September 3, 2016

City Slickers

Our new country/city home provides an astonishing number of riding opportunities.  We're only a 30 minute drive from downtown Salt Lake City, yet we can access many miles of great riding nearby.
Dimple Dell
Dimple Dell is a Salt Lake County park with a series of barked and sandy trails traveling the length of gulch.  We can access this area from our barn door, no trailering required.  Riding down into the gulch and up the other side provides good exercise for the horses.  We usually take an 8 mile route with 1000 feet of altitude gain, but one could easily double that distance without traveling the same trails twice.  Hawks, owls, grouse, quail, deer and squirrels keep the ride interesting.  We often see other horsemen, as well as bikers and hikers.  In winter, we share the trails with sledders and cross country skiers.  The horses have gotten used to a little bit of everything in Dimple Dell.
Lone Peak
By trailering for about ten minutes, we can access the Corner Canyon trail system, from which there are several routes up Lone Peak.
Lone Peak Trail, looking south toward Utah Lake
 We can ride 10-15 miles and gain up to 3500 feet of altitude on these trails and be home in time for lunch.   Some of the trails see frequent biker/hiker use.  Golden eagles and other raptors soar above.  We see hummingbirds, deer, and the occasional snake (yep, rattlesnakes could be out on the trails, but they tend to get out of the way when they hear the pounding of large hooves.) In summer, the wildflowers are spectacular. 
Wildflower bouquet
Blazing Star Mentzelia
A 40 minute trailer ride takes us to Yellow Fork trailhead, across the valley in Herriman.  Many shaded trails along the creek are great for hot summer days.
Looking west from one of the many Yellow Fork trails
 We have explored several loop options.  One route travels up into the mountains for a distance of up to 20 miles, gaining about 2500 feet. 
 These are the closest rides, but the mountains surrounding Salt Lake Valley provide plenty of exploration opportunities for the days when we have time to travel a little farther from home.  


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