Saturday, September 10, 2011

Israel Canyon

I have some family that lives on the West side of Utah Lake. We went for a visit, and along with a little babysitting of numerous kid cousins, I snuck out with my bike for a little exploring up Israel Canyon in the Lake Mountain Range.

This boat is a tad far from the lake shore.

Before the mouth of the canyon proper, there is a powerline frontage 4X4 road that was mighty enjoyable, with great views of the Wasatch range and the lake:

The canyon itself was a fairly steep grade, and rather loose, especially at the top. I grinded uphill for an hour, and almost made it to the final switchbacks leading to the summit radio towers, but I turned back instead. I had no goals in mind. I just wanted to see what was up there. And that's the attitude I've been trying to cultivate since my move back to Utah: rather than do the same-old awesome stuff the Utah has over and over, I try explore the hidden-in-plain-sight stuff whenever possible, even if its not the coolest thing ever. And this ride fits the bill: The more diminutive Western ranges of Utah I see every day, yet I've never been up there till now. Check, and done. 

It should be noted that the Lake Mountain Range west of Utah Lake is listed at HERE but it suggests grinding up the relatively moderate 8%-average grade (yeah, thats not steep at all!) of Mercer canyon to the south to reach the radio towers, then descend Israel Canyon to complete the traverse of the range. That sounds like a smart way to do it. I'll have to try that next time, although the steep grades of Israel Canyon were pretty fun way to work on ultra smooth, ultra power, slow-cadence climbing for long distances.

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