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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