Tuesday, June 10, 2014

First Hike of the Season

My summer list includes hiking. I am working to get in better physical shape, and have a couple of longer hikes I would love to do by autumn. My husband and I decided we had a long enough window in between dropping our teenager off at work and picking him up again to drive up the canyon and do a quick hike. (And no, the teenager cannot drive himself to work...he isn't 16 yet).

Abandoned mill on the Little Cottonwood Trail

For my first hike of the season, I chose the Little Cottonwood Trail. I have hiked it several times over the last few years, but my husband had never been on this trail. It is pretty kid friendly with a very gradual incline and lots of shade. The payoff at the end is the ruins of an old mill across the creek, and the rusting metal of an old car in the rocks. (I still have no idea how a car got up there, but today we met an older gentleman on the trail who said several years ago there used to be a bridge across the creek, strong enough to drive over).

Pieces of an old car.

One of my husband's contributions to our summer list was to "hike and paint." This is perfect for him, and gets mixed reviews from the family. Although we enjoy the hikes and soaking up nature while he paints, and have even painted a time or two ourselves, we are frequently done before he is. However, it was a beautiful day, and I was sure I could keep myself occupied for awhile, so off we went.

Wet, shady trail

The trail had a very wet section today. Usually when I do this hike, there is some water on one section of the trail, but today that section was a small stream, and I had to pick my way through it very carefully. This is a pretty easy hike, though, only 1.6 miles round trip. It took us about 30 minutes to reach our destination. The wildflowers were starting to bloom, the creek was full and cold with winter snow run-off, and it was a perfect morning to spend in the canyon.

mini-stream on the trail

Artist at play in the canyon.

And my husband got to paint. What do I do while he paints? Feed my inner shutterbug! Here are some samples from our hike:

Mill ruins

Long shadow.

Shadows on the rock.

Wildflowers in bloom.

Finished painting

For more information (driving directions, length of the hike, etc.) about the Little Cottonwood Trail, see my previous post about this great hike.


  1. This is one of my favorite summer hikes; it helps get the winter kinks out of my hiking legs. Great photos!

    1. I agree, this one is good to get the rust out of the joints for summer hiking!

  2. What a gorgeous hike. Our hikes in AZ are taken in the fall. You can find some beautiful places; but Utah still has my heart when it comes to the mountains.

    1. I love the mountains, too, Holly! If it gets to hot in AZ this summer, I hope you can escape to mountains or a beach.