Willow Heights Trail

Friday, October 3, 2014

I don't know about you, but I would definitely consider myself a morning person. I like to be up and ready with the sun, and to get as much out of my day as I possibly can. Waking up a 9am gives me a rush of panic, and a feeling of having wasted so much of my day! Sometimes it is a little nuts, but that is just how I am. Early to bed, early to rise. I guess that is why sunset hikes and walks have really been my thing lately.

I am not talking about getting out early to watch the sunrise. I mean getting outside, and waking up with the sun as it slowly rises over the mountains. I swear it is the most peaceful part of the day, experiencing everything waking up at once. 

My bestest friend Sarah and I decided to go on a little sunrise hike adventure yesterday up Big Cottonwood Canyon. We drove the 12 ish miles up the canyon to Willow Heights Trail. I had heard mixed feelings about this trail. Some saying it wasn't worth it, and others just raving about it. I decided to check it out for myself. 

As I had been warned, the beginning of this hike was a little tough. It is a short hike altogether (only about .75 miles), but that first half is basically all up hill. It was a little challenging, but then you look up and see that you are completely surrounded by silence and aspen trees. It kind of makes up for the tough beginning.

The second half is pretty much smooth sailing. Sarah and I definitely had an interesting experience at the end. We were almost to the end, Willow Lake, when we smelt the most awful smell in all the universe! You know those smells that just seem to get stuck in your nose for always? Yeah, it was horrible. Turns out there was a half eaten elk carcass in the trees, so that was fun and a little eery. We didn't stay too long seeing as how it was probably only a couple days old, and we did NOT want to be around when whatever was eating it came back around. NO THANK YOU! 

Now I will be completely honest, and I will tell you that this lake wasn't the most impressive. It is rather small, and for some might not seem like much of a payoff for all the uphill. However, if you really take a look around you will see just how stunning it really is. Your mind starts to wander, and you can imagine deer and moose slowly making their way out of the trees in the morning, getting a morning drink with the rising sun. You realize just how quiet it is, and how undisturbed everything is. 

So if you ask me I would give this little hike a chance. Yeah, it may not have the most stunning views, but when you are up at that lake just drink in the silence. I think that alone is worth it. 


  1. These pictures are making me swoon!

  2. holy crap these are stunning photos! i admire your morning-ness so much.

  3. you two ladies just make me smile! :) love you two! thank you!

  4. wait...those reflections... this earth is incredible. as are your photos.

    1. right?! i couldn't get over it. this earth is unreal, and always continues to surprise me with its beauty.


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