Pronghorn on Antelope Island

Just as we were leaving Antelope Island, we got to see the Islands’ namesake – Pronghorn antelope:



Frary Peak

Antelope State Park 070We left Salt Lake City on Tuesday.  On Monday, we went back to Antelope Island State Park to hike Frary Peak – the highest point on the Island that sits in the middle of the Great Salt Lake. 

The hike was pretty nice – 8 miles and 2,000+ feet in elevation change.  The trail wasn’t in the greatest shape but it was a beautiful day and the views were fantastic. 

We took the side trail to Dooly Knob.  As we came over the top, this was what we saw:

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We counted over 150 bison moving towards the coast.  Some of them were galloping along.  It was a pretty cool scene. 

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We missed the trail to the Peak at first – it actually went down the hillside to start and we were looking up!  The last quarter-mile was a pretty steep climb but the hard part was coming back down. 

We hung out for awhile enjoying the 360 degree view with the Great Salt Lake on every side.

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Miles Hiked:  4 (Bryce) + 8.5
Total Miles Hiked:  184

Great Salt Lake

Sunflowers Great Salt Lake 014Friday was my Mom’s last day with us.  We spent it at Antelope Island State Park. 

This Park is home to a pretty large Bison herd.  We saw a few, including one crossing the road and the art-bison. 

Here we are grabbing the bull bison by the horns …

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We also toured the Fielding Garr Ranch. 

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There were all kinds of birds on the island.  I tried to get a photo but never could get them to stand still!  You could see them a bit in this picture, but then I post-processed it to the point that they were pretty much gone. 

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I have been looking for a photo editor that would allow me to easily apply filters like I can do on my phone.  I may have found it in Photoscape but the jury is still out. 

Bingham Canyon Copper Mine

We took the opportunity while touring Salt Lake City to visit the Bingham Canyon Copper Mine.  It was unbelievable massive!

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The huge trucks with 12’ diameter tires were just inching around at the bottom …

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We hung around long enough to see them blow out part of the mine.


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Riverside Walk

We’ve decided to leave Zion a few days early and head back to Bryce – hopefully we will be able to get a campsite. So, today was our last day in the heat. We all took the hike to Weeping rock and along Riverside Walk.

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There are condors nesting here. We didn’t get to see them in the air but this one is looking down from a tree at the people hiking Angels Landing and thinking they are all crazy to do that without wings:

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The river provided a cool respite from the the heat. We didn’t get we today but we did hang out in the river by the campground yesterday for a couple of hours.

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Miles Hiked: 2.5
Total Miles Hiked: 171.5

Not Angels Landing

On Friday, we left my Mom to enjoy a Ranger program and we headed out to climb to Angels Landing. It was only a 1,400 elevation change over 5+ miles with a lot of switchbacks along the way. Has anyone reading this ever done the climb?

Angel's Landing Trail Zion National Park 001

Well, I haven’t done it either! It is not a really hard hike but it is unbelievably precarious. When I realized that I was hanging on to the chains for dear life (and that there weren’t going to be chains all the way,) I figured it was time to turn back.

I don’t always mind heights . . . but you are right on the edge here and if you trip this is where you land:

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There is nothing to break your fall. Did I mention that six people have died on this trail?

Instead, we hiked to this:

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Pretty impressive, isn’t it?!? This is Cabin Spring on the West Rim Trail. The hike was definitely not about the destination. First, we were really all alone on the trail. We passed two groups of backpackers and one retired ranger, but that was it.

This hike was spectacular. We had a very long climb to get to the Spring but it was worth it.

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We enjoyed a rest under this magnificent Ponderosa Pine before heading back down the trail.

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The views were just phenomenal . . . we were able to enjoy them a lot more on the way down!

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Once we got a little lower, you could see where we had been . . . that is the Cabin Spring in the center of the picture – at the top.

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It looked like the trail had been blasted out of the canyon wall and much of it had very old and deteriorated concrete paving. You can just see it in the foreground of this picture and then switch-backing up the canyon wall behind . . .

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It was a long, hot day but at least it was down hill almost all the way back to camp:

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Miles Hiked: 10
Total Miles Hiked: 169

Zion National Park

We dropped the trailer at Zion National Park on Wednesday and headed to Cedar City to pick up my Mom at the airport.  Zion is a beautiful park and the campground is lovely.  You camp right in the canyon near the Visitor’s Center. 

This is the view from our campsite:

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We took the tram out to the Emerald Pools on Thursday even though it was incredibly hot!  We have had great weather up until now – here it is in the 100’s. 

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It was a tough day of hiking since we took the long way back from the Emerald Pools on the Kayenta Trail.  After a good 1.5 miles and some rock climbing . . .

Mom's Zion Pictures 101

. . . we all needed a nap!

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National Parks Visited:  11
Miles Hiked:  2
Total Miles Hiked:  159

Short-horned Lizard

As we made our way up to the Rim Trail after leaving Fairyland Canyon in Bryce, Alan spotted this very, very small Short-horned Lizard. We haven’t seen a lot of very large lizards here at Bryce Canyon but this guy was tiny – about an inch long.

It took some effort to get a picture. Luckily, he sat still long enough . . .

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This was last picture that Alan got and it is my favorite!

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Peekaboo Loop

Bryce Canyon National Park 011On Monday, we did our last hike in Bryce Canyon National Park – Peekaboo Loop. We had already hiked part of the Trail when we did Queen’s Garden on Sunday.

This time we were headed to the less-traveled Peekaboo Loop. Once we got off the Navajo Loop, the crowds thinned out significantly. The only down side was that the horses also take Peekaboo Loop!

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We made a big effort to finish strong on the climb back up to the rim. This is the view looking down:

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Looking up:

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I’m going to schedule this Post for Wednesday. We will be on our way to Zion Canyon National Park with a slight detour through Cedar City to pick up my Mom at the airport. She will be camping with us through Salt Lake City.

Watch for one more post from Bryce – sunrise photos from the rim. The hoodoos take on a completely different look with the sun hanging low. We got up early Tuesday morning to see the sunrise.

Miles Hiked: 8
Total Miles Hiked: 157.5