Monday, September 2, 2013

Alpine Slide


Hidden in a small town of Utah is a spectacular natural water slide. I have been wanting to do this particular adventure for quite some time. I was worried it was getting too late in the year and there wasn’t going to be enough water. I also worried that due to it being Labor Day Weekend the area would be packed! Luckily I was wrong on both counts.

The hike itself isn’t particularly great as you are hiking up an old, abandoned road for most of it. The end prize though is what makes this one worth it.


The trail head has these scary signs, however we didn’t have any problems.



Starting the trail up. I really hope we don’t get rained out!



Ok I said the hike in wasn’t so great because you are walking up a road, but it is still gorgeous.



Some pretty sunflowers.


More flowers.


The creek. Phew I was starting to wonder if we were still going the right way. This looks like it may have been landscaped some.


Starting to see some fall color. Crap, we might want to consider some scenic drives sometime soon.


Sage and bee’s.


I do love all of the amazing mountain views on this “trail”.


At first I thought this was just an old access road, but there are fire hydrants every 50-100 feet. It’s starting to look like they started building a new subdivision in and then for some reason abandoned it. I wonder what the story on that is.


More gorgeous mountain views.



After about a mile hiking up the old road you come to what was described to me as the “helicopter pad type thing.” Or you know, a cul du sac. There is another fire hydrant here. There is the trail trail-head at the end of it.


Just a couple feet in you will see this trail split. I was correct in thinking you want to go to the left.


Ah, now we are entering the woods!


Pretty little trail.


Just a couple hundred feet or so and you’re there!



There were quite a few people here, however; considering it is Labor Day Weekend, this isn’t so bad.

Maybe I was excited, or maybe I was just overheated from the unsheltered trail, but I immediately set to work on removing excess clothing so I could get a sliding!


Scoping it out and watching some other people do it before I try it out.


When I read about this adventure I read that the best approach is from the left side, and the right side is doable but a little more precarious, however everybody was going from the right. So as I was looking everybody started asking if I was going to do it, I said yea, just trying to figure out the best way up, and this nice man offered to show me the way. I love how friendly the locals usually are in Utah.

The climb up was a little on the scary side. I am really proud of myself for overcoming the fear of slipping and falling and just going for it. The worse part is the first 6 feet up, after that it wasn’t so bad.


Okay, I can do this… the next hurdle is willing yourself to throw yourself down a slick rock waterfall, and hope everything will end well.




It is a lot quicker ride than it seems! Watching other people go down it looked pretty painful, but actually it was a fairly comfortable ride.


The pool at the bottom was also quite a bit deeper than I had anticipated. I didn’t expect to go all the way under. The water was cold, but not frigid, unbearably cold. Just the initial shock of hitting it and having no choice but to go all the way under, but otherwise not so bad.

Now that I have done it, the climb up is definitely scarier than the slide down. The slide down is AWESOME!


A very nice lady offered to take our picture. She went above and beyond trying to frame it and not get all the kids in it. Thank you kind stranger!



And then, somehow I managed to get a few shots of it without any people in it! Aside from being fun to slide down, it is also a rather pretty little waterfall.


Now Landis decided to give it a go. Like I said the first part of the climb up is the worst part.




Woo! Big splash!




Here I go again.


Nobody looks cute resurfacing. LOL.



Landis gives it another go.


Pretty popular little spot but everybody was being polite, respectful, and friendly.




These kids had a better idea of going from the left (while looking at) It seems completely counter intuitive, but it does assist in avoiding the launch at the end that we saw a few people hit going from the position we both tried.


Ok we had our fun, but it was time to start heading back.


We decided to check out the where the other trail went and discovered the road is washed out by the stream.


Just to the left of that was another side trail that led to a bridge. Here is a view from that.


Beautiful cloud cover at the circle below the trail head.


Some pretty wildflowers.



Pretty hillsides.


Nice shot of Utah Lake.


With some sunflowers.


Bee farm.


Yep. Autumn is coming.


And a last parting shot of the mountains.

Ok this was an amazing adventure and I am so glad we did it, and I am super proud of how brave we both were today in being a little more adventurous than usual. Overcoming quite a few ridiculous little fears allowed us to fully enjoy and appreciate this particular adventure.

As I mentioned it’s not really a “hike” walking up a paved road, however it is beautiful and the end prize makes it all worthwhile. There were quite a few people, however considering this was Labor Day weekend it was not as packed as I had expected. All in all, this one really gets the full 10 squirrels. Heck I might even throw another one if if I could.

squirrels 10

As for difficulty. I must go with a DR3 to get to the waterfall. It is mostly paved, some of it dirt road, and then a quick jaunt through the woods to get to the falls. If you plan on sliding well that would jump it up to a DR6 I think this would be my first DR6. You have to kind of rock climb up precarious wet, slippery rocks, and then end up in over waist deep water and then scramble up sharp boulders (which you don’t really notice as you are trying to get out of the cold water). No scrapes on me that I have noticed yet, but that is the case.

If the “approach to the left” really is easier, I didn’t see it. There was a trail up around that was quite a bit out of the way but it seemed fairly steep as well, and I wasn’t wearing the right shoes for it so we turned back around.