Sunday, December 6, 2015

Mueller Park

Mueller Park in Bountiful is a great natural open space in a deep windy canyon. The ultimate end goal is Elephant Rock which we finally made it to a few years ago. It is nearby so we have visited quite a few times, but it’s been a while. We had a nice December day today so I thought it would be a good winter hike.

Quick Details:

Length: 3.2 miles to Elephant Rock. about 1.75 to the pipeline scar.
Difficulty: DR3 not too bad, nice wide flat packed path. Beginning goes up quickly, but it eventually mellows.
Elevation Gain: About 1000 ft.
Restroom: I believe there are some in the picnic area beyond the fee station, but nothing before the fee station.
Dogs? Yes! Please clean up after your furry friends.
Extra Info: This is a fee park. Last I heard it is $3.00. From what I can tell, this is to use the picnic area and you don’t have to pay if you park below the fee station. Which is where the trailhead is.

Directions: From I15, take exit 315 (Bountiful 2600 S) east towards the mountain. 2600 s eventually becomes Orchard Dr. Take this to 1800 S and turn right. Follow that all the way up to the sign. Mueller Park is a fee park, but this hike is before the ranger/fee station (cross the bridge on the right just before the station).


The snowy creek from the bridge.


And the creek again. Unfortunately you only get to enjoy it for a brief moment before climbing the switchbacks up.

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Christmas in the woods! I don’t know why, but this little bit of holiday cheer gave me a moment of joy. So thanks random person for doing this! I do hope you will return to collect them after the holiday is over though.


And through the snow! Oddly enough the beginning of the first switchback is the steepest and slickest part (at least to the pipeline scar). If your shoes make it past this, you will probably be fine. Although I still recommend a good hiking pole, which we stupidly forgot today.


Although, there were quite a few sections with no snow at all, so maybe my earlier statement is not accurate.


Patches of snow.


Tiny, trickle of a stream built up some ice..


The higher we get the more snow we encounter.


On the other side of the canyon we can see the tree line for Kenney Creek.


A view down canyon into the valley below.


Random structures. Very Blair Witch looking. I don’t recall there being 3 of these last time. Looking back at my post it seems there were 2 and one was collapsed. Whoever is building them seems to be persistent.


From inside the closest one, looking at another one.

Still on the fence as to if these are make shift hunting blinds, forts built by kids living nearby, or some random art project. Still kind of neat though.




Not much further the canopy opens up to allow the first good view of Elephant Rock.


Looking up one of the many side canyons you swing into on the way up. These make the trail seem shorter than it actually is. You can see the destination and it doesn’t seem too far, until you swing back into these side canyons enough times.


Another opening allows us a view of Elephant Rock and the peaks above it.



And not much further we reached our intended destination today, the pipeline scar. Which, 5 years later looks exactly the same. I really hoped that it would start filling in by now, but no such luck.


Huh, I don’t recall seeing those switchbacks above Kenney Creek before.


Looking down canyon.

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Looking towards Elephant Rock again. The pipeline scar is about halfway to the rock. So, if you get a late start consider that when you reach this point.

Like I said, due to our late start this was the destination of the day, so we enjoyed the view, and decided to head back down.

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Looking down canyon again. Starting to get a hint of a good sunset.


Snowy trail through the woods.


Neat tree.


Hills and clouds. Meh sunset.


Bare forest in the snow.


Back to the random structures.



Snowy tunnel.


View down again.




And the pine forest again.


Back to the random Christmas Tree.

This is a great early winter trail. There are a couple steep slopes which combined with the snow make it a little nerve wracking but for the most part it isn’t too bad and is a good trail to explor in winter. 7 out of 1 squirrels.

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As for difficulty, again it is generally fine in the winter nice and wide flat packed earth. DR3.

Dogs are allowed! Please clean up after your furry friend.

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Friday, November 13, 2015

Wild Rose Loop

The Wild Rose Loop is one of quite a few great little trails in the Wild Rose Trailhead Park in North Salt Lake. It is an easy 2 mile loop trail that takes you up to Sunset Point which has a fantastic view of Davis County. For some reason, all 3 times I have been here I have only done the Lookout trail which is another great trail. I decided to do this one today because it is on the North side of the canyon and would offer more sun and hopefully less snow. Plus it is new.

Quick Details:

Length: 2 mile loop. (1.7 if you take the shortcut).
Difficulty: Pretty easy not a lot of climbing. DR3.
Elevation Gain: about 350 ft according to my pedometer app.
Restroom: At the trailhead
Dogs? Yes! Please clean up after your furry friend.

To get here take US 89 in NSL to Eagle Ridge Dr. Go up the hill about 2 miles and turn right on Eagle Point Dr. Turn left on Sky Crest Ln. and you will find a nice community park. The trailhead is up past the picnic tables.

There are quite a few trails but there is pretty good signage. The loop trail starts about 500 yards or so beyond the park.

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So after the park you’ll go through a short wooded section, and then it opens up to a clearing. Look to your left and you will see the beginning of the loop.


Looking up canyon. This trail actually take us out of this canyon and around the ridge.


And before long you have a pretty great view of the valley below.


It looks like a mini observatory on that house below.

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Here is the top view from where that massive landslide occurred a little over a year ago. It looks like they are finally doing some work on it.


Coming around the ridge.


Panoramic view of Davis County. You can see this section of the trail is above the golf course.


Still some snow from the recent storm.


Another great view before going around the ridge.


And more snow. Not too bad though, the summer hiking boots were still fine through it. However it would appear if I am going to be hiking above the benches, it is time for the winter boots.


Looking at the switchback above.


Ponds at the golf course.


Looking up the next canyon over. Is that another landslide? I think this may actually be North Canyon which is another great hike around here.


Roxy always find the random animal carcasses.


A smidge of fall color is still hanging on.


Nice little bench to take a rest.



Through the snow! I think this was the worst of it.


here is that switchback from before. Even with the snow I wasn’t as nervous as I usually am on open slopes. It’s not too steep or high that if I did slip and fall I wouldn’t go down too far too fast.



Some more color.


Heading back towards Wild Rose Canyon.


Some more color.


Looking at the peak above, from the other trail it looks like there are some caves under those rock formations.


And some of the other trails criss-crossing up the mountain.


The swamplands of The Great Salt Lake. And the beginnings of inversion.

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Better above shot of the landslide.


I believe this is the destination. It is, but we still have a bit of a climb to get to it.


There are quite a few benches along the way.


Not a bad view from this one.


Heading out towards Sunset Point.


Bench on the edge of the world.


But what an incredible view! I seriously need to come up here before sunset one day and enjoy the vantage.


Panoramic. After enjoying the view for a while I decided to continue around the loop.


Oh neat, there is a trail up the ridge to the rock formations. I might have to check that out some day.


View down the valley.



Nice trail down the other side.


There are actually quite a few helpful trail signs along the way down. Probably due to all the various trail splits in this section.


Roxy was not particularly feeling the trail, so I decided to to take the shortcut. I’m not sure how much this takes off of the 2 miles, but I would wager maybe a quarter mile. (I found a sign that says .3 so I was close).


Little bit more snow.


The end of the loop with the shortcut. It was downhill, but I think this might be the quickest route to Sunset Point.


Lots of trails.


Oh, I was pretty close with that quarter mile. With shortcut it is 1.7 miles. without the shortcut it is 2 miles. However I am confused the other trail head sign said 2.5 miles. I wonder what the discrepancy is. Possibly the extra section before the trail split or that plus the extra trail to the point.

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The landslide from the street.

Well, that was a great hike. There are amazing views throughout and the Sunset Point view is amazing! Oddly enough, even though this is fairly close I have yet to visit during summer. This tends to be the go to ‘early spring, late fall, winter hike’ for us. I might have to rectify that eventually. But it is a great trail system for this time of year. Not a whole lot to see, but the views are pretty great, and it is not particularly crowded so going with 8 out of 10 squirrels.

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As for difficulty, this is seriously an easy trail. There are some open slopes, but they are not particularly steep. Going with a DR3.

Dogs are allowed! They even offer bags at the trailhead, although I still recommend you come prepared with your own just in case.

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