Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Blind Lake Trail, Boulder Mountain, Dixie National Forest- September 2016
With the forecast looking like winter in the Uintas, we decided to head south for the weekend. I have always wanted to check out the North Slope area of Boulder Mountain, and this was my chance to do so. We did the long drive from Salt Lake to Hwy 12 on Friday night, arriving at camp close to midnight. A couple of beverages and a nice fire and little did we know it was the really late and we needed to get some sleep. We awoke to howling winds and partly cloudy skies. We did our best to get ready to head in, but mother nature was not having it. A really violent thunderstorm rolled in and dumped hail, rain, with thunder and lightning to boot. This put a damper on our plans, as we were going to pack in on Saturday. We decided to just relax and just do an over nighter since the weather was not cooperating. We had another nice night at our dispersed spot with the stars out and the winds which kept raging the aspens in our camp. I turned in early as I wanted a jump start on getting up the trail in the AM.
We awoke to the same wind, but much better weather and a bit warmer temps. We broke our car camp and ate breakfast, then decided to head in. The trail starts to gain elevation before leveling off after about a mile. Then you pass a series of small meadows, then you climb up into the pines. After a while we ended up standing on the shore of Blind Lake. This is a huge lake, much larger than I imagined it would be. With the wind still getting after us, we thought it would be better if we tried to head for Cutler Lake to avoid crowds and traffic if there were to be any. The hike to Cutler Lake was really nice. We arrived at Cutler and walked around the whole lake looking for a good spot. We had seen one just before Cutler on the way in, and after circumnavigating the lake, we decided to head back to the spot we saw which put us directly between Blind Lake and Cutler Lake. This would prove awesome for some night photography.
We set up shop and got things ready for the evening. Dinner time came and we got our fire going. Night settled in and we decided to take a walk over to Cutler Lake via the headlamps. I wanted to shoot the Milky Way over there and did not regret the nice walk by headlamp. I returned to Blind Lake and set out my camera for a star trail hoping the wind would not knock over my camera. I settled in by the fire back at camp with my friends, and they eventually turned in. I went to retrieve my camera and to my surprise it had not moved one bit despite the winds. I sat out there as it finished the last half an hour of shots before heading back to camp. It was so beautiful and even saw a meteor while I was waiting for the shots to finish. I returned to camp and sat by the fire for one more beverage then I decided to turn in.
Morning came and I got up to try to do some fishing. I had a couple of solid hits, but the wind was crazy still and they got off trying to haul them in. It was still nice to be out casting the line, and I got a very nice pano of Blind Lake. Eventually it was time for coffee and breakfast, then we packed it up. The hike out was as wind free as it has been all weekend and we made a fast pace for the car because of the three hour drive in holiday traffic back to Salt Lake. This was a great exploratory trip to see an area on Boulder Mountain that I had yet to visit. I had a great time with good friends and could not have asked for a better weekend. No people, and just beautiful forest. I will return to this area for more backpacking as there was a lot more to see. Enjoy the pics and time lapse. Fall is here! Not too much longer before this party changes to snow dances. More adventures to come!