Hike 41: Bonneville Shoreline Trail (again!)

Hike 41
11/11/16
4.56 miles
Bonneville Shoreline Trail

I know I’ve done this trail more than a few times this year, but it’s convenient, close to home, and a good workout. I’m fairly sure today is the last time I will hike this trail this year, but I can’t promise anything.

November 1st marked the start of another Hike it Baby 30 Challenge month, so I added a couple of hikes to the calendar for the SLC branch. Two moms requested I add this hike, so I was happy to oblige. Two moms met me at Hidden Valley Park and we set out. It was quite chilly in the shade where the sun hadn’t peeked over the mountains yet. I remembered my sweatshirt this time… and one for Matthew. He must have been tired that morning because he fell asleep within about 15 minutes of hiking and slept through the majority of the hike.

We made great time to the Bear Canyon Suspension Bridge and from there continued on past the bridge to see what the trail was like. With previous hikes, we always turned back at the bridge.

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I spy some California Poppies in Utah!

Past the bridge, it was clear why this trail is so popular with mountain bikers. It’s a little flatter and a lot less rocky. It also had some beautiful views of the hills above Draper and the Point of the Mountain. We speculated just how far it goes south, wondering if it links up with other trails we know of. A quick search online confirmed that the BST does indeed go all the way to the Point of the Mountain. From there, it stops, but picks up again in American Fork Canyon and goes all the way to Provo Canyon. Someday all of these trails will be connected!

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We hiked for just past two miles before deciding to call it quits and turn around. Another day we will consider hiking further, or meeting at a different trailhead and exploring the BST in the Corner Canyon area of Draper.

Matthew wanted to touch the boulders, he said they were “soft.” I’m skeptical!

When we got close to the end, all of the kids were awake and the two toddlers were anxious to go play on the playground. I had also promised Matthew he could walk the rest of the way.

Gear:
Líllébaby CarryOn Toddler Carrier, Frosted Rose
Ahnu Sugarpine Waterproof Hiking Boots
Hydroflask Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Canon 70D
18-135mm Zoom Lens

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Hike 40: Willow Heights Trail

Hike 39
11/1/2016
2 miles
Willow Heights Trail to Willow Lake

I just learned about this trail in Big Cottonwood Canyon a few weeks ago when a friend hiked there and posted some gorgeous photos on Instagram.

It was already late enough in the season that we missed out on the gorgeous foliage, but she added it to the calendar anyway. We’ve been having some really gorgeous weather and since November 1st marks the beginning of another Hike it Baby 30 Challenge, I want to actually get some miles in before the weather turns into real winter. Last November it was already really cold and many of our favorite canyon trails were covered in snow. I also wasn’t brave enough to try hiking in the snow just yet. This year will be different for sure!

The beginning of the hike is all uphill and steep in some parts. Just when you’re tired and wishing it would flatten out, it does and you’re left with a wide and beautiful meadow.

It was actually pretty chilly the morning of our hike, mid 30s, and we got some snow and sleet on us at different times. I was having a STELLAR day when it came to remembering anything though. I managed to forget Matthew’s coat. I had dressed him in wool, base layer pants and then fleece over them, so his legs were plenty warm. But a coat would have been smart since it was in the mid 30s!

Luckily, I keep a hooded blanket in the trunk of my car. It’s designed to clip onto the straps of a baby carrier and provide extra warmth and coverage when babywearing. Two layers of fleece, some elastic and snaps and it works like a charm. I can’t put it on my back alone, someone has to help me, but it’s great for these chilly days… or when I forget his damned coat. The blanket I have was made by a mom local to me who has a shop on Etsy: LittleMonsterStudioo

I also managed to have three dead batteries for my camera. So I hiked with a dead weight on my shoulder and go no photos from it. At least I had my phone.

For being pretty cloudy and desolate, it was still beautiful. I will definitely hike this trail again in the spring and fall to see the aspen again. The toddlers were excited to see snow in a few spots too. The reflection of the trees in the small lake was really beautiful.

Here you can see the nifty blanket that was keeping Matthew warm.

Matthew had fun throwing a couple of rocks into the water. He walked around for a few minutes before getting wrapped up again.

Thanks to the magic of Photoshop, here’s a group shot.


Gear:
Líllébaby Essentials All Seasons Baby Carrier
Ahnu Sugarpine Waterproof Hiking Boots
Hydroflask Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Hooded Fleece Babywearing Blanket

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Hike 39: Bonneville Shoreline Trail with my Dad

Hike 39
10/25/16
3.4 miles
Bonneville Shoreline Trail to Bear Canyon

My parents came to Salt Lake City for a couple of days this week as they were on their way back home to the Bay Area after spending a little while in Kansas City visiting with my grandparents. The trip caused my dad to mess up his workout regiment, so I took him on a hike one morning while my mom slept in. We didn’t want to spend all morning hiking, so we stuck close to home and I took him on a 3+ mile trek on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, my usual path from Hidden Valley Park in Sandy to the Bear Canyon Suspension Bridge. It’s a great trail for a workout if you keep a steady pace. I had Matthew on my back too.

We set out just after 9am and most of the trail was in the shade of the mountain. We set a quick pace and got to the bridge in just over half an hour. I snapped a few photos, but the hike was meant to be quick for the workout.

Once we got to the bridge, Matthew was free to get down and run for a few minutes.

Lovely morning, looking north.

Gear:
Líllébaby CarryOn Air Toddler Carrier
Ahnu Sugarpine Waterproof Hiking Boots
Hydroflask Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Canon 70D
18-135mm Zoom Lens

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Hike 38: Desolation Trail

Hike 38
9/27/16
4.4 miles
Desolation Trail, Millcreek Canyon

Millcreek Canyon is a couple of canyons north of us and a popular canyon for hiking and mountain biking. It’s really popular for dog owners too since it’s not a watershed canyon. On odd days of the calendar month, dogs can go off leash. On even days they have to be on a leash, but mountain bikes are allowed as well. I have only ever hiked this one trail, but I’d like to explore some of the other trails one day.

I hiked the Desolation Trail in late August last year and it was one of the hardest hikes I’d done at the time. There are quite a few switchbacks and climbs and it was pretty hot that day. The trail wasn’t high enough in elevation to really get out of the summer heat. The overlook of the Salt Lake Valley totally made it worthwhile, but that trail kicked my butt.

A year later, I felt like my body was hopefully in better shape, even with a heavier toddler on my back. I added it to the Hike it Baby calendar this week. Three other moms joined me for the hike and we made our way up to the Salt Lake Overlook.

It was a warmer day that we expected and the fact that I got maybe four hours of sleep took a toll on me. I was grateful to be hiking with very understanding moms!

The leaves and trees were still gorgeous, but it was apparent they were almost done with their annual shedding.

The fairy tree is still there. It looks like it’s been cleaned up a bit since I was last here. Some day, I want to see if there’s a geocache there! Unfortunately, there’s no cell signal in this canyon.

The colors on these leaves made me stop in my tracks to take a photo.

Scrub oak, cottonwood and other trailside shrubs, almost done shedding for the year.

Just a few patches of colors left.

Once we got to the outlook, the kids were allowed to roam a little bit. Matthew was thrilled to collect rocks and build a little house for his toy Peppa Pig.

Gotta love the view!

And my favorite photo of the day:

Gear:
Líllébaby CarryOn Air Toddler Carrier
Ahnu Sugarpine Waterproof Hiking Boots
Ultimate Direction Kaviti Hydration Pack
Canon 70D
18-135mm Zoom Lens

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Hike 37: Stewart Falls

Hike 37
9/22/2016
4 miles
Stewart Falls, Aspen Grove Trail

With the Hike it Baby 30 Challenge going in full force, I added a few hikes to the calendar with hopes I would be able to surpass the 30 mile goal, maybe even hit 40! Maybe.

I wanted to hike to Stewart Falls down in Provo Canyon one more time this year before the snow started falling, although, I’m curious if it’s a hike I could try with snow shoes. Something to consider!

The forecast was calling for thunderstorms that day, but my phone was saying the rain wouldn’t start until mid afternoon, so I braved it along with a couple of local moms, Hailey and Ana with their babies. It was damp and misty out, and it definitely looked like it was about to rain. But it was but still gorgeous.

The fall leaves were absolutely stunning! I’ve lived in Utah for five years and this is the most vibrant I’ve ever see the trees. It was a struggle to focus on driving, let alone hiking!

Rain from the day before dampened the trail and kept the dust to a minimum, which was nice.

Misty!

The falls themselves were still beautiful, albeit a little drier than when I last saw them in July.

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Matthew was once again THRILLED to be able to toss some rocks into the water.

The clouds threatened rain, but by the time we got to the falls, the clouds parted and left us with some gorgeous views of Provo Canyon!

This is about as close to the water as either of them would get.

My smiling boy and me.

Gear:
Líllébaby CarryOn Air Toddler Carrier
Ahnu Sugarpine Waterproof Hiking Boots
Ultimate Direction Kaviti Hydration Pack
Canon 70D
18-135mm Zoom Lens

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Hike 36: Little Cottonwood Trail

Hike 36
9/15/2016
6 miles
Little Cottonwood Trail

I hiked along the Little Cottonwood Trail with a couple of local Hike it Baby moms back in May and I liked the trail so much, I added it to the calendar this week now that the temperatures have come down and the summer heat seems to be done for they year (I hope I didn’t jinx that!). The fall foliage is in full force in the canyons along the Wasatch Front and we were definitely wowed.

I really like this trail because it’s wide and follows Little Cottonwood Creek, and a large portion is in the shade. It’s also long-ish, a little less than three miles to the end and only 1000 feet in elevation gain. So while it’s all uphill going in, it’s gradual. The workout is deceptive; you aren’t really aware that you’re working until you reach the end and realize, wow I’m tired! Then it’s ALL downhill heading back to your car.

It was actually chilly when we got started in the morning, and SO nice to hike in long sleeves again. Matthew even kept a beanie on the whole hike!

Two local moms joined me with their toddlers and we headed into the canyon with plans to cross the road at the end and play at Lisa Falls before heading back down.

Fall is definitely in full bloom here in Utah. It’s gorgeous!!

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My memory of where the trail turned left toward the road was a little fuzzy, but I had thought it was pretty clear where we turn. It wasn’t, and we hit the end of the trail in a spot that was completely new to me.

Funny enough, I was talking about a photographer’s blog I had read where he visited the ruins of an 100+ year old building that was in Little Cottonwood Canyon and how I hoped to explore it with my boys one day. Then bam! Two minutes later, we were there!

Based on a little Google searching, some speculate the building used to be a church, but I doubt it. There are a couple of large chutes that look like something was drained directly into the creek. It’s much more likely that it was a mill or housed some sort of early 20th century electric turbine. The rushing creek perhaps helped generate electricity for the town of Alta at the top of the canyon or the little mining town that used to be about halfway up the canyon, back when mining was the bustling industry, before it became skiing.

There is no bridge to get across, so I will have to find a spot where the water is shallow enough to hop along the boulders. It’s not something I’m willing to do with Matthew on my back (at least not today I wasn’t). But I’d love to go back and explore these ruins another day.

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Annoyingly, we tried to find the trail that leads to the road and then up to Lisa Falls with no success. At least we got to some sort of destination and enjoyed beautiful scenery along the way.

And there were plenty of rocks to throw into the water!

And Matthew made a couple of friends. One of these guys was crawling on his sleeve at one point. I wish I had taken a photo, but I was busy making sure he didn’t freak out.

As we were heading back down, the sun finally came out and gave us a little bit of blue sky.

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Gear:
Líllébaby CarryOn Air Toddler Carrier
Ahnu Sugarpine Waterproof Hiking Boots
Ultimate Direction Kaviti Hydration Pack
Canon 70D
18-135mm Zoom Lens

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Hike 35: Adams Canyon, Lower Falls

Hike 35
9/12/2016
2 miles
Adams Canyon, Lower Falls

With my husband out of town for work for a couple of days, I decided to go full-on, slacker mom mode in an effort to get a few more hikes in while the weather is gorgeous in September. My sink is currently full of dishes, laundry is sufficiently piled up, and there are toys strewn in pretty much every room of the house. They can wait.

I hiked into Adams Canyon in Layton last September with Hike it Baby and I plan to go again in a couple of weeks, but it’s not an easy hike and it’s one I would prefer to do while my first grader is at school. While browsing for ideas on other waterfalls, I ran across a post from The Salt Project (a blog about fun stuff to do with kids in Utah, including hikes). They explained how to get to the lower falls at Adams Canyon and how it’s a quick two-mile hike roundtrip. Sweet!

I decided to risk taking both boys after picking up Tommy from school this afternoon. This is a risk because my oldest is prone to boredom whenever we do anything remotely “hike-ish.” We stopped to pick up some sandwiches at Jimmy Johns and then drove up to the trailhead, a good 35 miles north of us. Adams Canyon is a popular trail, so I wasn’t surprised to see lots of other cars in the lot.

This trail starts out with some very annoying switchbacks that go through soft sand. They’re in the sun and really no fun at all, as you can see in Tommy’s body language here. Kind of cool that we can see Antelope Island and the Great Salt Lake at the horizon though.

A short way up the trail, this marker has been added to commemorate Elias Adams, for whom the canyon was named after.

Using the directions from The Salt Project’s post, we found the correct trail pretty quickly. This kind of shows the only “hard” part of the hike. This little section is very steep and we all needed to sit down to climb down this section.

We played in the water, threw a few rocks, got our feet wet, and enjoyed a picnic dinner.

This is as close as he was willing to get to the water.

The real magic for me was the 20 minutes of silence I enjoyed while we were all eating our sandwiches and listening to the waterfall. My boys are almost 7 and 2.5. Silence truly is golden.

We played for about an hour and a half and we never saw any other hikers, we had the waterfall all to ourselves!

Having a little fun with a slower shutter speed!

Looking back at our picnic spot from right next to the falls.

I tried to prop the camera on a rock to get a photo of all three of us, not too shabby! Tommy is pretending he’s diving into the water.

I absolutely loved this late afternoon hike for the light! The sun was just starting to set and was casting a warm glow over everything. I really need to figure out some more hikes at this time of day… ones that my oldest will still be willing to do!

Having some fun with the light!

On our way back to the car, the moon started to rise over the mountains too! Matthew was VERY excited to see it!

We had so much fun on this hike that I added it to the Hike it Baby calendar and we will be going again this coming weekend!

Gear:
Líllébaby CarryOn Air Toddler Carrier
Ahnu Sugarpine Waterproof Hiking Boots
Camelbak M.U.L.E. Hydration Pack
Hydroflask 24oz Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Canon 70D
18-135mm Zoom Lens

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