Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mueller Park Trail Hike

Gloomy, gray skies, rain, snow, cool temperatures (20 degrees below normal) can describe the last 5 days in Northern Utah
 and is not the normal weather for this time of year. 

 This Spring has been fraught with Winter. Trees are starting to bud and leaf.  Wildflowers are coming alive. Yet, Spring really has not sprung...yet.
However; there have been a few days of 70 degrees F and sunshine!  

Last Friday was one of those days....gorgeous sunshine!

My friend and her kids asked me to go hiking with them, we met at Mueller Park Picnic Area in the foothills of East Bountiful, UT, which is about a 30 minute drive South of my house in Mountain Green.  Mueller Park Trail is a 13 mile trail roundtrip that begins at the picnic grounds and meanders under serene pine and oak forest canopies to stunning open views of the mountain tops.  
The elevation profile is approximately 5200’ to 7100’.  

As we begin our trek, we cross a bridge over the 20+ foot wide Mill Creek which is flowing fast and furious with snow melt.  The noise of the rushing waters drown out all sounds of birds.  

As we walk away from the creek and around a bend, a peaceful quietness envelopes us.  The trail lures us along the hillside to various view points:

As I look up, a stunning view of trees, blue sky and clouds greets me.  
I smile to myself, and say, “What a gorgeous day!”
 As I turn to look North West, I see the lower end of Mueller Canyon
 and out over the Great Salt Lake.

Along the trail I see more stunning views:

I love the smell of a Ponderosa Pine forest !

 As we climb higher in elevation, the Great Salt Lake is stunning. 
Zoomed in below is a view of part of the Great Salt Lake:  
Farmington Bay Wildlife Management Area and Antelope Island.

My final view of this trek:

Snow begins to cover the trail, it is time to turn around and head back downhill,  our trek only covered about 2.5 - 3 miles one way, not even to the half-way point to Big Rock (aka Elephant Rock by the locals).  

Only two Utah wildflowers were in bloom along the trail. 

Glacier Lily, aka Dogtooth Violet (Erythronium Grandiflorum)

I was unable to positively identify this wildflower, may be a Spring Beauty. (Not a very focused picture either. I need to work on my macro technique.)

What a fabulous day in the Wasatch Mountains! 
I look forward to hiking this trail when the snow has melted!

Hiking tip:  Always be prepared!  Always let people know where you are going!  On Saturday, the day after my hike, a Boy Scout group with 2 adult men and 6 boys got lost while hiking this trail up to Big Rock due to snow obscuring the trail.  They had to be rescued by helicopter.   


Denise said...

Thank you for taking us on this amazing hike with you. Your photos were outstanding. Important advice at the end of your message. I'm glad the Boy Scout troupe were rescued.

grammie g said...

Hi Kathyrn....Beautiful photos of your home area....
Amazing views and vibrant colors...the mountains views are wonderful even if they do have snow : }
Loved seeing the flower too not sure what the pink one is!!
Thanks for the hike !!!

Kathiesbirds said...

Kathryn, so wonderful! Oh, you make me miss it there! Love the views of the mountains and the valley! I love Utah! Great post!

KatNell said...

Denise, thanks for stopping by. I was sure surprised when the news reported the incident with the boy scouts.

Grammie G, glad you enjoyed the hike!

Kathie, well, I am pretty sure Utah misses you too! Take care of your back!

Roy said...

Wow, such beautiful views Kathryn.

KatNell said...

Thanks, Roy.

dAwN said...

Wow~it sure is beautiful there! Looks like a hike I would love to do!

KatNell said...

Dawn, there are lots of hiking trails here, so come on out!

Kathiesbirds said...

All right, when are some signs of spring and birds going to show up on this blog! I'm WAITING!!!!!!! :-)

KatNell said...

Kathie, we did not have any nice Spring weather.....yesterday high was mid 50's, today's is supposed to be mid 80s and even higher next week. Today I hope to catch up on yard work, patio containers and garden containers! I have a pesky raccoon hitting my feeders now, so I will have to take the feeders down at night for while. I'll try to get some photos up soon. Love ya!