“Climb the Mountains and get their good tidings”
At least once each summer I try to get up to Snowbird located in Little Cottonwood Canyon of Utah's majestic Wasatch Mountains. My wife and I will usually rent a room in the Cliff Lodge and take advantage of the Zip Line, Alpine Slide, Concerts and other games and entertainment and then top it off with a swim in their beautiful pool below towering sub alpine fir and Engelmann spruce with billions of stars filling the sky above the snow strewn peaks. Then a night cap at the Airee lounge while we listened to live jazz music makes for the end of a perfect evening. In the morning, the “Mountain Breakfast” is a tasty buffet style breakfast where your tables look out onto the rocky forested slopes of the Snowbird resort where until until June most years you can see people getting the last Ski runs in before all the summer snow is gone. There is also an outstanding spa and fitness center on top of the hotel that we have thoroughly enjoyed at times.
While all of these things are fantastic, my favorite thing by far is the Snowbird Tram that takes you from the base of the mountain 7,760 feet to the top of Hidden Peak at 11,000 feet in the very heart of the Wasatch Mountains. This 125 person capacity tram covers the 2,900 feet of elevation gain in approximately 7 min. and as you get higher and higher the views of the Wasatch in the summertime get better and better. Once on top you have incredible vistas in all directions. To the east is the immediate bulk of 11,068 foot Mount Baldy which separates Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort from Alta Ski Area. Further east along the ridge is rounded 11,051 foot Sugarloaf Peak with the jagged knife rigged 10,920 foot Devil's Castle beyond. On the horizon to the east are the Uinta Mountains which are the tallest mountains in the State of Utah. To the south you look down into an American Fork Canyon with massive 11,750 foot Mount Timpanogos in the distance. In the foreground to the west are the matched summits of 11,489 foot American Fork Twin Peaks. To the north you will see the jagged precipitous Mount Superior ridge which high point is 11,132 foot Monte Cristo Peak. Looking north west you can see all the way down “U” shaped Little Cottonwood Canyon to the Salt Lake Valley, Oquirrh Mountains and Stansbury Range beyond. This canyon is “U” shaped because it was carved or gouged out through massive glacial action in the last ice age. From the top of Hidden Peak, an experienced hiker who is not afraid of exposure and knife ridges, can easily climb Mount Baldy, Sugarloaf, American Fork Twins and numerous other peaks further west. Some say it is cheating to start from Hidden Peak summit but I say it gives me more time above the treeline. For hiking purists, you can start at the cliff lodge and follow the ski service roads up to the base of the higher peaks. The view from the top of Hidden Peak is astounding. If you do nothing else but drive up to Snowbird for a few hours and ride the tram to the top, you will be rewarded with incredible mountain vistas in all directions.