The Casual Hiker™

Trails, Tips, & Other Topics

Bell Canyon (Lower Falls) February 11, 2013

(top to bottom): Bell Canyon lower reservoir, milkvetch, canyon stream, nearby rocky cliffs, Bell Canyon Lower Falls

(top to bottom): Bell Canyon lower reservoir, milkvetch, canyon stream, nearby rocky cliffs, Bell Canyon Lower Falls

Bell Canyon (Lower Falls)

Bell Canyon (Lower Falls)

The trailhead parking area is conveniently located off Wasatch Blvd. Bell Canyon ultimately leads up to Lone Peak.

  1. Follow the signs and navigate the neighborhood to reach the canyon mouth. The trail quickly steepens. For about 1/4 mile, you’ll clamber over some small boulders too.
  2. The trail evens out to a more modest incline. This section features the rugged beauty of Utah desert scrub: sage, Gambel oak, and rabbit brush.
  3. At a half mile at the lower reservoir, go north to wrap around this little body of water. Follow a wide maintenance dirt road.
  4. About a half mile, watch for the trail sign to turn off the road and head east. After 5 – 10 minutes, the trail becomes forested.
  5. Go over a little wood bridge another 1/4 mile in. After this, the trail forks to the left and stays to the southside of the stream. Meandering trails intersect the main trail. Look for fresh footprints and other tell-tale signs to stay on trail.
  6. About 5 minutes after bridge, go with the steeper, rockier trail (although the other ones look tempting). Stay on this rocky staircase for about .5 mile.
  7. The next trick is to find the waterfall. After you’ve crossed over a wet section (or a spring during the snow run-off), go another 5 minutes. At a split in the trail, go left, leaving the rockier incline.
  8. Follow the sound of rushing water. Careful getting there: the trail is eroded. Grab branches for stability.
  9. Near the waterfalls are great slabs of granite. Enjoy a picnic while taking in the panoramic views of the canyon and Salt Lake valley.
  10. Return the way you came.

Bell Canyon alternatives

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What is a Casual Hiker? February 10, 2013

(top to bottom): Blanche Lake, Timpanogos, Dog Lake (Millcreek Canyon), Catherine’s Pass from Albion Basin, American Fork Canyon

(top to bottom): Blanche Lake, Timpanogos, Dog Lake (Millcreek Canyon), Catherine’s Pass from Albion Basin, American Fork Canyon

This blog is for you…

if you’re a casual “athlete” like myself. When I hit the trails, I meander and dawdle, pausing to smell the flowers and photograph the stunning panoramic views, and then reward myself with a granola bar when I reach the mountain top. No one would accuse me of being a hard-charging mountain goat.

When you’re a casual hiker, you set the bar. A plethora of reasons beckon all types of hikers—all ages and fitness levels. You don’t need to be a specimen of perfect health or fitness. I’m certainly not. I have a bad lower back, bum knees, and a foot and ankle that bore the weight of a dropped 800cc motorcycle, which—three surgeries later—can only flex a few degrees.

So don’t be deterred by love handles and aging joints. It’s beautiful outside, and hiking (and snowshoeing when the white stuff hits) is fun. If you’re interested in the exercise angle, you’ll discover hiking to be a lot more interesting than an hour on an elliptical machine. And when you reach the mountain top, you’ve earned bragging rights.

Start out easy. Go at your own pace. Stop and enjoy the scenery. It isn’t a race.

I hope this blog offers something for you: easy hikes, butt-kicking hikes, picnic destinations, panoramic views, wildlife watching, wild flower extravaganzas, waterfalls, and dog-friendly trails.

Explore our beautiful state. You won’t need to travel far.