After a week of being cooped up indoors at Salt Lake Citys’ Salt Palace for Outdoor Retailer, one of the world’s largest outdoor gear conferences, Becky and I are ready to get back out on the tour. The event was a lot of fun, having an opportunity to see all the new gear coming out in 2016 and meeting the friendly sales reps for each brand was also entertaining. Each day we raffled away tons of gear from our sponsors and the proceeds went to our friends at the Leave No Trace Organization.
On our way out of Salt Lake we had two and a half days to drive 16 hours all the way back to Iowa City. Equipped with the same plan as on our 18 hour drive here from Missouri we decided to drive the bulk of the mileage in one day and explore and play the other day.
Lately we’ve been choosing these very steep short hikes with massive elevation gains but quick gratification and tremendous views. Todays hike was no different, 3.2 miles up with roughly 2500 feet of elevation gain. At the top we were rewarded with breathtaking views of red rocks and wild flowers. A glacier carved scene led to a placid mountain lake contained in a cirque of ridges with the most prominent peak reflecting its dominance in the clear unmoving waters of Lake Blanche. Many hundreds of feet above us nervous climbers could first be heard and then eventually seen clinging to Sundial Peak’s sheer rock face. Although this was indeed a very popular hike confirmed by the busy parking lot below and our fellow trekkers rimming the edges of the lake, I’d recommend it in a heart beat to any avid hiker.
The beautiful thing about Salt lake City is its proximity to an amazing mountain range. The Wasatch Mountains run North to South butting right up to the city, allowing for quick access into the heart of some imposing wilderness areas. The hike we decided on was only a short fifteen minutes from downtown Salt lake! Thats crazy, the people who live here and take advantage of the natural playground they live in are absolutely spoiled, and they know it. They just don’t want everyone else to know it…quiet, its a secret.