19b: Bountiful Snowshoeing

3 Dec 2022: 8 miles, 3.5 miles official BST (twice). Trailforks Log.

In the Spring, Spencer and I set a goal to complete Salt Lake and Davis Counties in 2022. Of course, life always happens, and we got way behind schedule. October and November turned out especially busy, but there was clear weather today, and the temperature was reasonable, so we figured we’d go back to finish the brand new Bountiful Bypass section. We knew there would be snow, so we came prepared with snowshoes and microspike cleats, parked a car at Mueller Park, and drove back to the Summerwood Trailhead where we ended back in October.

Getting to the new BST from this (and any other) trailhead is a steep climb. This trail is remarkably high, around 6,400ft (1,300ft above the highest Bonneville Shoreline). Yet it still barely misses private property in a few places. Fortunately, the access trail had seen some traffic since the last storm, so our cleats worked great. Previous visitors had gone other directions wo when we turned onto the BST, it was virgin snow. Over the past few years, I have really gotten into snowshoeing, and there is something very satisfying about plowing a new path through fresh powder. But not for 9 miles. Snowshoeing a level ungroomed trail in powder is like climbing a steep hill, because you sink so much you have to lift your feet out of each step. Fortunately, the new BST is a well-built relatively trail or this would have been much worse.

The views were awesome along the way, and since this is generally a north facing slope, most of the route is shaded in oak. In fact, as you get into North Canyon, it turns into a conifer forest that would normally be an enjoyable hike. However, by this time, we had covered 4 miles at about 1 mile per hour, the snow had deepened to a foot or more, and checking my trailforks app, realized we had at least 5 miles left with only 3 hours of daylight left. At this point, Spencer said, “I would like to entertain the idea of turning back.” It didn’t take much convincing! Fortunately, going back over our footsteps (with a lot of gradual downhill) was a lot easier and quicker, and we reached our car just as it got dark.

So, I think I’m going to set my limit on snowshoes to about 3 miles. We’ll come back to finish the section between North Canyon and Mueller Park in the Spring. We should probably wait until they finish building a bridge over the creek in Mueller Park anyway.

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