Everybody Loves Mount Raymond!
[caption id="attachment_3966" align="alignleft" width="245" caption="Looking south from the peak of Mount Raymond, you can see Twin Peaks in Big Cottonwood Canyon."][/caption]
What is so special about this hike, you might ask? It’s the wide range of terrain you encounter! The trailhead starts out in a lush forest and follows a small creek for probably a mile or so. As it departs from the creek, the trail gets quite a bit steeper and suddenly you’re surrounded by tall pine trees with little underbrush. You’ll eventually reach an overlook that is a great faux summit for those of you who don’t want to spend seven hours hiking to take in the sights. Everything up until this point is quite family friendly and doesn’t take more than about two hours round trip.
If you want to pretend you’re hardcore like me though, you’ll then continue south on the trail through a meadow rimmed with aspens that eventually leads up to Bowman Pass. When you reach Bowman Pass, you can either go north east to Gobbler’s Knob or continue south west to Mount Raymond.
[caption id="attachment_3967" align="alignleft" width="245" caption="Not much of a trail at the top..."][/caption]
From this point on, the trail disappears and you’ll need to make your way through a labyrinth of sharp rocks along the steep ridgeline to the top. There aren’t many trees, so it’s hard to gauge how far you still have to go. Needless to say it was a lot farther than I anticipated. It all becomes worth it though once you reach the top. To the south you have an epic view of Twin Peaks in Big Cottonwood Canyon. To the west you can see the backside of Mount Olympus. To the northwest is a great view of downtown Salt Lake with the Great Salt Lake looming in the distance. And by looking east you’ll see just how many more peaks there are along the Wasatch Front left to climb.
[caption id="attachment_3970" align="alignleft" width="245" caption="Tree struck by lightning near the top of Mount Raymond."][/caption]