WasatchWill

Spring Break 2017: Day 1

Hiking and camping at Nevada's Valley of Fire State Park

Lake Blanche in Winter

Winter was the season for my first visit to Lake Blanche.

Winter at Utah Lake State Park

A weekend of winter wildlife viewing and scenice views at Utah Lake State Park.

Chimney Rock & Hickman Bridge

Revisiting the Chimney Rock Loop and Hickman Bridge in Captiol Reef National Park.

Ruby Falls Cave

A tour of the Tennessee's beautiful Ruby Falls Cave within Lookout Mountain.

Myakka River State Park

Wildlife viewing and more at Florida's Myakka River State Park.

Shelling at Marco Island

Hunting seashells and sand dollars at Florida's Marco Island.

Stewart Falls

An early winter's visit to a locally popular waterfall.

Buffalo Peak

A fall family hike up to Buffalo Peak.

Highline Trail: Day 5

Documenting Day #5 along the Uinta Highline Trail.

Jul 27, 2017

Bullion Canyon & Delano Peak

For some time now, I've been wanting to bag Delano Peak of the Tushar Range in Fishlake National Forest down in Southwest Utah.  Delano Peak is the highest peak in the Tushars, the third highest range in Utah, beneath the Uintas and La Sals.  Standing 12,169 feet above sea level, It is also the highest peak of two Utah counties: Beaver and Piute.  For those aiming to bag all the county high points in Utah, like myself, it offers a twofer.

Initially, I thought I'd end up hiking it the typical way which is to drive up from Beaver to the west and then hike the route up the western face of it.  However, after studying out maps a bit more, I saw that it could be done from the east via Bullion Canyon just outside of Marysvale, but with a few more miles of hiking.  Logistically, approaching it from the east actually made more sense for me, because I could make a drive over from Torrey whenever my family was visiting down there.  A prime opportunity presented itself when my family recently went down for the weekend of July 24.  Due to the distance I still had to drive to the trailhead, weather patterns for the season, the distance up the trail and so forth, I opted to make it an overnight backpacking trip.  Little did I know just what a treat I'd be in for.

Jul 24, 2017

Clyde Lake Loop

My sister, Melinda, was in town from Phoenix for a conference and had wanted to hike Mount Timpanogos.  However, I dissuaded her on account of the sketchy snow conditions that remained up on Timp and because she had some recent problems with her feet, only recently being cleared by her podiatrist for more aggressive activity.  She had never been hiking up in the Uintas, so I figured the Clyde Lake Loop would be a perfect way to introduce them to her.

Jul 18, 2017

Allsop Lake - High Uintas Wilderness

For a meetup with friends, mostly inspired by Adam from last year's Highline Trail trip, we opted for a more casual trip up into the Uintas this year.  We chose Allsop Lake, a place neither of had been yet.  I reached out and invited a few others along to join us as well.  In the end, we ended up as a group of five, including a buddy of Adam's who would be backpacking for the first time.

Jul 11, 2017

Lone Peak

Lone Peak is a peak I had been intimidated by for a number of years now and so I always managed to avoid it because of both the distance, the gain, the lack of shade and water, and the exposure along the final stretch up to it.  With my goal to summit all seven most prominent peaks of Utah Valley, I couldn't avoid it any longer.  It was now time to put it in the bag.  While it can certainly be done as a brutally long day hike, I took the opportunity to turn it into another overnight backpacking trip.

Jul 3, 2017

Daddy-Daughter Backpacking: Rock Canyon and...Stewart Falls?

Rock Canyon is a beautiful canyon whose trailhead is only about 2 miles away so it serves as another convenient place to pull off a quick overnighter.  Ellory's daddy-daughter trip turned into an unintended three day trip spanned over 2 weeks.  Details on that later in the post....Ellory was actually the first of my three daughters I took backpacking this year.  Like Willow, I took Ellory up Rock Canyon with the same intent to summit Squaw Peak but that ultimately turned into a hike up to Stewart Falls the following week instead.

Jun 30, 2017

Spanish Fork Peak

Spanish Peak has been another nearby peak that I've had my sights on for several years.  It's not a terribly difficult hike or anything technical.  It's one that's just always been close enough that it's been easier to push off to another day.  That wouldn't happen again.  I took an opportunity to take my dog, Sophie, out and put this peak in the bag.

Jun 27, 2017

Daddy-Daughter Backpacking: Rock Canyon & Squaw Peak

For Willow's daddy-daughter trip, we spent a night up in nearby Rock Canyon where we took the opportunity to hike up to Squaw Peak, Willow's first significant peak-bagging experience.

Jun 23, 2017

Daddy-Daughter Backpacking to Horse Flat

Each year I strive to take each of my kids who are old enough and able enough out on a backpacking trip for some one-on-one time, adventuring and experiencing the beauty of nature together.  On this trip, I took my youngest daughter, Raylee, out for an easy mile into an area called Horse Flat.

Jun 9, 2017

Slide Canyon - Slate Canyon Loop and Provo Peak

For this trip, my house became the trailhead.  I am fortunate to live within a mile of Provo's Slate Canyon trailhead and about two miles from Provo Y Mountain trailhead which also serves Slide Canyon, and so I chose to loop the canyons together.  It's similar to a trip I've done before with some friends a couple of years ago, only this time, I'd do the loop in reverse, ascending Slide Canyon, then descending Slate Canyon back to my home.  This time I'd take a side trip up toward Y mountain summit to make camp for the night before making another side trip to ascend Provo Peak...again.

Jun 1, 2017

Two Backpacking Trips in One at Capitol Reef

Over Memorial Day Weekend, I enjoyed an amazing two night backpacking trip.  In one way, you could say it was actually two different trips in one due to the fact that my wife was able to join me for the second night, and even though the same trailhead was used for each night's destination, those destinations were in radically different directions from each other.

May 18, 2017

Backpacking to Diamond Fork's Fifth Water Hot Springs

Eager to take my new Tarptent Notch out for its first night on the trail, I ended up selecting a very popular destination not far from home: Diamond Fork's Fifth Water Creek Hot Springs.

May 11, 2017

Spring Break 2017 - Day 6: Lee's Ferry & Horseshoe Bend

Day six of our trip featured an early morning hike up the Spencer Trail at Lee's Ferry for myself, followed by a visit to some of the historic Lee's ferry cabins, Navajo Bridge, and nearby Horseshoe Bend with the family.  We ended our day in Torrey, Utah to stay our final night of our trip at the home of Jessica's parents.

May 10, 2017

Spring Break 2017 - Day 5: Slide Rock State Park

On day five we turned our journey northward back toward Utah.  We drove through Sedona, Arizona to make a stop at Slide Rock State Park before moving on to Lee's Ferry to set up camp for the night.

May 9, 2017

Spring Break 2017 - Day 4: Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

On day four we explored the nearby Green Valley Waterfall trail near our camp at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park.  We then set off for Casa Grande, Arizona to visit and stay the night with my parents as well as to visit some siblings.

Apr 27, 2017

Spring Break 2017 - Day 3: San Diego Zoo & Ocean Beach

Day three featured a full day's visit to the San Diego Zoo followed by a quick drive out to Ocean Beach.  We finished off the day setting up camp at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park.

Apr 23, 2017

Spring Break 2017 - Day 2: Valley of Fire, Joshua Tree NP, & San Diego

Day Two of Spring Break 2017 started out with a bit more exploring in Valley of Fire State Park followed by a stop at Joshua Tree National Park before finishing off in San Diego.

Apr 20, 2017

Spring Break 2017 - Day 1: Valley of Fire State Park

Spring Break for this year has come and gone but left in its wake many memories with adventures in places both new and old.  Our first day would take us to Nevada's Valley of Fire State Park.  For Jessica and I, it would be our 2nd visit having camped there for the final night of our honeymoon, but for the kids, it was their first.

Mar 6, 2017

Winter Hiking to Lake Blanche

Due to weather and lack of time the week before, I returned to Big Cottonwood Canyon to hike up to Lake Blanche.  This hike is a very popular hike all year long and it's one that's been on my list for a long time, but never did set aside the time to drive up and do it, until now.

Feb 22, 2017

Winter Hiking to Willow Lake & Donut Falls

With a day off from work, I joined up with a local Facebook hiking group for a short hike up into an area I had not been before and then to an area I had: Willow Lake and Donut Falls.

Jan 31, 2017

Winter at Utah Lake State Park

I recently discovered that Utah Lake State Park was known to be a winter home for a few bald eagles.  After experiencing the thrill of seeing one out in the wild on a recent trip to Florida, I was eager to see if there really were some only minutes away from my home.

Jan 18, 2017

Chimney Rock & Hickman Bridge

For Martin Luther King Jr. Day Weekend in January, we went back down to Torrey to visit the in-laws.  While there, Jessica and I were able to hike the Chimney Rock Loop followed by a short hike to the Hickman Bridge Loop in Capitol Reef National Park.

Jan 13, 2017

Ruby Falls Cave

Tennessee has a lot to offer from the Great Smoky Mountains of the Appalachians to Graceland to the world famous music hub that is Nashville.  Nothing may be more beautiful and spectacular in Tennessee however, than Ruby Falls Cave.  Jessica and I took the opportunity to tour it after awaking in the town of Chattanooga where we had stayed for our first night of our drive back from Florida to Utah.

Jan 12, 2017

Florida's Myakka River State Park

While on our visit to South Florida, I had hoped to sneak in a drive out into the Everglades to look for some alligators as we had gotten to see on a day trip to Miami from Ft. Myers on a prior trip several years ago.  Unfortunately, our schedule became so full of other activities we couldn't swing it.  However, the man assisting with my grandmother's trust referred to us Myakka River State Park, knowing it wasn't much out of the way for Jess and I on our drive north out of state and back to Utah.  It was said to be full of gators.

Jan 11, 2017

Shelling at Marco Island, Florida

While visiting Florida on some family business at the end of December, my wife and I took an opportunity to spend an afternoon out on Marco Island in Florida.  It is known for being a place where sand dollars can often be found along its shores, and that was reason enough to go out there.  I had collected plenty of seashells before as a child living in Florida and on visits to other beaches, but never a sand dollar.  We also found the wildlife to be abundant as well.

Jan 4, 2017

A Drive from Florida to Utah

This post is slightly different from the norm usually found on this blog. While not wholly about an outdoor adventure along a trail or out in the backcountry, this trip did feature visits to some natural settings and landscapes with an abundance of wildlife and a gorgeous cave. However, it also included a lot of history and other sight-seeing stops throughout western and central Florida and across much of the country. I wanted to document it all just the same...

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About Will

Will Will lives at the footsteps of Utah's famed Wasatch Mountains. He enjoys hiking, camping, backpacking, sports, running, vegetable gardening, nature, food, photography, art, and spending time with his wife and kids.

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