t actually get to the end of the “trail” last time. We did some further research and gave it another go.

The trail is usually pretty heavily trafficked, but we went early in the afternoon and in the off season. We had the place to ourselves on the way up and the ground was frozen and patched with snow. On the way down, we had plenty of company and the ground was super muddy and wet.

The hike is pretty basic and nothing to write home about. The star of the show is the waterfall tucked away at the end of the hike. There is a sign at the end of the trail warning hikers not to climb on the rocks, but we are rebels (In reality, I spent the whole time chanting “stay safe, no insurance”).

Not only was it just a nice reprieve from our daily chores, it was our first chance to try out the GoPro. For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be like Samantha Brown. Well girl, here I come.

Antelope Island State Park

Hell on earth.

It was just one of those days. We woke up and knew we had to go somewhere. Not somewhere important, just somewhere. When we use to get this feeling back in Eugene, we would do something crazy like take the two hour drive up to Portland just to eat at our favorite taco restaurant, Por Que No, then drive right back home again. It’s a total waste of useful time, but I kind of think that is the point.

So, after much debate, we decided to go to the near-by Antelope Island State Park, which came highly recommended by just about everyone we know here in Utah… It turned out to be another case of what we’ve come to call Utah Colored Glasses.

Utah Colored Glasses: Utahns have such a positive outlook on life and can have fun doing nearly anything. I’m happy for them, but it makes it very difficult to get useful recommendations out of them. “Oh, you like every taco restaurant in town? Great…” 

Antelope Island was the worst. As we tried to find the perfect catch phrase for the place, we kept coming up with names like “Hell on Earth” and “Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland.” Our first stop was at the pier to see if I could spot any birds and to touch the water. We realized our mistake the second we opened the door. Our noses were immediately filled with the smell of rotting flesh and sulfur, the car filled with small flies, and my horror reached peak levels when I saw that every branch had a thumb sized spider hanging from it. It was horrifying.

Next, we headed to the “beach.” We got pretty excited when we saw the excitement of the other visitors. The parking lot was full of vans packed with picnic baskets and umbrellas. Many of the people were wearing swim suits and holding frisbees.

Turns out, this was not that kind of beach. It took a minute to make it all the way out to the water. The dirt (not sand) was super crunchy and littered with small, dead animals. The closer to the water we got, the stronger the smell and the worse the flies. I looked down at one point and couldn’t even see the blue of my jeans, only a mass of tiny moving creatures all over my legs. We, of course, ran.

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We decided to spend the rest of the trip in the car. It was a pleasant drive with some nice views. We saw some of the ranched buffalo and eight out of the listed 250 bird species, but since we refused to leave the car, we missed the antelope and big horned sheep that are also said to live there.

Overall, we had a great time. I’m sure it would not have gone so well had we not already been in one of our adventure moods. But we had a blast just spending the day playing out scenes of post-apocalyptic scavenging, practicing our Utahn version of the story, and playfully complaining about every little thing.

I’m so lucky to have a partner that makes nearly every moment fun. Maybe we’re becoming a little more Utahn after all.