Bear Canyon Suspension Bridge, Draper, Utah

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The trails have been alive and busy with this beautiful weather Utah’s been having. After weeks of rain for the first weeks of summer and later part of spring, everyone is now out exploring.

Suspension Bridge Trail is in Draper, Utah which is about 15-20 minutes from the city, depending on time of day and traffic. There are a handful of access points to this trail and we chose the Orson Smith Park Trail Head to get to the bridge. This trail is a 2.3 RT loop, which is my favorite, with a 439 foot elevation change. That is information I found on my All Trails App. I’m glad this is the way we chose to start because the entrance of the trailhead has restrooms, water fountains, covered picnic tables and a rock area for children to play at. The restrooms were incredibly clean and smelled great! Totally unexpected plus!

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This trail has switchbacks left and right and going up is a significant incline, there’s a creek if you wanted to stop and soak up some shade. Otherwise, the trail doesn’t offer much shade. On the way up you’ll get decent views of the city but what you won’t be able to take your eyes off is the mansions in the valley as you go up. Once you get to the suspension bridge you’ll have a view of Bear Canyon and a watershed run off. Depending on the season, it may or may not be roaring. For us, the water was high and made for a relaxing view. We hung out on the bridge for a short bit before continuing, because it was just so hot!

My very best advice for this trail is to complete it clockwise! If you go counter clockwise, you’ll hit serious, steep switchbacks, which may exhaust kiddos or you if you’re carrying one. There were tons of kids on this trail and it’s super family friendly.

Have you downloaded the All Trails App? We just purchased a yearly subscription, which gives us access to saving our favorite hikes, different types of maps like weather overlay, trailhead markers, and so much more. The yearly subscription is only $30. For as much as we’ve been using it lately, I’d say it was worth it.

Happy hiking!

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Bear Lake, Utah & Limber Pine Trail

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One thing a Florida Native never lacks is accessibility to water! I’ve been to my share of lakes, rivers, springs, and oceans. All of which in my opinion are relaxing and breathtaking. However, I’ve never seen a body of water as clear and turquoise as Bear Lake in Garden City, Utah.

Bear Lake is about 2.5 hours from Salt Lake City, Utah. All weekend I tried to find adjectives to describe this place and I couldn’t quite put one word out. Untouched, enchanted, calm, small town, relaxing were some I came up with. There are tons of places to camp in Garden City. We booked a lake side campground at Bear Lake State Park and we rented an RV from Outdoorsy (comparable to AirBnB, but for campers…. I highly recommend if you’re traveling with a little one or thinking about purchasing a camper but shopping around). While the weather was not what I planned for months ago when I booked it, this charming town still was worth layering up for in the cold weather. The Lake was 41 degrees when we were there!

Camping with Declan was difficult! As far as sleeping arrangements go we all slept together which was a tight squeeze and also tricky because there were no barriers for when he feel asleep but we were still awake! I guess if I had to do it again, we’d take a pack and play for him to sleep in, but there wasn’t even room for that in our camper that we had. I’ll continue the hiking with a baby on another post!

We managed to travel over to Idaho. Here we drove through Cache National Forest.  We enjoyed the views and stopped at a few streams and campgrounds to let Declan play. Everything was so green and apline, the air was crisp we could have stayed here all day. We’d love to camp here in the future! It’s more back country, but would keep any kid busy with all the nature and creeks surrounding it.

Limber Pine Trail is a short trail, charming, and super family/kid friendly! It’s about 1.3 miles RT and it loops around. Personally, I love loop hikes it just seems more culminating to me. Especially with kids. The hike is super interactive with fact maps and infographics along the trail. I loved this because I learned so much about Bear Lake while on this hike. The trail was really shaded and there were benches and secluded areas to stop and eat lunch if you wanted to soak in the views! The trail ends with a gorgeous view of Bear Lake.

All weekend I tried to get a picture to capture the lake, I simply couldn’t. Eric and I talked about what a fun place Bear Lake would be as a annual family summer vacation. You can rent cabins, camp, rent all types of boats or bring your own, tube on the lake, wakeboard, fish, tons of mom and pop food locations, horse back riding, ATVs and I’m probably missing some activities!

One of my favorite parts of this trip was all the wildlife we saw! Roaming Moose (a swimming one too), free range cattle, fox, a bald eagle family with a little baby, tons of birds (white pelicans!), funky caterpillars, chipmunks, fish were jumping like crazy!, and mule deer.

Eric and I spent our last night perfecting our S’mores roasting technique and making future plans to come back!

 

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The Living Room Hike

The Living Room Trail

 

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Attempt 2 was a success Memorial Day Weekend!

If you’re ever visiting Salt Lake and Google “Salt Lake Hikes” it is very likely that this one will pop up. This trail is very common and the view is definitely worth it. The Living Room Hike will turn out to be a bit challenging if you aren’t from the area or used to Utah’s thin air. Our Florida lungs are still adjusting to the elevation change in general, let alone the dramatic change on this one.

The trail is highly trafficked especially in the early spring because everyone is just itching to get outside after the snow has melted. Everything is green and blooming it is truly beautiful. It isn’t marked and there are a lot of makeshift or cut throughs that people have created to get to the top. Make sure you have the All Trails App to see the actual GPS trail. You can certainly follow the crowds because there are several ways to get to the top.

Make sure to bring your hiking books and some snacks because there are a ton of rocks and steep inclinations. Snacks to enjoy the view at the top! The elevation change alone on this hike is 967 feet in less than 3 miles. This puts you 6,005 feet above sea level. That just gives me chills. Once you get to the top and pop a squat on the “rock couches” (seems like an oxymoron) you’ll want to enjoy your snacks while taking in the view. The reason this hike is called “The Living Room” is because the rocks at the top are arranged in ways that portray couches and love seats, essentially a living room and your t.v. is the City of Salt Lake.

I loved this trail because you literally could see everything in the city and all the major mountain ranges. There were a lot of people and dogs (on and off leash) and people of all ages.

To recap, don’t forget the following:

  • hiking boots and or spikes if it is winter seasons
  • sunscreen
  • hat
  • snacks and water
  • All Trails App to stay on track

Ensign Peak SLC, UTAH

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Ensign (pronounced en-sng not en-sign) Peak is a very popular hike in the city. It’s easy to access and not far from the city at all. The best thing about this hike besides the easy access, is that there are 3 different trails. The first trail is paved and super short, it takes you to a look out where you can find a map of what you’re looking at. In the picture above you can see the capital building to the far right.

Eric, Declan and I made this our first hike in SLC. It was a really clear day out and we decided to give it a try. Given the snow and rain combo the more extensive trails were wet and muddy. We tried our best to get to the main overlook, but I was such a nervous nelly about Eric (who was wearing Declan) slipping in the mud slide and both of them being cold, wet, and muddy). Not that I could have done any better, a lot of hikers were turning around.

History Lesson in 5 Seconds: Brigham Young (and 7 other pioneers) came to the top of this mountain to map out the city years and years ago shortly after they arrived in 1847.

If you plan to visit this hike in the snow I would suggest getting some spikes for your hiking boots because under the snow was a thin sheet of ice. You’ll also need some boots/shoes with ankle support because the trail is also incredibly steep. Eric and I also found it helpful to do some side stepping, which we felt inclined to tell everyone that struggled past us. It was like watching baby deer trying to walk on ice.

We can’t wait to go back and try this trail in the Spring when the snow melts so we can make it to the top!

 

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Declan’s first “mini hike”

Head on over if this peaks your interest! 🙂

Trail Head Address: 1002 N Ensign Vista Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84103