FIELD TRIP: Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah - May 2012

This is the second of two posts from my recent trip to Utah. See my adventures in birdwatching here. After leaving the Great Salt Lake area I headed east to drive the Big Cottonwood Canyon Scenic Byway. Here's where I was:

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I'd originally hoped to take this scenic byway and meet up with the Provo Canyon Scenic Byway past Bridal Veil Falls but it was too early in the season and the connecting roads (if there are any) weren't open. It was fine driving out and back since the canyon is breathtaking and it gave me more time to get out of the car and walk around.

Big Cottonwood Canyon is part of the Wasatch National Forest in the Wasatch Range which is on the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains. I wasn't sure what to expect but I got it all - bubbling brooks and rapids, snow-covered mountain tops, blooming trees. There were few people around and almost none up near Brighton and Solitude Ski Resorts. The concierge at the hotel said to keep my eyes out for moose along the snow line and although I didn't see any it was kind of exciting knowing I might.

Since I was alone I decided not to take any long hikes into the unknown wilderness but at one point there was a church group embarking on a hike at Mill D North Fork so I followed behind for a mile or so.

I hadn't been up in an alpine area since November 2010 when T and I had gone camping at Mount San Jacinto for Thanksgiving. It is so refreshing and still. I need to visit more often.

Here are some photos I took during my drive and walks.

For more photos of my trip to Utah see my Flickr set here.