Salt Lake Community College student veterans celebrated America’s independence with a hike to the Bell Canyon waterfall last weekend.
“I thought I was climbing to hell,” says veteran and SLCC student Mike Snell, who brought his wife and two sons. “But the end reward is outstanding.”
Many hikers took extra time to enjoy the sights along the trail.
“It took us about five hours,” Snell says. “We had to stop and take in the scenery … the reservoir, especially the waterfall.”
Bell Canyon features challenging trails, memorable scenery and a breathtaking waterfall. It’s also less than 30 minutes away from the Taylorsville Redwood Campus.
The veterans started their hike at the Granite trailhead on a 91-degree day. The first part of the hike was the toughest, due to the lack of trees or shade.
One-third of the way into the hike is the lower Bell Canyon Reservoir, a great catch-and-release fishing spot for cutthroat trout and the perfect rest stop where hikers can cool down.
Traveling up the canyon, the hike gets hardcore. The finely groomed dirt trail turns into a rocky, unstable uphill battle.
“You know you’re getting close, because the trail gets steeper and rockier,” says veteran and SLCC student Matthew Butcher. “You can hear the waterfall [and] that’s what keeps you going.”
After two hours of arduous climbing, the parched hikers made it to their destination.
“It’s so peaceful, I could stay here all day,” says Mike Rowski, a veteran and Army National Guardsman. “I take my daughter up here every Fourth of July, I want her to appreciate Utah’s backcountry.”
Hidden in the foothills near Sandy, Utah, Bell Canyon is a hidden gem for hikers of all abilities. Bell Canyon is located on 10245 South and Wasatch Blvd.