Big Beacon from Hogle Zoo (Mount Wire)

Posted: 19th March 2011 by Jonathan Wood in Hiking
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Spring is here in Salt Lake City, which means three things: rain, rain and more rain. Oh yeah, and a bit of snow here and there as well, especially in the higher elevations.

Actually, it didn’t really rain during my hike today, but it was overcast and extremely windy as the next storm moves in. And I did see a few snowflakes on the mountain.

For whatever reason, I was feeling kind of lousy today. After last week’s hike in Rose Canyon, where I had trouble with with deep snow, I wanted something easier today. However, I couldn’t decide where to go until I actually got in my car and started driving. I ended up in the small parking lot across the street from Hogle Zoo and hiked to Big Beacon.

Kind of an odd decision given that I felt like a small hike as this is actually a fairly aggressive one, climbing 2,115 feet in just over a mile and a half. Most of my hikes to Big Beacon have been from the University of Utah area. That route is pretty steep but today’s route is steeper.¬†However, I did reach the top in exactly an hour. I have never reached the top that fast from the other route, although I’ve tried a couple of times.

I took a few quick pictures at the top and nearly got frostbite in my fingers. The wind was howling and it was cold! I quickly came down off the peak where there was less wind and stopped for a quick snack before heading back down. It was about this time where I started seeing a few snowflakes. I ended up putting on a cap and my mittens but never did put on my shell.

My memories of coming down today’s route are of “rubbery legs”. Seemed like my legs were ready to give out last time. They must be getting stronger. It’s still a little rough but it wasn’t two bad and I was on the mountain less than two hours.

As could be expected, I felt better after the hike. I usually do. But I’m really starting to long for Summer. What usually happens in Spring in Salt Lake is that, as the weather starts to get warmer, we enter a rain pattern where there’s just one storm after another. By the time the storms have passed, it’s actually getting a little warmer than what is comfortable.

Time on the Mountain: 1 Hour, 55 Minutes
Distance Traveled: 3.33 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 2,115 Feet
Average Speed: 1.7 MPH

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