South Mountain (Herriman)

Posted: 26th March 2011 by Jonathan Wood in Hiking
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I didn’t feel like taking a major hike today and decided to go back up South Mountain near Herriman, UT. I did this hike several weeks ago but was caught in a fog that prevented me from seeing beyond 100 feet. So I went back for a better look.

Although I could see snow falling in the distance (and on me for a few minutes), I considered myself fortunate to get out today between storms. (It’s been a while since the last warm day.)

Heading up, Suki took off after some deer. We had just finished climbing the steepest part of the mountain and she chased them all the way down to the bottom before running back up again. I wish I had that kind of energy!

A little later, she spotted something else. It was hard to tell exactly what it was as it was quite some distance away and the cold wind was making my eyes water. I took out my camera and took a bunch of pictures as Suki chased after it. Unfortunately, the photos didn’t turn out very well. I posted some anyway.

I knew the animal was related a dog. And when I saw it appeared to have a bushy tail, I thought it might be a fox. However, when I got home and searched the Web, I see that coyotes also have bushy tails. It seemed a little bigger than a fox too. Most are small; however, there are larger ones. My understanding is that there are a lot of coyotes in this area and so I tend to think that’s what it was. In fact, I see their prints all the time and am surprised I don’t run into them more often. But I can’t be sure.

I even walked down to where it was to look for prints (see GPS tracks in the map below). However, the only prints I could see looked like my dog Suki’s. If some of these prints were from this animal, that suggests it was a coyote as they just seemed to large for a fox.

This hike was initially quite steep but, once up on the ridge, it was a short hike to the peak. In fact, I was quite surprised to see it took over an hour to reach the top. I definitely lost some time going back down to check out those prints, but not much.

I didn’t bring a snack today. I gave my dog something to eat, took a few more photos, and headed back down.

On the way down, I decided to take the same route I went weeks earlier. However, I guess I got a little sidetracked (also visible on the map below). I was able to use my GPS, for which I now have topo-map software loaded, and was able to figure out where I had got off track. Fortunately, the right path was just the other side of a small ridge.

This is not a major hike but has some steep slopes at the start. It’s a great hike for a good workout without spending too much time.

Time on the Mountain: 2 Hours
Distance Travelled: 3.16 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 1,582 Feet
Average Speed: 1.6 MPH

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