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.
My feet hurt, but my pictures are top notch.
My mother in-law came to visit this weekend, so we took the opportunity to check another Utah adventure off of our to-do list: The Bonneville Salt Flats.
I read a lot of reviews before we left. About 50% said something like, “one of the major stops in Utah.” That is a pretty strong statement considering that Utah hosts some of the most amazing national parks in the country. The other 50% of the reviews were a little more meh: “I wouldn’t drive out of my way to see it, but if you’re there, get out of the car.” Those are two very different reviews. I was intrigued and had to know which was right. After a few hours of driving and a little poking around, I’ve written my own review, posted below:
It photographs well.
– Jen on the Bonneville Salt Flats
First of all, there’s no park associated with the salt flats; in fact, there isn’t even a road sign. We happened to pull into a rest stop to check the map and realized we were there when we saw people out walking around on the salt. We got out of the car and walked across the gravel to the edge of the flats. There was a pool of inch deep water covering shards of spiky, flesh destroying salt rocks.
I slowly picked my way through the pool. The water was very clear and thick. Cupping the water in my hand almost felt like holding a handful of fine sand. The pool reflected the landscape making a mirror effect that was quite pretty.
It wasn’t nearly as large as I had expected, but it was still an interesting view. The picture opportunities were amazing. I might even go so far as to say my pictures are way better than the actual view. You’re welcome.
The Bonneville Salt Flats is also home to the Motor Speedway where land-speed records have been set. Challenge accepted!
Salt Lake Overlook is a great after-work hike in the Mill Creek Canyon and totally worth the 10 minute drive from downtown Salt Lake City.
Salt Lake Overlook is a great after-work hike in the Mill Creek Canyon. It is a 4.5 mile, there and back hike up Desolation Trail. The hike up was very pretty, but with a decent amount of elevation gain. There were only a few other hikers and a good number of dogs on a Thursday evening, but I’ve heard it can get quite crowded on weekends. Once at the top, we had an amazing view of South Salt Lake, the Great Salt Lake, and the beautiful green canyon with patches of jagged rocks. I could sit up there all day.
There is a $3 fee on the way out of the canyon that requires credit/debit card or exact change. Totally worth the 10 minute drive from downtown Salt Lake though. It is particularly worthwhile if the hike includes a colorful sunset.
We all got tickets to the Orderville Gulch hike in Zion National Park. But…. there were signs of rain (flash flood), so we had to cancel the hike and go with Plan B.
Our wonderful Utah friends planned yet another grand Utah adventure for us.
We all got tickets to the Orderville Gulch hike in Zion National Park. It is an 11 mile, technical hike and is said to be quite similar to the Narrows, but with a little extra fun. The hike requires several hours of hiking, repelling, wading, and swimming.
But…. there were signs of rain (flash flood), so we had to cancel the hike and go with Plan B.
Plan B was Kanarraville Creek Trail in Kanarraville, Utah. It is a moderate, 4.8 mile, round-trip hike along a creek and through a short slot canyon. It is far less technical than the Orderville hike, but still includes a few hours of hiking, two ladders up waterfalls, and quite a bit of wading in cold water.
I really enjoyed this hike. It started with a hot walk through some brush along the creek. Then we entered the slot canyon where we had to wade through water the rest of the way. The water was quite cold, but after the time in the heat, it was a pleasant reprieve. There were a decent amount of people also hiking the trail, but I only really noticed at the waterfalls where we had to wait in a short line to climb up.
The waterfalls were a blast. Josh is afraid of heights, water, and pretty much any structure that has even the smallest possibility of collapse. The waterfalls were only about 8 feet tall, but was still a startling adventure, even for me. It took some coercing to get Josh to climb up the slippery log spattered with loose nails for foot holds, but he did it and was pretty proud of himself.