Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Hiking the Small Stuff: Bridal Veil Falls

Summer is officially winding down, and school is just two weeks away! Panicking that we haven't completed my list of "Small Hikes," I needed my husband's reminder that we can still go hiking in the fall. The weather will get better and better, and weekends are still a thing. So, you need not worry if you haven't hit up Bridal Veil Falls yet.

So, does Bridal Veil Falls count as a hike? I submit that this is a nice, small hike of sorts for little ones, albeit a wet one. It's located in Provo Canyon, and following the signs, I turned onto a small access road. The falls are a little ways down the road, and even when we seemed to be there, it was unclear where to park to get to the falls the fastest. We opted by a bridge; you've got to cross the Provo River, after all.

Once on the other side, you're on a paved path and need to watch out for bicycles and skateboards. However, just under the falls is a designated "walking zone" to keep you and the littles from getting run over. 


A short ways down the path and voila! You're at the base of the magnificent falls. We were there on a Monday afternoon in July, and it was crowded enough to require some effort to maintain social distancing.


We did not bring our water shoes, foolishly, but that didn't stop us from stepping down into the water and climbing a ways up the rocky falls.


Or, if climbing sounds too intimidating, there's a shallow pool of sorts at the base where kids splashed and played. Again, I envied the parents with the foresight to dress their kids in swimsuits and water shoes!


Meeting up with cousins for this escapade, we had kids ranging from one to ten-years-old, and all seemed to enjoy the experience. My young boys both needed ample help from able-bodied grownups (ones not carrying the baby, usually) to climb on the slick, wet rocks. Still, there aren't many child-friendly hikes in this canyon, so it was great to have an excursion they could enjoy even if they needed a strong arm to hold onto. Even with sloshing shoes, it was a success.


Sunday, August 2, 2020

Hiking the Small Stuff: Mill B South Trail

For those just catching up, this summer is The Summer of Small Hikes for this little family. After all, I'd love some memories that are not strictly associated with Covid-19, right? So, our previous two hikes, Lisa Falls Trail and Temple Quarry Trail clocked in at a mere 0.3 miles. Today, today, we were going to take on Mill B South trail, and it's whomping 0.5 mile to the waterfall! Bum-bum-BUUUUUUM!

As noted before, my kids are young, and I have a baby either strapped to my front and wiggling like mad in my Ergo carrier (which I love) or strapped to my back in a thrift store pack (which I hate.) Thus, we're looking for very doable hikes that will leave our family of five with happiness, joy, and a sense of wonder at the beautiful nature in the Salt Lake Area. This means short, easy hikes.

So, Mill B South trail, up Big Cottonwood Canyon, seemed to fit the bill: a paved, shady trail that ends in a waterfall? We were in. So in.

The parking lot is small, but we followed the lead of others and found parking on the shoulder along the road. Back at the lot, we found a nice, broad, paved trail flanked by trees. This "Mill B South Trail" is, apparently, the start of a longer "Lake Blanche" trail.




Despite its stroller-friendly nature, I again had Gummy Bear on my back, which, in the end, was fortuitous. Though the trail is short and paved, the boys found it a wee bit steep and claimed they were tired. Still, we made it to the waterfall without too much trouble (or grumbling).


After throwing some rocks in the water, the boys magically regained their energy and wanted to head up the rocky trail towards Lake Blanche. My hunch was right; they prefer clambering over rocks to walking on pavement. However, we weren't sure how far to go with the little ones; they obviously wouldn't make it all the way to the lake. However, there's a bridge a ways up that made a nice turnaround point, complete with a bench for sitting and snacking.



Overall, it was a lovely hike with lovely views, lovely trees, and lovely flowers.


 


Saturday, July 25, 2020

Hiking the Small Stuff: Temple Quarry Trail

Well, folks, we not only survived but thrived on our Lisa Falls Hike, and less than a week later, we were at it again! We again took to Little Cottonwood Canyon near Sandy, Utah, to try our next baby-preschooler-six-year-old-friendly hike: Temple Quarry Loop. It has its own dedicated lot, but we missed the turn and parked at one nearby, figuring we'd just walk over. It's nice to know there's nearby parking if the lot is full; however, that's a busy road to cross with kids, so dad brought the car down to us after the hike was over. Lesson learned.

Here's the deets: Temple Quarry is a paved loop only 0.3 miles long. The elevation gain is 19 feet, so this is a mellow, peaceful circle. Did I mention it is paved? Yes, this appears to be a stroller-friendly hike!


Stroller-friendly, that is, if you stay on the path. The concrete loop is interspersed with signs and placards that give the history (and insanity?) of quarrying and dragging giant blocks of granite for the Salt Lake City Temple to the valley using wooden carts and oxen. However, there are also dirt trails off the main trail that lead to the nearby river, and our boys loved scampering up and down those to the water's edge. Again, they love water. Throwing rocks in the water will amuse for a very long time...




The vistas and wildflowers were beautiful in late May.




The hike was yet another win, and we plan to go back, maybe with grandma and grandpa. We suspect they'll enjoy the history and beautiful views (and their knees will hopefully like the even, paved trail.)