Sunday, June 10, 2012

Back at it...

So, the grandparents have requested I blog about Utah. So here's a post about Utah. Welcome back to the most useless blog since Breitbart! The usual disclaimers apply: I reserve the right to completely forget about this and never update it again until some arbitrary date wherein in remember that I'm doing this and suddenly post pictures of three different things. With that said, I actually did something fun this weekend so at least you all get at least one meaningful post.

What was this marvelous occurrence? Why, I'm glad you asked. I hiked up to a little place called Lake Blanche, in Big Cottonwood Canyon in the Wasatch range east of Salt Lake City. It's only about 20 minutes away, but it's worth driving hours for. Along with Lake Blanche, there are two other alpine lakes: Lake Florence and Lake Lillian. Blanche flows into Florence (via a nice stretch of white water), which flows into Lillian, which flows as a whitewater brook down a valley into the canyon. The lakes appear to be natural, but have been preserved with earthen dams, ostensibly to raise the water level. There's still some snow left in higher elevations, especially on north-facing slopes, so the creeks are running really high right now, and there's waterfalls absolutely everywhere

The forests consist of birch at lower levels, which gradually give way to evergreens, including some bristle-cone pines at higher elevations. The trail itself was around 3 miles each way, with about 2800 feet of elevation change. The lakes themselves were at about 9000 feet, so the altitude did bother me a bit since I'm not particularly acclimated yet. I was really huffing and puffing on the way up, although I was still passing people left and right (the trail was entirely too busy for my taste) so I guess I'm not a complete duffer.

And now for some pictures of the lakes themselves, starting with Lake Blanche:

Lake Florence (with the connecting waterfall from Lake Blanche in the background):

Lake Lillian:

Lakes Florence (foreground) and Lillian (background):

Short sleeves and tan arms with a... snowball?

Welcome to Switzerland!

All in all, one of the best hikes I've ever done.

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