Tuesday - February 21, 2017
As typical with these meet-ups, the plan was to meet at the trailhead early in the morning. That we did. We threw on our spikes and started up the trail.
Willow Height Trailhead
First aspen grove
Hiking through the aspen grove
Once we hit a big clearing beyond the first section of trees, we stopped to put on our snowshoes. There was new trail to be broken.
At the first clearing
Soon after, we reached the frozen and snow-covered Willow Lake. Here we could look back and enjoy a nice view back across the south side of Big Cottonwood Canyon and Solitude Ski Resort.
At the edge of Willow Lake
Solitude Ski Resort from across Willow Lake
Skiers high up on the slopes
From Willow Lake, we continued on through another ice grove of Aspens before circling back around the other side of the lake and back down to the trailhead.
Moving on from Willow Lake
Back at the 1st clearing
Crossing the clearing
Descending back into the first grove of aspens
Because we had some extra time, we drove down from the Willow Heights trail to the parking area for one of the most popular little hikes in Big Cottonwood: Donut Falls.
Snow covered bridge
Looking up Mill D South Fork
Almost to the falls
Looking up inside Donut Falls
Once finished with the hike we sought out a place to have a little pot-luck lunch that the group leader often likes to do.
I had hoped to also fit in a hike up Lake Blanche, another area I had not yet been to before up Big Cottonwood Canyon. Due to the weather taking a turn for the worse and because I would not have enough time before I was expected back home, I pushed that one off for the week after.
Willow Lake was a nice little area and it may be a hike I'll need to take my daughter Willow up to sometime this summer. Being only about a mile in length, it's definitely one that could easily be done after work or even before work, depending on the shift I'm working that month.