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.

Nov 1, 2018

Beehive Traverse - Through the Heart of Capitol Reef's Waterpocket Fold

Sometimes things can come together so well it's as if catching lightning in a bottle.  That happened this fall when such things played out into allowing me the opportunity to fulfill one of my top bucket list hikes since I found out about it.  To do what's been called the Beehive Traverse, a route that takes one through the heart of the geological wonderland that is the Waterpocket Fold in Capitol Reef National Park.  It is a 17 mile route for the main leg, plus an additional 8 to 9 for an optional extension.

Aug 15, 2018

Bryce Canyon and Beyond

For our big family vacation this year, we opted to head south to check up on Bryce Canyon and visit and explore a few other features nearby. In fact, we'd only spend one day at Bryce and ended up setting up our base camp down at nearby Kodachrome Basin State Park.  I had wanted to take the family to Yellowstone for this trip but we decided to hold that one off for another year.

Aug 14, 2018

Hayden Lake: A Reverse Relay Trip

Over the summer, after my wife had successfully enjoyed her first solo overnight trip in the Uintas, we hatched an idea to do a reverse relay trip of sorts whereby I would drive up to a trailhead in the Uintas and hike out to a destination for the night, then continue on to another trailhead where she'd meet me with our kids at another trailhead and then she'd do the same course in reverse, driving my car home.

Jul 19, 2018

5 Guys on a Trail: A Tour of the Southwestern Uintas

What happens when three guys from Ohio and two guys from Utah get together to spend five days in the High Uintas Wilderness when the only mutual connection between them all is Youtube? Amazing happens!

Earlier this year, a guy named Tim Watson who runs a well-followed YouTube channel was scheming with his two neighbor buddies in Ohio (both named Josh) about where they were going to take what has become an annual big backpacking trip for them out west.  Devin, a fellow local Utahn friend of mine who I came to know first through YouTube as well, pitched to Tim the idea to come out to Utah.  Things got serious quickly and plans were made for the three Buckeyes to to fly out to Utah for a meet-up this past July.  This is the story of that amazing trip!

Jul 4, 2018

Ruth Lake Drop Off

After a month of getting out with the kids, one by one, I convinced Jessica that she needed a night out.  She had never done a solo backpacking trip before, so I helped her choose a location that was short, simple, yet offered seclusion on a mid-week night where she could feel safer and a bit more confident.  A lake neighboring Ruth Lake in the Uintas was chosen for her first solo backpacking stay.  For a family activity, the kids and I would escort her in and help her choose a campsite then leave her be.

Jun 27, 2018

A Night up Provo Canyon

Not to be left out, Everett wanted to go camping with Dad as well.  I obliged by taking the opportunity to take him up nearby Provo Canyon for a relatively quick night of camping at Nunn's Park right next to Bridal Veil Falls.

Jun 21, 2018

Fern Lake: Chasing Friends in Grandaddy Basin

Granddaddy Basin in the Uintas gets a lot of love it seems.  It seems to have quite a reputation of being a great fishery and is a popular go-to destination for those whole like backpacking in the Uintas.  For the number of trips I've done in the Uintas, this is a basin I'd yet to spend any time at.  Then an opportunity to do so suddenly presented itself when a friend and a friend of his reached out and invited me along on a trip.  They were going to spend 2 nights touring the basin, work limited me to just one...

Jun 20, 2018

South Draw Loop

After a night out with Raylee, it was now time for to trade her out for Lennox.  For this little adventure, we'd do a bit of off-road driving with the South Draw Road through Capitol Reef, making a loop of it, followed by a night of camping just outside of the town of Torrey.  My father-in-law rode along for the drive part.

Jun 19, 2018

A Night at Sand Creek

One week after annual outings with Willow and Ellory, respectively, it was now time for Raylee.  For this trip we returned to Torrey where we dropped off my son Lennox to have a night with my in-laws while I took Raylee for a night of camping up nearby Sand Creek.

Jun 12, 2018

A Pleasant Overnighter Down Pleasant Creek

After a fantastic night with my oldest daughter, Willow, down in Willow Gulch, it was time for another round of Daddy-daughter backpacking with my next oldest daughter, Ellory.  For this trip, I'd return to Capitol Reef's Pleasant Creek so that Ellory could experience it for the first time.

Willow meets Willow Gulch

Paying a visit to Willow Gulch has been on my radar for a number of years, but given the drive and distance to it, it was something I've continually put off.  It was also something I've wanted to take my daughter Willow to, given the shared name.  This June, things finally worked out to make it happen.  Willow Gulch would provide the destination for our annual father-daughter outing.  It would also be Willow's first time backpacking in the desert.

Jun 5, 2018

Backpacking Pleasant Creek to Sheets Gulch

My planned route for this ended up being altered recently.  I had originally planned to start at the same spot and then find my way out to Oak Creek for the finish, but this past spring, I had studied out the map more and grew more curious about Sheets Gulch. After doing some research on it, I found it to be a much more appealing way to finish this hike.  So..to exit via Sheets Gulch it was.  But even that turned out to be more difficult than it needed to be.

Apr 12, 2018

Cathedral Valley

For the many visits made to Capitol Reef National Park over the years, we'd yet to make a drive into Cathedral Valley.  Having recently acquired a somewhat high clearance 4WD SUV in the form of a GMC Yukon XL for our family, we took the opportunity to spend a day driving the Cathedral Valley Loop as a family while on Spring Break.

Apr 11, 2018

Halls Creek

If you've been following me and my posts over time, you probably know how often I visit the Capitol Reef area.  With my in-laws now living in Torrey and my wife being a great-great-granddaughter of the man considered to be the father of Capitol Reef National Park, Ephraim Pectol, I've essentially married into the park.  With the many visits over the years, I've been trying to get familiar with as much of the park as reasonably possible.  Halls Creek and its narrows had been looming for a long time.  Thinking it might well be the best of the park, at least subjectively, I had been saving it for last, with some meager plan to progress southward through the park. Alas, after reviewing some older and newer trip reports by others on a forum I frequently participate in, I couldn't resist any longer and took the opportunity to make a trip to it sooner.

Apr 8, 2018

A Night on the Wedge

For March, I had penciled in a camping trip with all my kids "somewhere in Southern Utah".  As the date for it grew closer, I settled on a spot on my list of places I had yet to see that was still kid friendly...a place in Emery County out on the northern flanks of the San Rafael Swell known as The Wedge.

Mar 9, 2018

Camping in Moab: A Land Before Time

After taking his sisters out for a camping trip the prior month, it was now my son's turn for a camping trip.  Since he loves dinosaurs so much, I took him down to the Moab area where we enjoyed a dinosaur-themed trip, visiting some dinosaur fossil and track sites, a dinosaur museum and park, in addition to a few other points of interest in the area.

Jan 31, 2018

Bluff Balloon Festival 2018

Two years ago, I was fortunate enough to meet up with some friends for an overnight camping trip down in my first visit to Valley of the Gods with the expectation of waking up to balloons rising nearby as part of the annual International Bluff Balloon Festival.  Weather conditions kept the balloons grounded that morning.  This year, I opted to return, this time with my daughters, in hopes the weather would be more accommodating to the balloon pilots this time around.

Jan 10, 2018

1st Trip to Yellowstone National Park

In August, I had the opportunity to accompany a youth group consisting of young men from our church congregation on a trip to Yellowstone National Park.  This trip would be my first trip to this iconic, world-famous park.

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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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