Tom’s Nephew and Family Come to Visit
Fortunately for us, Tom’s nephew’s family vacation was scheduled to pass through our part of southwest Utah, and so after they spent a few days at Zion they headed north to stay with us for a couple days! We were so excited to have visit so we took them on the best hike we know: Ashdown Gorge. I’ve hiked and blogged about this trail twice before but in summary, the one-way route starts at the trailhead for the Rattlesnake at about 10,500 feet overlooking Cedar Breaks National Monument, descends over 2,500 feet through fir and aspen forest, through high meadows, ponderosa forest and finally drops into the Ashdown Creek right above the gorge. From there you follow the creek losing another few hundred feet elevation – and crossing literally a hundred times or so – for the other half of the hike until you emerge at the mouth of the gorge and have to scramble up a rockfall to reach Highway 14. Our preferred route adds an additional 2 miles in order to hike up another side canyon to a waterfall for a total of about 15 miles.
We so enjoyed showing Dave, Gina, Lauren, Livy, and Jake all the things we love about the mountains, such as the majesty of Cedar Breaks, the sunlit aspen forest, the butterscotch ponderosas, the clear flowing creeks, the dramatic gorges, and multi-colored rocks. Though it’s a long hike, and a tiring one at that, we had a wonderful time chatting and catching up. The 7 of us jokingly selected our favorite dwarf names as we hiked through the switchbacks in the aspen forest and then chose one of the von Trapp children’s names as we strode across the meadows. And the 2 nights they stayed with us we ate dinners together, exchanged travel information, and watched travel videos shot with their Go-Pro. We also took them on the short but beautiful Timber Creek Trail in Kolob Canyon that overlooks Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to the south. It was a busy visit, and truly a wonderful one.
Timber Creek Trail in Kolob Canyon:
Asdown Gorge via the Rattlensnake Trail: