This month has been quite a bit different from last month. In July we were camping almost every weekend; this month we haven’t been able to get out as much as we would like. We knew that we needed to get out and at least go on a longer hike on Saturday. We decided on White Pine Lake in Little Cottonwood Canyon.
Blake and I have visited the Albion Basin the past two years together, so we decided that we needed to keep up the tradition. We were very lucky and were there right during peak season. It was truly incredible the number and color of those wildflowers. We hiked up to Catherine Pass right around sunset. I stopped every few feet to take more flower photos. The last two years, we have intended to hike to Lake Mary but have never made it to it because it starts to get dark before we actually get there. Maybe next year. Here are some flower photos!
The past few weekends of adventures have been very thought out. A lot of planning and research went into those trips and we were ready for a nice relaxing weekend. Blake and I thought a nice weekend at home would be nice, but upon further thinking we realized we would probably get bored, so we decided to go do something. We wanted to go somewhere where there was hardly a drive and that we could be alone. We talked about car camping by Mirror Lake but knew that it would be super crowded and that we probably wouldn’t even be able to get a spot. That led us to backpacking… again. We thought we might be a little crazy because we had just finished a long backpacking trip last weekend, but it also sounded really nice and relaxing to both of us. Blake opened up his Uintas map and picked a lake that looked nice; he chose Ibantik Lake. We did minimal planning and research on Ibantik Lake.
Buckskin Gulch has been on my bucket list for quite a while. Blake and his friends tried to get permits last year but weren’t able to get get enough; secretly I was happy because I really wanted to go. After that, I told him he wasn’t allowed to go without me. We talked with our friends, Aubrey and Logan, and decided that we should go. Logan got the permits a few months ago and we were ready; Thanks Logan!
Last year, on one of my first backpacking trips, we hiked to Lake Blanche in Big Cottonwood Canyon. The hike was extremely hard for me and I thought I hated backpacking because of it. Luckily, after a few less strenuous backpacking trips, I have come to love it and keep planning more trips. On Memorial Day, we didn’t have any set plans so we talked to Kristin and Dan and decided on a hike. We scoped out some trails looking for the one with the least amount of snow. Much to my dismay, we chose Lake Blanche.
After waking up to some of the best stars we had ever seen over Ibex, we hit the road to Great Basin National Park. The road to Great Basin is basically a straight line 40 miles west of Ibex. Once we got to the park, we didn’t really have any plans except a tour of Lehman Caves in the afternoon. I had been to Great Basin as a kid and remembered that the tour of the cave was pretty cool, so I signed us up a few days in advance. This park is different because there is no entrance fee, but there is a fee for the tour. It is only $10 a person and definitely worth it.
We had the best time in Kauai! We are extremely grateful for the Jenkins’ family for letting us stay with them. They let us borrow a car, a room, and eat their food. It was so much fun to spend time with them and get to know them better. We are already planning a trip back to see them! Here are some highlights of the best trip.
As soon as we booked our trip to Kauai back in November, we bought permits to backpack the Kalalau Trail on the Napali Coast. This backpacking trip has been on both of our lists since before we were even dating. We were both super excited to be doing it together and couldn’t wait to see the amazing scenery.
Last year we had the incredible opportunity to hike The Subway bottom up; meaning that we started the hike and finished the hike on the same trail. Although it was amazing, we decided that if we ever had the chance to do it again we would do it top down with a few rappels and swims. Blake’s sister and her husband, Alison and Eric, were supposed to come with us but were unable to so they have been wanting to do this hike ever since. Alison looked a few months ago and permits were available to do it top down! She didn’t have to ask us twice; we were in!
Blake did this backpacking trip a couple years ago with friends and has wanted to take me back ever since. We also have a big backpacking trip coming up in May so we wanted to do a little training and thought this would be a great warm up for our next big trip. We woke up early Friday morning and headed to do Spooky and Peek-a-Boo gulch again, we’ve done these canyons before and wanted to revisit them. You can read more about those great slot canyons here. We did that hike first to kill a little time; we didn’t want to get too early of a start because the route that we chose was not super long.