This weekend, I learned to play Disc Golf for the first time at Solitude Mountain Resort. Disc Golf, aka Frisbee Golf or FOLF, is much like traditional golf except instead of using clubs and a small ball, players use a disc or frisbee. Disc Golf shares the same object as regular golf, where the object of completing each hole is to get the disc in the target in the fewest throws or "stokes". The disc golf is thrown from a tee area to the target hole - an elevated metal basket. I decided to bring my friend (who also happens to be my boss at my regular job) along so I could have a "pro" show me how it was done and so I could learn the right way to play disc golf.
Mt. Peale (12,721 ft) and Mt. Tukuhnikivatz (12, 482 ft) are two prominent peaks in the LaSal Mountains right outside of Moab, UT. Mt. Peale is the highest point in the range, and 2nd tallest prominent mountain in Utah; Mt. Tukuhnikivatz (pronounced tuk-oon-ik-ah-vatz) is the peak you mainly see from the valley floor from Moab, and is a mountain well known in Edward Abbey's, Desert Solitaire. If you have ever lived in Utah, have passed through, or want to have some sense of what Moab and Arches National Park was like back in the day, reading Desert Solitaire is a must.
Cecret Lake (yes, that is the correct spelling) is a beautiful alpine lake that sits in the heart of Alta Ski Resort. This easy 1 mile walk is great for kids, taking photos of the amazing wildflowers in July, and possibly sighting a moose. But why stop at the lake, when you can continue just one more mile and summit Sugarloaf Peak? The elevation of Sugarloaf Peak is 11,051 ft, and can be summited in under an hour and half. Bring a light jacket though - it gets really windy and can be quite cold at the top. Keep in mind that the Albion Basin Road is only open from July 4th until the last week of September (or whenever the first snow hits).
Gorgoza Dog Park is a great place to take your dogs in the summer in Kimball Junction, UT. The reservoir is perfect for throwing your pup water toys. Dogs are allowed off leash here, and as always, dog poop must be picked up. In the Winter time, Gorgoza turns into a Winter sledding hill, and the pond is not available for swimming.
Backpacking the Cirque of the Towers in the Wind River Range of Wyoming should be on every backpackers "to do" list. The rugged terrain offers massive mountains with spire towers, clear glacial lakes, high alpine grassland & wildflowers, and world class hiking, backpacking, and climbing. The Cirque of the Towers is truly a pristine and special place.
Shadow Lake is located in Park City Mountain Resort (or PCMR as us locals know it), and can be access from the ski resort, or for a shorter route, via Guardsmans Pass. Shadow Lake sits in a bowl-like area, surrounding by pine trees and mountains. This is a popular area for mountain bikers. Hiking to Shadow Lake via Guardsmans Pass will offer a relief from the heat during summer months, and get you out of the valley smog/haze.
Hiking Mt. Timpanogos (11, 752 ft) is one of the higher peaks in the Wasatch Front, coming in 2nd behind Mt. Nebo. Though Mt. Nebo is the tallest peak in the Wasatch Mountains, it sees less than half the amount of hikers than "Timp" (as us locals call it) does. Hiking Mt. Timpanogos is almost a rite of passage for many Utahans - once completed, many will openly offer up their experience, advice, and how many times they've summited.
Hiking to the American Fork Twin Peaks (11,490 ft), is not for the beginner hiker. Not to be confused with the other twin peaks in the valley, Broads Fork Twin Peaks and The Avenues Twin Peaks, this route leads hikers across a long knife edge with a very faint trail. Do not attempt this hike if you've never crossed a very narrow, rocky ridgeline before - it takes a little route finding, skill, no fear of heights, and requires some light scrambling. Gloves are helpful for this hike, providing extra grip and protection from the sharp rocks.
Here's everything you need to know, on How to Camp for FREE in Utah! Breathing fresh air, relaxing in a camp chair, drink in your hand, the dogs and kids are running around getting muddy, and the fire crackles in the distance. Camping is one of my most enjoyable experience during summer, but it doesn't have to cost money. Many people think camping is "too expensive" or "too hard" to get to a "good" campsite. Sure it may cost money to get all your gear, but after that, camping (and backpacking in particular) can be free, especially in Utah!