Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Walk in the Wasatch

The Mouth of the Canyon
I love painting outdoors, but on occasion I feel the need to leave the painting gear behind and just hike. Last Saturday was one of those times. I gathered my day pack, canteen and hiking stick, and headed for one of the local canyons in the Wasatch Front.

A Little Ways Up the Trail
The canyon trail is a little steeper than some people like, but it's been one of my favorite places to hike for many years.

One of the Few Wooded Sections
The lower canyon was full of birdsong; spotted towhee, canyon wren, chickadee, jay, with many other avian songsters adding their notes to the open air concert. Even the humming birds joined in with their high pitched chatter.

Towering Cliffs

A Couple Miles Up the Trail

A Look Back Down Toward the Valley

Another Wooded Section of Trail

First Meadow, Right Fork in the Upper Canyon
Upon reaching the meadows near the top of the canyon, rainy weather caught up with me. I decided to keep walking up canyon anyway.

Rain clouds Move In

Up in the Aspens

Provo Peak, Viewed from the First Meadow, Left Fork, Upper Canyon
I passed through a meadow I call Moose Meadow. It's the first meadow up the left fork trail in the upper canyon. It was here last September I was chased out of the meadow by a big bull moose. There was plenty of moose sign, but no moose showed themselves this time.

Buckley Mountain, Seen from Moose Meadow.

Violets That Are... Not Violet

Wild Forget-Me-Nots. With a Particularly Memorable Pink One

Up through More Stands of Aspens
Closer to the pass, the view opened up again and the rain cleared up. Up on the 8130 ft. pass the aspen trees were just beginning to bud.

Just Below the Pass

The View South from the Pass

Looking North from the Pass
I know where I am when I reach the pass, but I guess it's not official unless there's a sign there. The sign did make a handy place to dry out my rain gear.

State Forest Coat Rack

The Rest of My Things
The meadow on the pass was a good place to sit down, rest, have another drink of water and something to eat. After that, I went up a little higher for a better view of the Wasatch Mountains.

Mt. Tinpanogos
Time to retrace my steps and head back down. I refilled my canteen at a spring in Moose Meadow, then headed back into the canyon and down to the trailhead.

Provo Peak with Moose Meadow in Shadow

Rock Outcrop in the Canyon

Evening Light

Final Image: Firecracker Penstemon
It was, for me, a long hike. But with the birdsong, wildflowers, wildlife seen (a couple lizards, a squirrel, and three mule deer), the brief rain shower that overtook me and moved on, and the wonderful views, it was a great day for a hike!

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