Sunday, September 27, 2009

Twin Lakes Reservoir

Every hike is unique, with different people, trails, & unique experiences. We walked through a golden forest of aspens and a wonderful time of prayer at the reservoir.

DESCRIPTION: A great hike for beginners, kids, and those out of shape.Enjoy walking the boardwalk around Silver Lake, and climbing over the pass to Twin Lakes Reservoir.
MILEAGE: 1 mile hike to the lake. 800' elevation gain.
HIKE TIME: 40 minute up, and 30 minutes down.
RATINGS: Newbies ~ technical (with rocky sections, hiking poles recommended)
TRAILHEAD: At Brighton, Utah, at the Silver Lake facilities.
RESTROOM: Available at Silver Lake

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Grand Canyon Backpacking Adventure

The weather man forecast, 30% chance of rain for all four days; but God gave us a light sprinkle the first day and sunny weather during our adventure. That is why it is important to pray all summer, for good weather and safety.

DESCRIPTION: Backpacking the Grand Canyon from the North Rim to the South Rim. Four days of hiking and three nights sleeping at backcountry campgrounds on the Corridor Trail. We hiked down the North Kaibab trail and up the Bright Angel Trail.

Travel to the Grand Canyon

North Kaibab Trailhead ~ Elevation 8,241'
Parking can be hard to find. The trail begins at the lower end of the parking area. This is a good place to pray and take pictures, before your journey.

Coconino Overlook
Hiking down a forest of fir trees, you will come to an overlook. This is a great place to drop your pack and take pictures.

Supia Tunnel ~ Elevation 6,800'
1.7 miles from the North Rim
Great rest area, with restrooms and water.
The tunnel is the gateway to the classic Grand Canyon.

Roaring Spring ~ Elevation 5,200'
4.7 miles from the North Rim
You'll come to a sign, it is a 1/2 mile drop down to the day use area. There are restrooms; but we found the water line was broken.

Resident House (Helicopter pad)
Water is available outside the residence, near the trail.

Cottonwood Campground ~ Elevation 4,080'
7 miles from North Rim.
Pick your campsite and set up your tent. Display your permit on your tent. The campground has restrooms, water and an emergency phone. Make sure you pack out all your garbage.

Ribbon Falls
1.6 miles from Cottonwood Campground
Leave early in the morning while it is still cool. You'll be hiking over 8 miles, and there's lots of exploring & fun. On the North Kaibab trail, you come to a sign to Ribbon Falls. Cross a bridge and find a place to drop your pack. This is a wonderful place to wet yourself and cool off. There is no water and no restrooms from Cottonwood to the Phantom Ranch.

Phantom Ranch
7 miles from Cottonwood Campground
Before 4pm, the snack bar is open, where you can get ice cold tea or lemonade, apples, bagels and other goodies. During the evening, if you have made your reservation, you can get a steak dinner, vegetarian chili dinner or beef stew dinner. Sometimes, if you ask when you arrive, there are dinners available.
Phantom Ranch has dorms, cabins and showers for guest who have booked their stay one year in advance.

Bright Angel Campground ~ Elevation 2,480'
Beautiful campground, with a running stream nearby to cool off in. You'll find, flush toilets, a sink for washing pots & pans, a pole to hang your back pack, and metal boxes to protect your food from the wildlife. There was even a Ranger talk, the night we came.

The ranger advised us to begin early, because of the hot temperatures in the bottom of the canyon. We prayed at the Bright Angel trailhead.

Silver Bridge
This bridge is for hikers only. The mule trains have to cross the black bridge, which connects with the South Kaibab trail. The Colorado River was muddy brown, and the views at the bottom where wonderful.

River House ~ Elevation 2,480'
1.5 miles from the Bright Angel Campground
Take off your pack, and enjoy this stone shelter, lay down and put your feet up. This is the only restroom available until Indian Gardens. There is no water available.

Indian Gardens Campground ~ Elevation 3,800'
4.7 miles from Bright Angel Campground
On the way to Indian Gardens, you'll have great views, and even see small water falls. Indian Gardens Campground has covered shelters over the picnic tables and has lots of critters. Set up your tent and go on a day hike to the overlook.

Plateau Point
1.5 miles (each way) from Indian Gardens.
Enjoy a level hike to this Grand Canyon overlook, pictured above. Make sure you bring snacks, water, flashlight, and a camera. There is a water available at the overlook. This is a great place to watch the Sunset.

Begin your journey at sunrise.
Today, you'll climb up 2/3 of the elevation of the Bright Angel Trail.

Three Mile House ~ Elevation 4,920'
A great place to take your pack off. There is a shelter, restrooms, water, and an overlook for great scenic photography. You only have 3 miles left to the top!

Mile and a Half Resthouse ~ Elevation 5,720'
Water and restrooms are available.

Upper Tunnels
Once you have reached the two tunnels, you'll be nearing the South Rim.

South Rim ~ Elevation 6,860'
You'll come to the trailhead sign. This is a great place to take pictures.
Take the Rim Trail to the left, to the view areas outside the Bright Angel Lodge.
There are restrooms and food available.

If you are taking the Rim to Rim Shuttle back to the North Rim, you'll catch it at 1pm in the Bright Angel Lodge. You can check your backpacks in at the lodge, until you are ready to leave. Make sure you make reservations.

Travel back home.

RATINGS: Intermediate to Difficult
GEAR: Backpacks should be under 30 lbs, before you add water. Make sure you bring one gallon bladder, or water bottles. It is important to eat salty snacks. Wear sunglasses, hat and put on sunscreen. Bring dehydrated food for evening meals. Make sure you cook and try out your menu before you take it backpacking. There is nothing worse than a lousy meal.
CONDITIONING: You need to prepare yourself by hiking long distances, carrying weight, and camping in deserts. Much prayer is needed. This should never be your first backpacking experience. Each time you backpack, you learn what gear is needed for light weight packs.
PERMITS: Available through the National Park Service, by US mail or fax. Or by visiting the Grand Canyon Backcountry Office on the North or South Rim. Permits are available 4 months in advance. There are some walk-in permits available each day; but you might have to wait several days to get your requested campsites.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Lake Blanche

An enjoyable day with Jesus and good friends in the mountains. It was a wonderful Labor Day, with cool breezes by the lake. Back in the city, it was a hot day.
DESCRIPTION ~ One of the most popular trails up Big Cottonwood Canyon. Both day hikers and backpackers enjoy hiking to the three alpine lakes. Lake Blanche is a beautiful red rock lake.
RATINGS ~ Intermediate
Not recommended for beginners & kids. On the trail, we saw some kids make it all the way to the lake with their parents. But we saw some teens and adults having a difficult time, only carrying one bottle of water.
MILEAGE ~ 2.8 miles to Lake Blanche,
2,720' elevation gain.
HIKE TIME ~ 2 1/4 hours up, and 1 1/2 hours down.
DIRECTIONS ~ Big Cottonwood Canyon begins at Wasatch Blvd, and Fort Union Blvd (70th South), in Salt Lake City. Travel up the canyon 4 miles to the S curve. The trail head is up the paved road to the right. Parking may be difficult to find, so you might want to park on the road.
RESTROOMS ~ At the trailhead during the Summer.
WATERSHED ~ Big Cottonwood is a protected watershed area. No dogs allowed in the canyon. Also, you are not allowed to wash, wade or swim. This is our drinking water.
WILDERNESS ~ Group size is limited to 10 persons in Wasatch Wilderness areas. Backpackers need to camp 200' away from water & trails in a previous used site. There may be fire restrictions. Contact the Wasatch/Cache Forest service before building campfires.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Park City to Wanship loop

It's incredible how God gives us the weather we need. Normally, this is a hot mountain bike ride, with no shade; but He gave us clouds and a cool breeze.

DESCRIPTION ~ One of the best Rail to Trails in the state of Utah. The trail is a 3 mile paved parkway, that leads into a 23 mile dirt and gravel, doubletrack. It is non-technical, and a easy ride for all levels of bicycle riders. This trail is a non-motorized trail. You'll have fun coasting down the hill to Wanship, between the I-80 freeway.
RATINGS ~ MODERATE: Park City down to Wanship
INTERMEDIATE return, including a 5 mile climb.
MILEAGE ~ 27 miles loop, & 750' elevation gain.
RIDE TIME ~ 1 1/2 hours Park City down to Wanship.
2 3/4 hours from Wanship up to Park City.
RESTROOMS ~ Promontory & Wanship parking lots & Park City businesses.
DIRECTIONS from SLC: Drive east on I-80 up Parleys Canyon to Park City, take the Kimball Junction and turn right, travel to Park City and turn left on Kearns Blvd; turn right on Bonanza Blvd, make an immediate left turn on Prospector Ave and drive past the strip mall, turn right into large parking area and look for the Union Pacific Rail Trail sign. Drive time 40 minutes.
GEAR ~ Bladder full of water, energy snacks or lunch, sunprotection, extra tube and tools to change flats, helmet, pump, and first aid. We recommend that you put thorn liners and use slime tubes too.