You know that feeling.......it's up in your chest.
Your heart is all a flutter, you're giddy, smiling ear-to-ear.
You feel like nothing in the world could possibly be better.
Pure, unfiltered, 100% joy.
I felt that.
Here, in this very spot.
Our Saturday was pretty full.
We had a lot of catching up to do after a month of being gone/having family in town/being gone/having family in town/and repeat.
We worked throughout the morning, and then when lunch hit and our chores were done(mostly done, who are we kidding).......
.....what should we do?
Well, of course.
Let's go explore.
All summer the kids have had a goal--they wanted to hike 7 miles. I don't know where this goal really came from--why 7? We'd done close to six before, so seven, I guess, was the next big step.
We had heard Lake Blanche was pretty, and it was right in the 7 mile range so we decided, why not.
We packed snacks, filled our packs with water, and a few headlamps......just in case.
I am quite the boy scout when it comes to packing for a hike. Call it being prepared......or over packing, but when we are hiking with kids I'd rather have too much than not enough.
Here are a few extras I bring when we'll be out longer:
(for a simple gear list for shorter hikes check out this post)
-jackets. always. It was close to 100° when we left our house, and not a cloud in sight. But you NEVER know what conditions could turn to up in the mountains, especially when you'll be further off the road and can't rush back to your car.
-small emergency ponchos. again, just in case. they are small and light to pack, so why not?
-extra snacks. the kids carry their snacks for the hike in their packs, and this time I stuck in a few extra high calorie fruit and nut bars, just in case we ended up being out longer.
-water purification tablets/or a water filter, in case for some reason you run out of water
-small first aid kit/sunscreen/bug spray/knife/electrolyte tabs--(I bring this all on shorter hikes too)
-hats to keep the sun off little faces
-headlamps/flashlights. This trip we knew we'd be back before dark.....but then again.....you never know...because we weren't.
Trail head: Mill B Trail head in Big Cottonwood Canyon (for driving directions and more trail detail check out THIS site)
Distance: 3.2 miles to the lake, 3.2 down, a little running around at the lake....
7.3 total for us. goal reached.
Elevation gain: 2730ft
Trail: mostly smooth. some steep parts, but not too bad. A few sections of rock slide area, but no big deal--the kids loved that part. There is some shade through aspens, but a lot of this hike is really sunny, so make sure you have sunscreen and LOTS of water.
Destination: Lake Blanche, Lake Florence, and Lake Lillian.
Dogs?: not allowed. sorry charly.
We ate: We ate a big lunch before we set out, and brought along trail mix, jerky, granola bars, and some cherries to eat at the top. And LOTS of water, I can't stress this enough.
Worth Mentioning: The entire Lake Blanche area was just insanely beautiful. I had no idea we would be greeted with big slabs of red rock at the top. It was so pretty and unexpected, and we loved exploring it all. We liked it so much we stayed a lot longer than planned, because we knew we could hike down with our lights in the dark (so happy we brought them so we COULD stay!)
If you want to see an amazing sunset--stay up top for a while, you won't regret it.
(and take a few silhouette photos while you're at it....)
a few iphone snaps of the hike up:
Lake Blanche. Sundial Peak in the background.
Just looking through these photos makes me happy all over again.
I really love being out in the mountains with my little family.
When do you feel 100% pure unfiltered amazing nonstop ecstatic joy?