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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Cecret Lake {Albion Basin} :: SLC, Utah

Cecret Lake is perfect for families. It is an easy hike but a little steep towards the end. You park at the top of Albion Basin and then head up the trail. I personally love to go just a bit before sunset in July because then you get to see the Wildflowers in evening light followed by a gorgeous sunset. My little sister and I did this hike together on a Sunday evening just to unwind and relax. I cannot get over how amazing the wildflowers are during the month of July. 

Distance: 1.5 miles roundtrip
Location: Top of Albion Basin, trail starts to the right as you are looking up the canyon

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Catherine Pass {Albion Basin} :: SLC, Utah

My manager was recently in town so I wanted to take her on a little hike to show her the beauty of SLC. She loves the outdoors but lives in NY so I couldn't think of a better activity than a little evening hike, especially in the month of July when the wildflowers are at full bloom. The night we went up to Albion Basin was a little stormy/chilly this night but still so beautiful. Catherine Pass to Mary Lake is a pretty quick hike and one I would definitely recommend. It is not as popular as Cecret Lake but just as good for families and just as fun. 

Even better, we saw a moose (see below)! Little did I know, they are one of the most dangerous animals. My husband gave me a little lecture on that after the fact. Regardless, we had so much fun and it was an evening to remember.

Distance: 3 miles roundtrip - you can continue down into Big Cottonwood Canyon and past Mary, Martha, and Catherine lakes from here
Location: Trail starts from the 2nd to last parking lot in Albion Basin up the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon - you will see signs for Catherine Pass 

Here is the beautiful moose we encountered. It was literally just off the trail so we were very close (as I later learned, too close).

The lighting was absolutely beautiful on the trail down. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Albion :: little piece of heaven on earth

Albion Basin is one of the places that keeps me in Utah. I cannot imagine living away from this little piece of heaven on earth. I go here to feel closer to God. It is also a great place to getaway in the mountains and forget the cares of the world. Cell phone service is rare so you can feel the ultimate peace that nature brings. 

It is only about an hour from Salt Lake, straight up to the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon. It is actually part of Alta Ski Resort. July is the best time to go because the wildflowers are in full bloom. The colors are spectacular! Avoid the Wildflower festival, usually the last weekend of July, the traffic gets insane and there is no parking, but they do usually have shuttles up there from Alta resort. 

Go! I promise you will not regret it. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015


"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure
It is our light
not our darkness that most frightens us. 
We ask ourselves, 
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? 
Actually, who are you not to be? 
You are a child of God. 
Your playing small does not serve the world. 
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. 
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. 
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and 
as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. 
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." 
- Marianne Williamson

Today I feel serenity. Today I am choosing extraordinary. My sister has spent the last few days with me and I am in awe of her light and goodness. Her happiness and positivity. Several times she says to me, "Life is not ordinary, it is extraordinary! Why do we treat it otherwise?" You are right, dear sister. Today I am choosing to reignite the passion I have buried within me. Today I am choosing to let go of fear. Today I am choosing to shine! 

I started this blog at the beginning of the year to share : to share adventures, as well to share the extraordinary, beautiful, everyday things. At times, I have struggled to open up and share pieces of my life that often feel sacred. At other times, I hesitate because, simply put, I fear that no one cares. 

Here is to sharing the beauty of life, regardless of what others may think. Here it to enjoying the joy life gives us in each moment. Here is to neverending serenity. May we all recognize and maximize the potential within us. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Bells Canyon :: Sandy, Utah

Bells Canyon was amazing but I definitely have some recommendations after hiking over 11 (almost 12) miles to the reservoir at the top of the canyon. Online the distance says it is anywhere from 7-10 miles roundtrip. It is definitely closer to 12 - we timed it with our own GPS. I personally would only recommend hiking up to the waterfalls, not all the way up to the top reservoir (not much for looks, either). Although there were a couple of stops along the way to the top that were amazing - the boulder fields and wildflowers among granite. The trail gets a little random towards the top and it can be difficult to find again so try not to stray far from the trail (even though the wildflowers may be tempting). The weather was also a little chilly at the top because we were so high up in elevation. Bell Canyon would also be a great spot to backpack and stay overnight but give yourself at least 2-3 hours before dark to hike up and setup camp.

Distance: .5 miles to the lower reservoir, ~3 miles to the waterfalls, ~6 miles to the upper reservoir
Location: just to the south of Little Cottonwood Canyon, parking lot right off Little Cottonwood Road

The beginning of the hike is fun and simple - you hike up a steep little path to the lower reservoir before you start trekking through some trees and grasses towards the canyon. On the way up, you pass by the most beautiful little stream. We got there early morning and the light coming through the trees was incredible. 


As you hike into the canyon, you have granite walls looming above you to the left. Absolutely breathtaking. It also starts to get steep pretty quick once you see the granite. 

^ We made a quick little stop and sat on a giant granite boulder in the sunshine in preparation for the miles ahead. Such a pretty spot. I could hike to just this spot and be happy hanging out the rest of the day. 

^Wildflowers were amazing as expected...

The waterfalls were a little tricky to find. To be honest, we still never found the huge waterfalls but you have to head down the trail a bit and wander around to find them. When you do though, it feels like you are in a bit of a fairyland - between the mossy rocks and the mist floating off the waterfall, it's a little piece of heaven.

This part was amazing too, it's a little ways up from the waterfalls but we loved this giant boulder field and the views of the city from here. I especially loved scrambling over all of the boulders.

^ cannot get enough of all the granite and wildflowers

Amazing high views of the city

And on the way down, we stopped for a few photos along the granite fields before we started to descend quickly down. 

^ I had to post this photo because I'm so proud of Braden for keeping his eyes open while I kissed his cute cheek ;)

Love this beautiful, fun sister of mine! 

Cannot imagine these crazy adventures without this guy. This hike was truly amazing and we will be back!