Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Deertrap Mountain, Cable Mountain - Zion National Park

I've been running trails in southern Utah for years. I've explored literally hundreds of miles around here. And yet I've only scratched the surface of what is available in the area. Even though the summers are rough here when temperatures range between eight and twelve billion degrees, I live in trail running paradise.

Last week my brother-in-law Matt took me to some back country trails around Zion National Park that I hadn't run before. Our first stop was Deertrap Mountain. I loved traveling winding paths through a blanket of green. 

Matt spotted this little arch as we were heading to the trail overlook.

I was following Matt when he suddenly stopped in his tracks. I looked up and saw a big family of bighorn sheep. By the time I got my camera out, almost all of them had bolted down a steep, sheer mountain of sandstone. We both held our breaths. It was scary watching them run down such a steep cliff. We didn't want to see a sheep make a misstep and then tumble to the valley floor. But none of them did! It was an incredible thing to watch. A few sheep stuck around for a quick picture.

We arrived at the overlook and saw Zion National Park from above. It was a different perspective than most tourists ever see.

Another viewpoint, and a prime location for a jumping picture.

Matt got in on the jumping action too. Note: there was no memo sent pre-run to wear matchy matchy shoes.

From there we headed to Cable Mountain. The trails weren't overly technical and there wasn't a ton of climbing. It was pretty runnable stuff. I was happy with how this picture turned out.

Earlier I mentioned our average summer temperatures. We got lucky and it was on the cooler side, only eight billion degrees. It definitely could have been much worse. I kept Tailwind in my pack for calories and electrolytes. (And one can of Mountain Dew for a mid-run treat.)

We made it to the edge of Cable Mountain and this old, wood structure. In the early 1900's they used these cable works to lower timber to the valley below. On the other side of where I'm standing is the edge of a cliff so high that when you look down it makes you want to throw up in your mouth.

Here is Matt with that throw up in the mouth sensation:

It was nice to check off a few new trails in one push.

  • ~ 14 miles
  • 0 bighorn sheep deaths
  • 8 billion degrees
  • 1 swimming pool worth of sweat
  • 4 Altra Lone Peaks
  • 5 throw-up-in-your-mouth-inducing cliffs
  • 100% purely beautiful trails

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