On Memorial Day, Koda and I took a drive down to Pleasant Grove for the hardest hike I have done to date. We got a later start than I would have liked, but it was fine. The hike began at the Grove Creek trail head. We headed up the trail towards a stack of waterfalls. The trail cut across steep cliffs and over loose rock. It was one of the more scenically beautiful hikes that I have taken. I was bummed at first, though, that Mount Timpanogos was socked in behind clouds. This was one of the main reasons I wanted to take this hike in the first place, to see the face of Mount Timpanogos close up.
In order to get to the peak, I simply followed the Grove Creek trail for just over 2 miles. There is a bench on the left side of the trail. Just a few feet past this bench is where the horribleness begins. Head straight up the hillside scrambling up the loose rock. Be careful not to kick these rocks too hard as there may be hikers on the trail below. The main goal here is to climb up to the ridge toward the prominent mountain straight ahead. This ridge is steep, so even when you get to the ridge, your troubles are not over. I seriously contemplated turning back several times here, but ultimately decided to press on.
Once up to the ridge, the goal is to try to access what is known as the upper ridge. I found it easiest to cut across the side of the mountain from the first ridge at an angle and then head up to the upper ridge. I found myself having to rest every 5-10 steps during this section of the hike. It was so brutal. Koda wasn’t enjoying this portion either, but he was a good sport about it all. (He especially didn’t appreciate the loose rock at the bottom section.)
Finally, finally, you will reach the upper ridge. I decided it was a great spot to eat some of my ham, cheese, and avocado sandwiches. That’s when my luck turned extra sour. Dark clouds, rain, and some thunder started rolling in. The steep portion of the hiking was done, and I could see the summit so close to me, but I was not about to take any chances of getting struck by lightning. So, I had to call off my push to the summit. After all of that hard work!
Koda and I raced back down as fast as we could to avoid the storm. By the time we had retraced our steps back to the bottom, the sun was back out and the heat came with it. I probably would have been okay to make it to the summit if we would have waited for the storm to pass, but that wasn’t a risk I was willing to take.
As we drove away, we caught a glimpse of Timpanogos coming out to play. Yesterday, was a bunch of bad luck strokes, but it was still a good hike overall.
Oh, the best part was I took along our new Nikon D3300 with us! I’m am so excited that we finally have a great camera to take along on our adventures!