This morning I got up before sunrise again. I had been thinking all night about where I was going to hike this morning. I wanted to try something new.
The idea I came up with after searching on AllTrails was to go to Silver Lake. I have been to Silver Lake before, bit this time I was going to take a different trail from the east side of the Wasatch mountain range.
I found a route to a new trailhead that requires driving through Heber and Midway then go up Pine Canyon, over Guardsman Pass and down into Brighton. The road almost approaches 10,000 feet over the pass. I did suffer a bout of acrophobia on the descent. It looked like certain death, and yet, somehow I survived.
I discovered something when I arrived at the Silver Lake trailhead. It turns out that there are TWO Silver Lakes in the area. There is one that you get to from American Fork Canyon, which is the one to which I thought I was going to this morning, but from a different access point. Then there is the other one, which I drove to this morning.
They are both amazing. I think my preference is the one from today.
There is a trail that goes around the lake and it also connects with several other trails that climb up the mountainsides. Before diverting to the Twin Lakes trail, I came across some wildlife on Silver Lake.
The best moment was with a small marmot having breakfast. The marmot was not at all concerned with my presence. In fact, when you watch the video, you will see that the marmot let me get about 1-2 feet away to video his morning meal.
I also came across a mother duck caring for her hatchlings and a deer about to duck into the depths of the forest.
When I made it to the junction of the Twin Lakes trail, I started the 900 foot elevation climb to the top.
While I was surprised by the drive, the new version of Silver Lake, and the connection to the other trails, I so want to go back and do more exploring. There are a lot of trails to connect to. Since the area is used by the ski areas, there are trails all over. Many of them are 10,000 feet and above.
More to come for sure!
Here is a video I shared on TikTok of the climb to Twin Lakes.