Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Picking hikes in October is a little tricky because of the deer hunt.  This last Saturday we decided it'd probably be safe to go down to Sundance Resort and hike up to the very top of the ski mountain, Arrowhead Summit (8,250 ft.).  It's in-between season at Sundance right now and all the signs for the hiking/MTBing trails had been taken down; we'd hoped to go out to Stewart Falls first and then ease on up to the summit, but we had trouble finding the trail head.  We knew where we wanted to go, however, and figured the access road would connect us with other trails that would get us there.

Big white wall, big blue sky

It was a stunningly beautiful day as we started up, the white-clad backside of Timpanogos looming overhead in the bright blue sky.  Although the temperatures were cool (high 40s), it was warm enough in the sun, especially since we wasted no time gaining elevation.  We took the access road up to connect with the Black Forest trail, which clung to the steep hillside through a broad swath of slide debris, then switchbacked up some aspen-ringed meadows.  At the saddle, we got back on an access road for the long, steep slog to the top, pausing for breath and the views at the top of the Flat Head lift.  The last push to the top of Arrowhead was very steep and it was a little dismaying to see a couple of hunters up there, cozy in their pickup truck, checking out the opposite hillside with scopes - we'd worked a lot harder to get up there than they had.

Pausing in a scenic flat spot

There is a wicked cute little log cabin ski lodge up on top of Arrowhead Summit, complete with a deck, beer on tap and wooden furniture (it wasn't open but we peeked in the windows).  The wind was brisk and we layered up to enjoy the great 360-degree views, including through Provo Canyon to the Utah Valley on one side, and out over Deer Creek Reservoir on the other.  The terrain looked pretty good for skiing too: Bishop's Bowl looked like it would be lots of fun.

Deer Creek Reservoir down below

We got down a lot faster than we'd gotten up (deciding against the Stewart Falls loop since that was the general area those hunters had been scouting) and our knees were complaining about the steep bits by the time we got back to the base.  A couple of beers in the parking lot seemed in order as we changed.  We were hungry too - but that deserves its very own post.

Scary Halloween decorations!

Hike stats:  total distance: 6.89 miles; hiking time: 2 hrs. 28 min.; not-moving time: 38 min.; average speed: 2.8 m.p.h.; elevation climbed: 2,349 ft.; wild turkeys spotted: approx. 22.

No comments:

Post a Comment