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Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Cooling Off Under A Waterfall

We have a friend visiting from out of state and so we wanted to show her some of Utah's attractions. She has been to some of our national parks and major playgrounds and we wanted to show her something unique.

We settled on the fascinating rock art in Nine Mile Canyon, in Castle Country in eastern Utah, but fate intervened. Just as we get into Spanish Fork Canyon on Hwy 6, traffic came to an abrupt halt. We sat there for half an hour as half a dozen highway patrol and sheriff vehicles whizzed past, lights flashing. Then came the fire trucks and ambulances. They all went up, but nothing was coming down, so we knew we would be in for a long wait.

We heard there was a fatal accident a few miles above us and the highway might be closed for some time, so we turned around and reconsidered options.

We choose to hike to a series of waterfalls up Battle Creek Canyon, on the east edge of the town of Pleasant Grove, just north of Provo. We had great fun playing in Battle Creek, which is a small stream. We had more fun darting into the spray from the waterfalls. The water was cool and refreshing on a hot summer afternoon.

The lower waterfall is the most impressive and it is just a short hike (about 1 mile round trip) above the parking area, located at the eastern end of 200 South Street. The trail is broad and relatively easy. The final 100 yards become steep, but not bad. Viewpoints along the trail provide sweeping views of Utah Lake and the surrounding countryside.

You can hike for miles above the lower waterfall, seeing other cascades and small waterfalls. The trail in the upper section comes more steep.

We had a great time. On a summer day, you can't beat playing in a waterfall.

I love to seek out and photography waterfalls. Many people are not aware that there are dozens of waterfalls in the canyons along the Wasatch Front (the populated region that includes Provo, Salt Lake City, Ogden, and the areas in between). Many can be seen at the end of short hikes into scenic areas. See our hiking section for ideas.

- Dave Webb

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