The Casual Hiker™

Trails, Tips, & Other Topics

Grandeur Peak (via Church Fork) May 3, 2017

Grandeur Peak (via Church Fork)Grandeur Peak2

  1. The trailhead is past the paved Church Fork picnic area. Hike through the picnic area to enjoy the waterfalls.
  2. Pipeline intersects the trail. Go to the left a few steps, then right at the fork. The rest of the trail is obvious.
  3. The first mile is shady and cool with a mountain stream. Then it becomes more exposed and steeper with switch backs.
  4. At saddle, go to the left and along the ridgeline. At this point, you’ll have views of Parley’s Canyon and the north end of the Salt Lake valley. There will be a steep section with minor rock scrambling.
  5. Pass a grove of juniper.
  6. Once passed, go left for final rounding of Grandeur Peak. Again, some minor rock scrambling is involved in a few places.
  7. Ta da. At top, you’ll have a  360° view of Parley’s, Lamb, and East Canyons to the north, Salt Lake valley, and the length of Millcreek. Enjoy a picnic and relax before the return trip along the same path.
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Panoramic Views February 10, 2013

Martha Lake near Catherine's Pass, American Fork Canyon, and and view from Sunset

Martha Lake near Catherine’s Pass, American Fork Canyon, and and view from Sunset

An obvious attraction is the panoramic view afforded by many trails along the way or at the final destination: valley views, stretches of mountain peaks, and glimpses of other geographic wonders, such as the Great Salt Lake.

A hike may be more about the journey than the destination…but what a lovely destination! I’ll go after that carrot anytime.

Consider these trails for views that won’t disappoint:

  • American Fork Canyon
  • Antelope Island
  • Bell Canyon
  • Catherine’s Pass (Albion Basin to Brighton)
  • Cecret Lake
  • City Overlook (via Desolation Trail)
  • City Overlook (via Rattlesnake Gulch and Pipeline Trails)
  • Grandeur Peak (via Church Fork)
  • Lake Blanche (via Mill B South Fork)
  • Mt. Olympus

(more links to come…)

 

Dog Friendly Trails

City Overlook

At the top of City Overlook trail

If you have a dog, take him along. You know he wants to go.On “dog friendly” trails, I love to take my hiking buddy, Elvis, a natural-eared Doberman. I enjoy his companionship and clownish antics. Meanwhile, hiking exercises the 110-lb canine in a way that the neighborhood jaunt never can.

Being in Utah, a desert “where God don’t give water free,” most mountain canyons are closed to dogs to protect watersheds. The national parks also ban dogs on hiking trails. State parks are friendlier, with the exception of Deer Creek State Park and the Rock Cliff area at Jordanelle.

Leash laws vary. State parks require leashes at all times. Millcreek, one of the few dog-friendly canyons along the Wasatch Front, alternates days on leash requirements: leashes “off” on odd days, leashes “on” on even days.

City Overlook trail

City Overlook trail

Protocol for cleaning up after your dog involves carrying plastic bags (such as one from a grocery store), scooping up the offending matter, and tying off the bag to deposit in a trash receptacle. Some hikers, if returning along the same route, leave their baggies by the trail side to be retrieved later. If you do so, please remember the bag. We need to keep complaints from other trail users to a minimum, so we can continue to take our dogs along on the few trails open to them.On a side note, fleas and ticks are practically a non-issue in Utah. The dry weather and high altitude are less than ideal conditions for fleas. The ticks—which I’ve yet to encounter—apparently aren’t infected with Lyme disease. Lucky us!

If you’re looking for trails that both you and your dog can enjoy, check out:

  • Burch Hollow
  • City Overlook (via Desolation Trail)
  • City Overlook (via Rattlesnake Gulch and Pipeline Trails)
  • Dog Lake (via Big Water Trail)
  • Elbow Fork to Lamb’s Canyon
  • Elbow Fork to Mt. Aire
  • Grandeur Peak (via Church Fork)
  • Mt. Olympus
  • Neff’s Canyon
  • Pipeline
  • Scout Falls

(more links to come…)