Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Backpacking White Pine Lake- Little Cottonwood Canyon- Wasatch-Cache National Forest- July 2015

I usually hike the Wasatch as my training ground for my backpacking adventures. But there are a few spots here in the Wasatch that are great over nighters. White Pine is one of the best. It is a very long hike, 5 miles from car to lake, and about 2500 ft of elevation gain. But the trail all the way to the lake is an old service road from the 1960's reclamation project. So the going is pretty nice with a few steeps along the way. I started in at 1 PM and made my way up. I pushed pretty fast of to the Red Pine/White Pine Junction. Then begins the climb which gains you some elevation very fast. Once you finish the first switchbacks the terrain and grade mellows quite a bit which you can make some distance on if you are willing to push it a bit. Eventually you start climbing again, and then comes the steepest section of this trail. Just take it easy and save your energy on this section. Once you reach the large moraine you are above treeline with an incredible view of the North Headwall of Little Cottonwood Canyon. The geology is apparent with the blend of rock types. After four more switchbacks you are standing at the top of the trail looking down at White Pine Lake.

I made camp at the same site I stayed at in 2012. Some hikers on their way out said there were people up there camped, but when I arrived there was no one there. I had the lake all to myself on a holiday weekend! A couple of day hikers came in in the evening, but they left before dusk. I had White Pine Lake all to myself solo backpacking! This will for sure go down in history as a once in a lifetime event. I pitched camp and then put the fly rod together and tossed out a line. I has some small ones on, one that I hooked into that was rather large but I did not land. It was not fast fishing as it was the last time I was up there. But still fun and nice to be fishing in solitude. Evening set in and I got dinner ready and settled in for the night. I set the camera out to grab a star trail and I put on some tunes on the goal zero speakers. It was an amazing evening up there, with a half moon light painting the granite all around camp. I have to say I picked a great night to be up there. I had a blast just relaxing and taking that deep breath we all need. I eventually turned in to some of the quietest sleep I have had in months.

I awoke just a little after 8:30 to clear skies and a light breeze. The temps were mild overnight, and never really cold. I got up, ate breakfast, made some coffee, and then packed it up. I am amazed at how minimal I go these days, and I was sitting lakeside just enjoying the view one more time before heading out. It is a peaceful place, and one that is special on my list. After taking it all in once more, I threw on the pack and headed out. I had the trail to myself until I came out of the moraine. Then I ran into hiker after hiker on the way up the trail. It was Saturday, so I expected this. I am probably one of the few this weekend who had that place to myself. I was grateful to say the least. I had a pretty quick hike down, and the weather was perfect. Enjoy the pictures from the trip. More adventures to come!

1 comment:

  1. Thankyou for sharing your hike and camping story. Also, these are wonderful pictures.