Matthew's Hikes - First Four Years

Matthew's Hikes - First Four Years

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Jul 26, 2008
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Summer

Year 1 Hikes

Our son Matthew was almost a year old, and after several hikes in the Wasatch and a few down south in Zion National Park, I was looking for a way for him to experience his first summit. To be honest, it’s more likely that Liz and I were getting more out of our hikes than he was, but we wanted to instill in him a love of the outdoors at an early age, and as long as we were careful and mindful of his comfort and well-being then why not start him out hiking as early as possible? We bought a Kelty child carrier in early spring, and by mid-summer we’d already taken him on a dozen hikes, most of which involved just a few miles and about a thousand feet of elevation gain. Here are some places we visited in the Wasatch:
Baby s first time in the mountains

Timpanogos Fall Colors

Alpine Loop - Wasatch Range, UT (9/30/07)

Ensign Peak Trail

Happy Hiker

Ensign Peak - Wasatch Range, UT (4/10/08)

Centerville Canyon Bridge

Centerville Canyon

Centerville Canyon - Wasatch Range, UT (4/26/08)

Mill B North Fork Trail

Cottonwood Ridge from Mill B North Overlook

Mill B North Fork - Wasatch Range, UT (5/10/08)

Stewart Falls from Trail

Stewart Falls

Stewart Falls - Wasatch Range, UT (5/17/08)

Adams Canyon

Adams Canyon waterfall

Adams Canyon - Wasatch Range, UT (5/31/08)

Family Photo at Silver Flat

Matthew at Silver Flat

Silver Flat Reservoir - Wasatch Range, UT (6/14/08)

Lake Mary

Lake Mary Trail

Lake Mary - Wasatch Range, UT (7/5/08)

And these are the places we went to during our trip to Zion and Bryce:
Weeping Rock

The Organ

Weeping Rock - Zion National Park, UT (5/21/08)

Temple of Sinawava trail

Temple of Sinawava views

Temple of Sinawava - Zion National Park, UT (5/21/08)

Lower Emerald Pool

Emerald Pools Trail

Emerald Pools - Zion National Park, UT (5/22/08)

Towers of the Virgin

Unnamed peak at Towers of the Virgin

Towers of the Virgin - Zion National Park, UT (5/23/08)

Zion Canyon East Overlook

Canyon Overlook Trail

East Canyon Overlook - Zion National Park, UT (5/23/08)

Inspiration Point at Bryce


Inspiration Point - Bryce National Park, UT (5/24/08)

And these are some places back in the Wasatch we went after our Angels Landing and Bald Mountain hikes described below:
Cecret Lake

Waiting patiently

Cecret Lake - Wasatch Range, UT (8/30/08)

Matthew in the Aspens

Silver Flat Reservoir off of the Alpine Loop

Alpine Loop - Wasatch Range, UT (9/28/08)

User Profile Image

Asleep on Red Pine Trail

Maybird Gulch - Wasatch Range, UT (11/1/08)

Close, But No Cigar (5/22/08)

Angels Landing
Angels Landing in Zion National Park (one of the nation's best national parks)

Angels Landing cliff
Where the fun starts

Zion Canyon south of Angels Landing
Zion Canyon

View north of Zion Canyon
Angels Landing summit view

Angels Landing was one of our favorite hikes, and looking back on it now, I should have taken Matthew and Liz all the way to the summit. The exposure was over-hyped and really wasn’t all that bad as long as I stayed in the middle of the trail near the chains, but not knowing this beforehand we decided to play it safe and Liz and Matthew waited for me at the start of the chains. Liz didn’t really care whether she made the summit or not, so in picking that and other hikes I was selective in picking the ones that had the best views. We soon learned that Matthew’s favorite hikes were the ones involving streams, lakes, or waterfalls. Upon seeing them, he’d immediately smile and say “wa wa” over and over again. It was obvious that he’d taken to being in the outdoors like a fish to water, so I was looking forward to our next opportunity for him to bag his first summit.

Angels Landing Stats

DISTANCE: 5 miles roundtrip
ELEVATION GAIN: 1,488 feet
TIME: 4 hours

Matthew's First Summit (7/26/08)

Uinta Lakes
Uinta Lakes
Hayden Peak from Bald Mountain Pass Overlook
Moose Lake Overlook

Using Kip Yost’s hike listing, I decided that Bald Mountain would be perfect for Matthew’s first summit. We’d never been to the Uintas before, so this would also give us the chance to see another part of Utah. We made the drive up through Park City first thing in the morning, and after a slight detour due to some road construction in the small town of Kamas, we turned onto the road that would eventually take us straight there. Unknown to me at the time, the toll on Mirror Lake Highway had gone up from $3 to $6 that summer, but fortunately they let us through despite being a couple dollars short (FYI, they only take cash at the booth). The road steadily climbed, and I hoped that Matthew’s ears would be okay at the higher elevation. With Liz feeding him fruit snacks and a banana on the way, he seemed to be fine, so we decided to go for it. As we unloaded our stuff from the car, Matthew caught sight of the child carrier backpack and let out a little giggle, giving us his stamp of approval for the day’s hike.
Bald Mountain Eastern Wall
Bald Mountain's eastern cliffs

Bald Mountain Southern Slopes
Wildflowers on the trail

Mom & Son on Bald Mountain summit
Mom & Son
Dad & Son on Bald Mountain summit
Dad & Son

Starting out, we immediately felt the effects of the elevation. Despite several hikes in the last few weeks, it had been over a year since I’d been above 11,000 feet, so we took our time on the way up. There was one lingering patch of snow on the south side of the main trail leading up Bald Mountain which took a few minutes to get around (I was extra careful, since Matthew’s extra weight on my shoulders made it a bit more difficult to maintain my balance on the steeper parts), but for the most part the trail was well-marked and easy to follow. One big difference I noticed on this hike compared with others we’d done in the Wasatch was how soon we were above the tree line, and how much more remote the area felt in general. The extensive boulder fields on the way up reminded me of the 14ers I’d hiked in Colorado, and the views were great. It was amazing how many lakes there were in every direction, and Matthew also liked the various colors of wildflowers we encountered on our way up.
Hiking in the clouds
Hiking into the clouds

Bald Mountain Summit
Trail to the summit

Reids Peak from the Southeast
Reids Peak
Stormclouds over Hayden Peak
Stormclouds over Hayden Peak

About 2/3 of the way up we were able see Mirror Lake and Moose Lake beneath Bald Mountain to the east. Despite the small chance of thunderstorms in the day’s forecast, big thunderclouds were building to the east, so we decided to continue to the summit without any more breaks on the way. A large cairn marked the top, and after finding our own spot away from the crowds we sat down for lunch. Matthew downed his bag of Teddy Grahams quite quickly, and after guzzling some water he motioned to my Gatorade. We always made sure to give him as much water as he’d take, and we were especially mindful to keep him hydrated this time since we were at almost 12,000 feet. After giving him a few sips he decided he was done, so we took a few pictures just in time to notice some lightning off in the distance behind Hayden Peak, indicating it was time for us to head back down.
Matthew s First Summit
We made it!

Yellow Wildflowers below Bald Mountain
Bald Mountain from near Mirror Lake

Pink Wildflowers below Bald Mountain
Bald Mountain from near Moose Lake

Unlike the Angels landing hike, where most of the tourists thought we were crazy for bringing our baby along, this time we came across several other experienced hikers who agreed that it was good to introduce children to the outdoors at an early age. We saw a few other toddlers on the way down, and just like on most of his other hikes, Matthew fell asleep about half way down the mountain. When we got to the car, we decided to drive a bit farther east along the road to Moose Lake and Mirror Lake. There were campgrounds surrounding the entire perimeter of Mirror Lake, and I was envious of all of the people who were staying there for longer than just the day. It would definitely be a nice place to come back and use as a home base for exploring the Uintas again in the future.

Bald Mountain Eastern Aspect
Bald Mountain

Hayden Peak from Bald Mountain Trail
Hayden Peak

While Bald Mountain was Matthew’s only summit that summer, it was a great mountain to start him out on and a very enjoyable family hike. I'd agree with most people that it takes more effort (carrying Matthew in the Kelty packback for just a few miles always makes my shoulders a little sore) and patience to involve the entire family, but the reward of seeing their little eyes light up when they experience nature for the first time makes the extra effort completely worth it. We're already planning where to take Matthew next, and living in Utah we have an almost endless source of hikes to choose from.

Bald Mountain Stats

DISTANCE: 2.8 miles roundtrip
ELEVATION GAIN: 1,180 feet
TIME: 3 hours
Reids Peak and Bald Mountain ...
Bald Mountain viewed from a later hike near Mount Watson to the west
Bald Mountain cliffs
Bald Mountain eastern cliffs seen from Fehr Lake trailhead

Year 2 Hikes

These are some other places we went the next year:
California Coast

Matthew at Stinson Beach

California Coast - San Francisco, CA (1/24/09)

Matthew at Yosemite

Half Dome

Yosemite National Park, CA (1/31/09)

Yosemite Falls

Admiring the Sequoias

Yosemite Falls - Yosemite National Park, CA (2/1/09)

Avenues Twin Peaks


Avenues Twin Peaks - Wasatch Range, UT (5/16/09)

Donut Falls Hike

Mineral Fork

Donut Falls - Wasatch Range, UT (5/23/09)

Squaw Peak Overlook

Cascade Mountain Cliffs

Squaw Peak overlook - Wasatch Range, UT (5/24/09)


Mule Hollow

Mule Hollow - Wasatch Range, UT (5/25/09)

Alpine Loop trail

Alpine Loop (summer)

Alpine Loop - Wasatch Range, UT (6/28/09)

Hiking from Hidden Peak to Mount Baldy

Matthew on Mount Baldy summit

Mount Baldy - Wasatch Range, UT (7/03/09)

Mount Watson over Watson Lake

Mount Watson lake hike

Mount Watson lakes - Uinta Range, UT (7/11/09)

Matthew on Catherine Pass trail

Snack break at Sunset Pass

Sunset Pass - Wasatch Range, UT (7/25/09)

Matthew & Johnny ...

Park Avenue family pic

Park Avenue - Arches National Park, UT (8/17/09)

Hike to Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch family pic

Delicate Arch - Arches National Park, UT (8/17/09)

Liz & Matthew at Double Arch

Double Arch

Double Arch - Arches National Park, UT (8/18/09)

Bachelor-Syracuse Mine

Matthew in the Mine

Bachelor-Syracuse Mine - Ouray, CO (8/19/09)

Box Canyon Falls

Liz & Matthew at Box Canyon Falls

Box Canyon Falls - Ouray, CO (8/20/09)

Black Canyon Visitor Center Overlook

Black Canyon from Chasm View

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, CO (8/20/09)

CO-82 overlook

Indpendence Pass family pic

Independence Pass - Sawatch Range, CO (8/21/09)

Maroon Bells

Maroon Lake family pic

Maroon Lake - Aspen, CO (8/22/09)

Silver Lake hike

Little rockthrower

Silver Lake - Wasatch Range, UT (9/12/09)

Bridal Veil Falls

Testing the water

Bridal Veil Falls - Wasatch Range, UT (9/17/09)

Year 3 Hikes

The next year Matthew wanted to get out of the backpack and explore more on his own (which saved my shoulders), and he was usually able to walk a couple miles on his own:
Stairs Gulch

Stairs Gulch Waterfall

Stairs Gulch - Wasatch Range, UT (6/19/10)

Ruth Lake picnic spot

Pond east of Ruth Lake

Ruth Lake - Uinta Range, UT (6/26/10)

Fehr Lake

Break at Fehr Lake

Fehr Lake - Uinta Range, UT (6/26/10)

Rock-throwing buddies

Lowe Peak from Butterfield Canyon

Butterfield Canyon overlook - Oquirrh Range, UT (6/27/10)

Inside Minnetonka Cave

Path to Minnetonka Cave

Minnetonka Cave - Bear River Range, ID (7/3/10)

Notch Peak family photo

Ibantik Lake family photo

Ibantik Lake - Uinta Range, UT (7/5/10)

Jenny s Canyon family photo

Jenny s Canyon trail

Jenny's Canyon - Snow Canyon State Park, UT (7/8/10)

Sand Dunes surroundings

Playing in the sand

Sand Dunes - Snow Canyon State Park, UT (7/8/10)

Matthew at Seven Sisters

Beehive formations

Valley of Fire State Park, NV (7/9/10)

Sunset at Molas Lake

Molas Lake Family Photo

Molas Lake - San Juan Range, CO (7/15/10)

Liz & Matthew in lower basin

Ice Lake family photo

Ice Lake - San Juan Range, CO (7/16/10)

Liz & Matthew above Kiva

Spruce Tree House family pic

Spruce Tree House - Mesa Verde National Park, CO (7/25/10)

Bloomington Lake family pic

Grandpa piggyback

Bloomington Lake - Bear River Range, ID (8/7/10)

Liz & Matthew at Waterton Lake

Matthew near Waterton Lake border shack

Waterton Lake - Glacier National Park, MT (8/16/10)

Deer below Mt. Gould

Swiftcurrent Lake family photo

Swiftcurrent Lake - Glacier National Park, MT (8/16/10)

Matthew at St. Mary Lake

St. Mary Falls

St. Mary Falls - Glacier National Park, MT (8/17/10)

Matthew at Logan Pass gardens

Logan Pass family photo

Logan Pass - Glacier National Park, MT (8/17/10)

Me and Matthew at Fountain Paint Pot

Fountain Paint Pot geyser

Fountain Paint Pot - Yellowstone National Park, WY (8/18/10)

Grand Prismatic Spring

Liz & Matthew at Grand Prismatic Spring

Grand Prismatic Spring - Yellowstone National Park, WY (8/18/10)

Matthew at Old Faithful

Sunset at Old Faithful

Old Faithful - Yellowstone National Park, WY (8/18/10)

Snake River lookout family photo

Snake River lookout

Snake River lookout - Grand Teton National Park, WY (8/20/10)

Rock-skipping at Oxbow Bend

Oxbow Bend family photo

Oxbow Bend lookout - Grand Teton National Park, WY (8/20/10)

Liz & Matthew at Hidden Falls

Hidden Falls

Hidden Falls - Grand Teton National Park, WY (8/20/10)

Dog Lake

Brighton trail

Dog Lake - Wasatch Range, UT (9/25/10)

Year 4 Hikes

Matthew in a hurry
Future trail-runner in training.
Matthew now refuses to ride in the backback, and depending on his mood he'll run, or even say he wants to go further. Pretty soon, I'll be struggling to keep up with him!
Kessler Peak from Antelope Island

Frary Peak from Buffalo Point

Antelope Island, UT (4/30/11)

Step Mountain & Butterfield Peak

Step Mountain

Step Mountain - Oquirrh Range, UT (5/13/11 & 5/21/11)

Sentinal Spires hiding spot

Garden of the Gods group photo

Garden of the Gods - Front Range, CO (5/30/11)

Glenwood Canyon Train

Glenwood Canyon Creek

Glenwood Canyon - Colorado River, CO (5/31/11)

Matthew at Stair Gulch

Mule Hollow Hike

Stairs Gulch & Mule Hollow - Wasatch Range, UT (6/18/11)

Timpanogos Reflection

Liz & Matthew at Silver Flat

Silver Flat Reservoir - Wasatch Range, UT (6/22/11)

Butterfield Peak forest

Butterfield Peak wildflowers

Butterfield Peak - Oquirrh Range, UT (6/25/11)

Tony Grove

Tony Grove Lake eastern shore

Tony Grove Lake - Bear River Range, UT (7/2/11)

Matthew near Grotto Falls

Grotto Falls

Grotto Falls - Wasatch Range, UT (7/9/11)

Nebo Bench

Nebo Loop family pic

Nebo Loop overlooks - Wasatch Range, UT (7/9/11)

Ruth Lake family photo

Pond near Ruth Lake

Ruth Lake - Uinta Range, UT (8/6/11)

Matthew at Tenaya Lake

Tenaya Lake from the west

Tenaya Lake - Yosemite National Park, CA (8/12/11)

Half Dome from Olmstead Point

Olmstead Point group photo

Olmstead Point - Yosemite National Park, CA (8/12/11)

Grizzly Giant family photo

Fallen Monarch family photo

Mariposa Grove - Yosemite National Park, CA (8/13/11)

Glacier Point pic

Glacier Point at dusk

Glacier Point - Yosemite National Park, CA (8/13/11)

Tuolumne Meadow hike

Matthew by Tuolumne River

Pothole Dome Trail - Yosemite National Park, CA (8/14/11)

Splashing around at Mono Lake

Tufa Trail scenery

Tufa Trail - Mono Lake, CA (8/14/11)

Death Valley

Crowley Memorial

Death Valley, CA (8/15/11)

Liz & Matthew at Kolob Canyon

Buck Pasture Mountain canyon

Kolob Canyon - Zion National Park, UT (8/16/11)

Squaw Peak Road views

Utah Valley Overlook

Squaw Peak Road - Wasatch Range, UT (9/28/11)

Timpooneke Camping

Tent door view

Timpooneke Campgrounds - Wasatch Range, UT (9/29/11 - 9/30/11)

Road to Guardsman Pass

Guardsman Pass trail

Guardsman Pass - Wasatch Range, UT (10/1/11)

Matthew s rock

Mount Superior above Cardiff Pass

Cardiff Pass - Wasatch Range, UT (10/22/11)


Post a Comment
Viewing: 1-8 of 8

maddie77777 - Mar 6, 2009 3:45 pm - Voted 10/10

Nice report

That's a cute little family you have there. Good luck in your future hikes!

Rocky Alps

Rocky Alps - Mar 8, 2009 3:20 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Nice report

Thanks. It's great when you can mix hiking and family time together.

Rob Thompson

Rob Thompson - Mar 9, 2009 10:33 pm - Voted 10/10

Fun Report

Really enjoy your photography. Thanks for sharing.

Rocky Alps

Rocky Alps - Mar 10, 2009 1:07 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Fun Report

Thanks, Rob. I had no idea the Uintas were so scenic, and we only spent a few hours in the far west corner of the range. It'll be fun going back when Matthew's older.


lcarreau - Jul 7, 2009 9:57 pm - Voted 10/10

This is what the world

needs more of now - right here!

If people would take the time to spend quality time with family
and friends, the world would most certainly be a better place !!!

Rocky Alps

Rocky Alps - Jul 14, 2009 3:23 am - Hasn't voted

Re: This is what the world

Despite still wanting to bag the occasional difficult peak, I find that my most enjoyable hikes are the ones with my family. Thanks for the kind comments.


tmtn93 - Jun 29, 2010 1:59 am - Voted 10/10

nice trip report

Very nice trip report, too bad he won't remember any of this as he grows older, but you'll have a lot of stories to tell him :)

Rocky Alps

Rocky Alps - Jul 26, 2010 8:06 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: nice trip report

Now he asks us when we're going to go on our next hike, so maybe he's slowly starting to remember them.

Viewing: 1-8 of 8



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