Saturday, July 31, 2010

July 29, 2010 Cardiff Pass Wasatch Mountains

Fields of wildflowers with mountains in background

Location: Today I am hiking on the trail towards Cardiff and Twin lakes pass. The trailhead is across from Alta ski area in the northern part of the town of Alta. The trail is approximately 1.5 miles straight up to Cardiff pass and another two miles to Twin lakes. A hiker could use the trail to access Brighton ski Resort and Big Cottonwood Canyon.
The hike: Today I wanted to hike over Twin lakes pass into Big Cottonwood Canyon. A mile into the hike I passed some of the old tailing piles which made Alta famous before it became a ski resort. Unknowingly, I got off the main trail into fields of wildflowers most of which were over three feet tall. It is impossible to describe the experience and the aroma I experienced on this hike. This is the first hike I have been on in which I saw five or six different colors of Paintbrush. Some other notable wildflower species seen: Sunflowers, Penstomen, Lupine, Fireweed, Paintbrush, Cow parsnip, Woodland star and Larkspur. Enjoy the photos. For those who want more I will have a comprehensive album on facebook.

Blue flax

Different colors of Paintbrush


July 28, 2010 Red Pine Lake and the Pfeifferhorn Wasatch Mountains

On the ridge above Redpine lake

Location: The trail for Redpine lake is located about 5.5 miles up Little Cottonwood Canyon. Like every hike in the Wasatch this one is extremely popular and hikers should get to the trailhead early in the morning. The trailhead is called Whitepine and it accesses three different lake basins Redpine, Maybird Gulch and Whitepine. The trail junctions for each basin are clearly marked.
The hike: Today I am going to hike the three miles one way to Redpine lake. From the lake, I will scramble up Pfeiffer Horn. The trail to Redpine is easy to follow and well-signed however, the trail is steep and rocky. Hiking to Pfeifferhorn, off-trail navigation and common sense are required, likwise, thunderstorms are numerous in July and August. For this blog I will not describe the route from Redpine to Pfeifferhorn.

Upper Redpine lakes

Looking towards Twin Peaks to the south

Whitepine avalanche chute across the canyon