After driving over 3200 miles across the country and taking a day to rest (and to do lots and lots of laundry) we thought it would be fun to take a “quick” 5 mile hike with the cousins.
Let’s just say that 5 miles straight up and down a mountain is very different (and much more strenuous!) from hiking in Maryland.
We came home exhausted, covered in dirt, and thirsty beyond belief (again…we were prepared with enough water for a 2 1/2 mile each way hike at home, not in the dessert mountains). But we had a fantastic time, saw spectacular views, and created memories with cousins that will last a lifetime.
For those of you considering hiking to Silver Lake in the Uinta National Forest here are a few things you should know:
- The 3-mile dirt road drive is not regular car friendly. Drive a truck or SUV. Leave the minivan at home. It’s a rough road full of switch backs and large stones and holes…and our van barely made it. But we did make it.
- The 2.2 mile hike that starts at the Silver Lake Reservoir and ends up at Silver Lake is straight up the mountain (or at least it feels like it). It is full of unbelievable views and plenty of shady spots to stop and rest (because you probably will want to stop to rest). It is not a hike for the weak. My tachycardia was going wild the entire hike up to the lake (my heart rate was between 120 and 180 for the whole hike…probably not the smartest choice for me!).
- Going down the mountain is much easier and much faster.
- We had kids from 2 to 18 in our group, and the two youngest had a hard time with the hike. All of the kids above 8 were just fine with the hike (but they were very tired).
- Silver Lake is COLD, even in mid July when the air temperature is in the 90s and 100s. But after hiking in the heat, that cold water felt incredible on our feet. A few people even got in a little deeper…
- Pack lots and lots of water.
- Plan for a full day outing. The hike up to Silver Lake took us a few hours, where the hike down took an hour to an hour and a half, with a rest stop of about an hour at the lake.
And now, I need to sleep…That hike wore me out!
What have you been up to this week? Surviving the heat and the craziness of summer?
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