Cottonwood Canyon

When my son invited me to visit Salt Lake and see the aspens turning in the mountains I thought "OK- I can give up one weekend of New England's fall glory."  What I didn't expect was to arrive just in time  to see the yellow pop the autumn color against the backdrop of an early snow. I may a head full of gray hair, but that first snow still brings all the giddy excitement I felt as a kid.


Our Saturday our adventure started at 9,050 feet with the temperature somewhere between 27 and 32 degrees.  Ben and I started climbing up the trail towards Mary's Lake at the end of Big Cottonwood Canyon.  We didn't make it all that far, partly because my lungs are not used to that elevation, but also because the sun was coming up fast and I knew this little cluster of aspens would be soon be dramatically lit, or so I thought.  On my turf I know the patterns and movement of light, but here I didn't realize that a peak I couldn't see meant we would be waiting... and waiting... and waiting.  But all that foot stomping to stay warm was worth it.  These pictures only give you a taste of the magic.