Snowshoeing (Stewart Falls)

9:56 AM

We have really missed hiking these past few months. We really enjoyed getting out and being active in nature. Utah is such an amazingly beautiful place and hiking is our favorite way to explore it. For Christmas, Jake and Meg got us a book of 100 hikes in Utah. Alison has been planning the hikes we want to do for the year and she found a couple snowshoe hikes and decided we should try one out. We invited Jake and Meg to come with us. We weren't really equipped for hiking in the winter so we borrowed a bunch of snow clothes and we rented some snow shoes from REI.

We decided to hike Stewart Falls up by the Alpine Loop. I haven't been up that way in a long time. It is a very scenic area. It was also very snowy. The snow was packed down on the trail and we probably would have been fine without the snowshoes, but we wore them anyway. It was a lot more difficult to hike with the snowshoes. The snow capped mountains and snow covered vistas were totally worth the extra effort.

We had fun while we were hiking. Although it was hard to talk because the snowshoes were so loud. I was mostly at the back of our group and I couldn't hear anything. We took lots of breaks along the trail to enjoy the scenery and to write in the snow. Alison drew a heart in the snow and Jake wrote all of our initials. It was also surprisingly warm (although it was still chilly). The warmth made it hard to decide how many layers we wanted to wear and we kept taking off our gloves and then putting them back on. We all got really sweaty because of the effort required on the hike. Snowshoeing has unique challenges other types of hiking don't have.

We chose to hike Stewart Falls because it is a destination hike. The falls were a pretty amazing destination. They were mostly frozen. In fact, Alison kept commenting that the falls reminded her of the movie Frozen. Because it was a fairly warm day they were starting to thaw a little bit. At the bottom of the falls you could see huge chunks of ice that had fallen down.

When you first get to the falls there is an overlook area where we stopped and took pictures. Then there is a trail going down toward the falls. It looked a little treacherous and we decided not to go. then we found another easier trail. It was still pretty steep. You had to walk down a good ways and then climb back up a steep hill. This is where the snowshoes were the most useful. Getting closer to the falls was really cool and we got some more good pictures.

After we got close to the falls getting back down was a challenge. There were multiple ways down but they all looked challenging. Alison sent me down one path to scope it out. It took a picture of the rest of our group trying to decided which way would be best. In the end Alison came down by me and Jake and Meg went back down the really steep hill. I think they slid more than they hiked down.

The hike back from the falls was quite challenging. Half of it was uphill and by this point we were all pretty worn out. We made it back and it was a lot of fun. In the end Alison isn't sure she really liked snowshoeing. I would do it again, but I am not in a huge hurry. It was really fun though to go hiking and we may need to look at different ways to get out and enjoy Utah during the winter. 

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