Monday, August 19, 2013

mule hollow

We were keeping our eyes on the weather Saturday - thunderstorms scheduled to roll in in the afternoon - so when we picked out a hike, we picked a short one that stayed pretty low as summits and ridges are not where you want to be in a thunderstorm. H found Mule Hollow on our map and then in our book, Hiking the Wasatch.

The sky above Mule Hollow

We drove up Big Cottonwood Canyon about 3.2 miles, pulling into the parking area above Storm Mountain, just after the new bridge.  The trail, on the north side of the road, was baking in the sun and started going up immediately over clinky, shale-y slide debris.  We followed a dry creek bed up the narrow canyon, crossing the creek numerous times and staying in the shade under the trees for most of the way.  A little way up we found a cairn, and another trail going off to the side; we met some kids who said there was some good rock climbing up above the talus field up there.

Tracks to nowhere

We stayed on the main trail which was very overgrown due to lack of use; we weren't bushwhacking per se, but in spots we wondered if we'd gotten off onto a game trail.  The trail ends at the ruins of an old mine, at about 7200 feet.  The canyon continued further up, but very steeply and with no real trail to follow, so we thought this would do just fine as a turnaround point.  The view back the way we came was spectacular, looking at Stairs Gulch across Big Cottonwood Canyon.

That's Stairs Gulch off behind us

The hike was only 1.25 miles up, which took us 45 minutes because it was so steep (gaining nearly 1300 feet in that distance); it took us a little less time coming back down, but we had to step carefully because the loose footing was treacherous in spots.  Back at the car with the storm clouds building in earnest above us, we agreed that this little jaunt had been perfect for the day: a new hike to a new place and just enough exercise to merit sharing a pizza and a pitcher at the Porcupine, conveniently located at the bottom of BCC.

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