We did this hike to fill a scouting requirement. We started later than planned, not getting to the trailhead at 8:00 p.m. The scout leader and I dropped off the three scouts and the leader's wife at the trail head, and they started the hike. (Note for evening hikers - the gate at the bottom of the Church Fork area is closed and locked at 10:00.) The leader and I drove our cars down to the canyon road and then hiked/hurried back to the trail head.
This hike includes a gain of approximately 2,300 feet in elevation over 3.4 miles. The scout leader was in better condition that I am, and I took numerous short pauses to catch my breath. He caught up with the wife and boys near the beginning of the switchbacks, and then waited for me to catch him.
We had great views of Millcreek Canyon and Mt. Olympus as we climbed the trail. We finally caught up with the breakaway group at the saddle where you get your first view of the Salt Lake Valley below to the west. The leader took the boys on to the summit, and his wife and I followed more slowly. We caught up with them as they were coming down, and we all went up to the summit, arriving around 10:00 p.m. Great views of the valley all lit up.
The hike down was pleasant. We used flashlights and glowsticks to follow the trail and keep from stumbling. For the most part, the trail is wide and well delineated, with a few places where a misplaced step could cause a tumble.
We made it back to the trailhead and then down through the picnic areas to the road where we found the gate closed and locked. We were back to the cars by 11:45 p.m.
We encountered only about 5-10 other people on the trail while we were there hiking.
As noted above, the gain in elevation is significant, and relentless. There weren't long stretches of flat to be found.
Rip (1st Class Scout) and Parkatola (proud dad)
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