H at the saddle
View to the east from the Mt. Aire summit
We came out of the shady trees at a sunflower-studded saddle and then turned east up switchbacks to the summit. This section of trail is rocky underfoot and less shady, with only gambel oaks and junipers at that elevation, and while there were long switchbacks crisscrossing the hillside, it still gained elevation quickly. We met up with the two-dog trail runner at the top, just as they were heading back down. H asked him how his run was and he laughed, confessing that due to the steepness of the trail, it had really been more of a hike.
Where's the snacks?
At the summit, we climbed out on the ridge another 200 yards or so and perched there to eat our snacks. There was a light, cool breeze, very pleasant and enough to keep the flies away, and we had the place to ourselves with a 360 degree view. An early forecast had threatened midday thunderstorms but that had later been recanted and we enjoyed our trail mix, beef jerky and granola bars under cloudless skies.
View to the northeast-ish
I was slipping on the loose rock on the first part of the descent but once we got below the saddle, we were back on that lovely packed dirt trail and we cruised back down. We ran into a few other hikers who were on their way up - and also a young moose, shy enough not to stick around for long - but the trail was still pretty quiet for busy Millcreek Canyon. Things picked up a bit as we walked down the road from the trail head back to the car, and as we drove out of the canyon, the lower picnic and parking areas were full to bursting, but once again we were thrilled to have found some peace and quiet along the Wasatch Front.
The moose is loose