Mount Wire and Mount Van Cott Lollipop Loop (or the Foothill Follies) - November 6. 2021

scatman

Member
.
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
2,047
Over the past twenty five years or so, I've hiked to the top of Mount Wire and Mount Van Cott at least sixty times each. Usually, I hike each in the early spring as I warm up for bigger peaks later in the spring/summer. In the fall, I hike them again as I wind down my backpacking/hiking season before the snow flies here in Salt Lake. Occasionally, I will hike them a third time during the year if I need to get a quick hike in and get back to do other chores in the afternoon. I have always done these hikes as separate ones, but yesterday I combined both peaks into the same day hike. The length of the lollipop loop was roughly 14 miles as measured on a map. I'm guessing that it was probably closer to 15 when all was said and done on the ground. Another first for this hike was that I would summit both from the south, as opposed to the northern routes to the peaks, which I had taken all the previous times that I summited Wire and Van Cott.

I might mention too that this fall, for all my foothill hikes, I have been starting out from my house instead of driving to the various trailheads like I have done in the past. I figure this would add some miles to my hike, and give me a bit more exercise to keep me in some semblance of shape before old man winter arrives.

Let's get started.

Mount_Wire_and_Mount_Van_Cott_Loop.jpg

Route overview map

01.jpg

My wife and I headed out about 7:45 in the morning and the sunrise was a good one.

02.jpg

Pretty

03.jpg

We're heading through the neighborhood at this point, with a view of the southern peak of the Avenues Twin Peaks to our north

04.jpg

I zoomed in from the Avenues on Triangle Peak, the snow covered Broads Fork Twin Peaks, and Mount Olympus far to our south

05.jpg

Dropping down from our neighborhood towards Dry Canyon and the Bonneville Shoreline Trail which I will follow all the way to the
mouth of Emigration Canyon and the trail up the south side of Mount Wire

06.jpg

Startling a flock of pigeons as we pass by Mount Van Cott on our way towards Mount Wire

07.jpg

One last patch of yellow on this rabbit brush shrub

08.jpg

Sumac showing off its fall colors

09.jpg

The western approach for Mount Van Cott

10.jpg

Signage for the Shoreline Trail as we approach the Natural History Museum

11.jpg

About to cross Red Butte Creek

11b.jpg

With the sun popping out over the foothills, it was time to take a break and put some sunscreen on. This is the point where my
wife turned around and headed back.

12.jpg

Rabbit brush in bloom

13.jpg

A look back north at Mount Van Cott

14.jpg

A teepee in the "This is the Place Monument"

15.jpg

The silhouette of Jack's Mountain to the south. Another spring hike favorite of mine

16.jpg

View slightly to the northwest as i approach the trail up the south side of Mount Wire

17.jpg

Mount Wire dead ahead

18.jpg

Some Mountain Mahoganies up top

19.jpg

The trail heads right up the ridge of the knob straight ahead

21.jpg

Approaching the knob

20.jpg

The knob

22.jpg

Some aster still blooming along the trail

23.jpg

A look back down into the valley. You can still make out the teepee down below.

24.jpg

Mountain Mahogany time

25.jpg

A little rocky section along the ridge

26.jpg

View south along the Wasatch Front

27.jpg

These two passed me like I was standing still. The dog's name was Gunner.

28.jpg

A little over halfway to the top, and I'm sucking wind. Typical. :)

29.jpg

First good look into Emigration Canyon

30.jpg

The old airplane beacon on the summit finally comes into view

31.jpg

Some deer scat just below the summit

32.jpg

Geeze, like herding cats @Rockskipper. One of these dogs came and sat on my lap while I was trying to eat a snack. I saw a total of
57 hound dogs/pooches on this hike.

33.jpg

Once I got to the top of Wire, it clouded up and would stay that way for the rest of the day

34.jpg

My snack on the top of wire

35.jpg

Black Mountain Ridge to the north, along with Grandview Peak in the far distance located on the north ridge of City Creek Canyon

36.jpg

Looking towards Mount Van Cott, which is about 800 feet shorter than Wire. Antelope Island in the far distance

37.jpg

My gear for the day

38.jpg

Leaving the Mount Wire summit after my break, three hours and twenty eight minutes into my hike.

39.jpg

My favorite Mountain Mahogany in the whole wide world.

40.jpg

Van Cott straight ahead

41.jpg

The Red Butte Ridge and George's Hollow below which I will be following back down to pick up the Shoreline Trail again

42.jpg

The trail through George's Hollow

43.jpg

A slight touch of red still holding on

44.jpg

Still making my way down George's Hollow

45.jpg

Fall colors of the Oregon Grape

46.jpg

The foothills do have some steep sections to them as this shot looks down George's Hollow and
out into the valley

48.jpg

Just following the ridge down to the Shoreline Trail at this point with the University of Utah below

49.jpg

A view back up George's Hollow

50.jpg

Back on the Shoreline Trail and heading north towards Red Butte Gardens. I will be making my way around the east side of the
Gardens before dropping down into Red Butte Canyon

51.jpg

A look up towards Peak 5773

52.jpg

On the backside (east) of the Natural History Museum

53.jpg

Trail sign for the trail that I will take to make my way around Red Butte Gardens

54.jpg

heading east up Soldiers Hollow, with Red Butte above

55.jpg

Mount Van Cott comes back into view

56.jpg

The old Quarry House on the Gardens grounds

57.jpg

I really wanted to lie down on this bench and take a nap. :)

58.jpg

The nature trail with Van Cott in the distance

59.jpg

A look up at the north side of Red Butte as I drop down into Red Butte Canyon

60.jpg

More asters in bloom

61.jpg

heading down into the canyon

62.jpg

A rose bush's fall colors

63.jpg

Red Butte Creek

64.jpg

No trespassing beyond this point

65.jpg

Fall colors are dwindling at the bottom of the canyon

66.jpg

Five and a half hours in and I'm starting the climb up Mount Van Cott

67.jpg

Here we go. You can't make out the top yet from this vantage point

68.jpg

Looking up at the ridge to the east of Van Cott

69.jpg

I had a nice chat with these two bow hunters coming off of Van Cott

70.jpg

A nice look back across Red Butte Canyon at Red Butte as I gain a little bit of elevation

71.jpg

Common Storksbill leaves changing to red along the trail

72.jpg

And some storksbill blooming still

73.jpg

The summit of Van Cott above. Unfortunately the trail heads west and then turns back northeast up the ridge to gain the summit

74.jpg

Heading northeast towards the summit

77.jpg

Trip time as I reached the summit

75.jpg

Looking back south towards Mount Wire where I was three hours earlier

76.jpg

A zoomed in shot with the airplane beacon visible

78.jpg

One can see some of Red Butte Resevroir from the summit of Mount Van Cott

79.jpg

Go Aggies! :D Enjoying a break and some snacks on Mount Van Cott.

80.jpg

Oh my! A fifteen round heavyweight fight between Scatman and the Sweat Snap Swish Gatorade.
Who is your money on?

81.jpg

59 degrees up top with a good wind blowing

82.jpg

The way home as I drop down off the north side of Van Cott - my usual route.

83.jpg

The Black Mountain Ridge

84.jpg

And the valley below

85.jpg

More blooming Rabbit Brush with Van Cott above

86.jpg

Looking down into Dry Canyon

87.jpg

The fall colors of sumac along the trail

88.jpg

Life Flight taking of from the University Hospital. I was kind of hoping that they would come pick me up.

89.jpg

Antelope Bitterbrush leaves turning their fall yellow.

90.jpg

I just love the golden grass of the foothills

91.jpg

Another look up Dry Canyon, this time in the afternoon

92.jpg

Not sure what this flower is, but I thought it was pretty. I'll need to see if I can look it up.

93.jpg

More sumac

94.jpg

Back on the bike path that leads back to my neighborhood

95.jpg

A shed for tools and such at the local community garden

96.jpg

I didn't need to go to the foothills to see wildlife. :) A couple of deer in a yard on 10th Avenue, just one block north of my house

97.jpg

Hello.

98.jpg

I see ya.

99.jpg

Home sweet home

100.jpg

Greeted at the front door by the best "Tent Tester" in the world - Juniper, or as I affectionately call her "June-bug."

101.jpg

Total time: 8 hours and 29 minutes

The End
 
Last edited:

Rockskipper

No ETA
.
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
3,241
So, was that you climbing the airplane tower in that shot?

Remember the movie Smoke Signals and how the guy's always saying in a sort of irritating voice, "But Victor, what about your dad?"

Cue that same voice: "But Scatman, what about your kilt?"
 

regehr

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Messages
1,511
Love it! There's a bit of terrain you covered in lower Red Butte C that I've never visited, didn't realize it was legal, very cool. That's some fortitude to go all the way down to the shoreline trail and then back up Van Cott. But I already knew you were a glutton for punishment.
 

scatman

Member
.
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
2,047
So, was that you climbing the airplane tower in that shot?

Remember the movie Smoke Signals and how the guy's always saying in a sort of irritating voice, "But Victor, what about your dad?"

Cue that same voice: "But Scatman, what about your kilt?"

No, that's not me climbing the beacon. I've done it plenty of times in the past, but there was a line of people wanting to go up there while I was taking a break.

You know, I thought about wearing a kilt that morning. It was a warm 58 at 7:30 am here in Salt Lake. I think they forecast a high of 68 degrees. When I was heading up Mount Wire, the sun was beating down on me and I thought to myself, "You should have worn one of your kilts." But by the time I got to the top of Wire, the sun had gone behind the clouds for good, and the wind was blowing pretty good on the summit, enough so that I got a little chilled while eating my energy bar and petting all the dogs, so I was glad that I made the decision to leave the kilt at home. I don't think it ever got to 68, but maybe it did down in the valley at some point.
 

scatman

Member
.
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
2,047
Love it! There's a bit of terrain you covered in lower Red Butte C that I've never visited, didn't realize it was legal, very cool. That's some fortitude to go all the way down to the shoreline trail and then back up Van Cott. But I already knew you were a glutton for punishment.

I had never been back there before either @regehr. I really wasn't sure if I might have to do a bit of bushwhacking to get down to the trail up Van Cott. It is pretty straight forward though. Once you get to that nature trail signpost, you have two options: one, head down towards the history museum, or second, up the hill paralleling the fence of the gardens. The trail goes up and over a hill and then drops down into the canyon, spitting you out right near the locked gate, and just across the road from the trail up the southeast side of Van Cott.
 

Bob

Trailmaster
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
2,934
57 dogs? Thats real environmentally friendly ......... Ill bet everyone of them had dog poop bags. NOT
 

scatman

Member
.
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
2,047
57 dogs? Thats real environmentally friendly ......... Ill bet everyone of them had dog poop bags. NOT

I didn't count the poop bags. :) I did see a couple filled bags just sitting by the trail though. :( That calculates out to just over four dogs per mile, though I didn't see a single one on Van Cott. And the only two people I saw on Van Cott were the deer hunters.
 

regehr

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Messages
1,511
I didn't count the poop bags. :) I did see a couple filled bags just sitting by the trail though. :( That calculates out to just over four dogs per mile, though I didn't see a single one on Van Cott. And the only two people I saw on Van Cott were the deer hunters.
something else we should mention is the absolutely lovely trail heading up from Mt Van Cott towards Little Black Mtn. it really doesn't get a lot of traffic. it used to be nonexistent past a certain point but. now there's sort of a vague use trail almost the whole way. it's one of my favorites and hasn't seen the explosion of use that has turned Big Beacon into a bit of a zoo at times
 

Bob

Trailmaster
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
2,934
I didn't count the poop bags. :) I did see a couple filled bags just sitting by the trail though. :( That calculates out to just over four dogs per mile, though I didn't see a single one on Van Cott. And the only two people I saw on Van Cott were the deer hunters.
Lol ... So now poop and plastic bags stacked around ... Guess there is a poop patrol that comes and picks it up.? Sad.
 

Ugly

Life really is better Here
.
Joined
Apr 20, 2013
Messages
908
Go Scatman! and go Aggies!
That is a nice Saturday stroll.
I sat and enjoyed some of that sunrise on Saturday. Then I promptly raked up some of the aspen leaves in my backyard to the middle of my lawn only for them all to blow away before I got back to them. I guess that saved me having to use a bag.
Probably with a kilt and an umbrella you could have jumped up into the wind and kited over to the next ridge? and if that did not work then the helicopter probably would have come for you. :thinking:
 

scatman

Member
.
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
2,047
something else we should mention is the absolutely lovely trail heading up from Mt Van Cott towards Little Black Mtn. it really doesn't get a lot of traffic. it used to be nonexistent past a certain point but. now there's sort of a vague use trail almost the whole way. it's one of my favorites and hasn't seen the explosion of use that has turned Big Beacon into a bit of a zoo at times

I agree, that is a great place to hike. I always called it the Van Cott Ridge, but I'm sure it has some other local name that I do not know. I saw some elk along that ridge years ago. It's been two years since I last hiked along there. Maybe before the snow flies I will head back up there.
 

scatman

Member
.
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
2,047
Go Scatman! and go Aggies!
That is a nice Saturday stroll.
I sat and enjoyed some of that sunrise on Saturday. Then I promptly raked up some of the aspen leaves in my backyard to the middle of my lawn only for them all to blow away before I got back to them. I guess that saved me having to use a bag.
Probably with a kilt and an umbrella you could have jumped up into the wind and kited over to the next ridge? and if that did not work then the helicopter probably would have come for you. :thinking:

I raked some of my yard yesterday. I've got a nasty Chinese elm across my alleyway that won't lose its leaves for another two or three weeks, which means that I'll have to rake again.

I bet the kilt and the umbrella could have cut my overall trip time in half! :)
 

Bob

Trailmaster
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
2,934
Just had the visual of Scat, kilt and umbrella soaring over the Ridgeline....
 

Titans

Member
.
Joined
Aug 18, 2018
Messages
1,256
Well done @scatman , you’re staying in shape! Thanks for posting the photos of the common storksbill’s green/red leaves, never figured out what those are called. Your tent tester looks very content, waiting for your return. It looks a little cool up in SL, ever thought about coming down to the desert to hike?

By the way I was thinking of you the other evening! I had a big “ @scatman e-bike moment” the other night, when a couple arrived late at camp while we were stargazing and flashed up our entire campsite with a bazillion bright bulbs on their truck.
 

scatman

Member
.
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
2,047
If I'm in shape @Titans , then why am I still sore three days later? :)

I guess the desert rat hasn't bitten me yet. I tend to spend almost all of my vacation time in grizzly country, where I feel most at home. I did do a few day hikes on two separate trips to Zion about 33 and 35 years ago, and I have been to the swell a couple of times, which amounts to a very limited sample size I am afraid. Maybe when I retire I can find some time to start exploring desert locals some more. Oh, I am tentatively planning a trip to New Mexico to do some backpacking in the Gila or Aldo Leopold Wilderness next spring, though I'm not sure if that meets "hiking in the desert criteria."

I'm glad others have e-bike moments too. I saw a bunch more e-bikes when I biffed it at the top of City Creek last week. I'm trying to coexist. :D
 

Titans

Member
.
Joined
Aug 18, 2018
Messages
1,256
Maybe you will be less sore, if you consume more beer after your hikes? I’m hopeful you will catch the desert bug at some point! Hopefully we can spend more time in grizzly country in the future. 2020 was supposed to be the big year for that, but that didn’t exactly pan out!
 

Kmatjhwy

Wilderness Wanderer
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
578
Scatman, enjoyed your trip report. Thanks. Now do heartily know what you are saying in not being a desert rat. I thoroughly enjoy Southern Utah's canyon Country, but further south in the real deserts somehow do get to me it seems anymore. I am now here in St. George. Found a spot to winter. But the deserts so get to me now after being in the lush Wyoming Wilds like the Thorofare and the very very lush Pacific Northwest. Am sooooo enjoying the sun and warmth with no snow and cold, but do miss the land up north. And when spring comes, am really looking forward to heading back north.

Again Thanks for your wonderful trip report with all of the photos.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
scatman Mount Wire - January 10, 2016 Hiking & Camping 15
scatman Mount Wire - February 8, 2015 Hiking & Camping 3
scatman Mount Olympus - November 13, 2021 Hiking & Camping 11
TheMountainRabbit Horse Ridge to Mount Febbas (Wind River Range) - July 2021 Backpacking 18
scatman North Summit, Mount Olympus - July 3, 2021 Hiking & Camping 12
scatman Mount Raymond and Gobblers Knob Lollipop Loop - June 18, 2021 Hiking & Camping 17
scatman Mount Aire and Unnamed Peaks 8490 and 8319 Lollipop Loop - June 12, 2021 Hiking & Camping 11
Udink Mount Belknap and Bullion Canyon Hiking & Camping 3
scatman Mount Aire - January 2, 2021 Hiking & Camping 4
scatman North Summit, Mount Olympus - October 17, 2020 Hiking & Camping 16
norwegianxplorer Summiting Mount Whitney from Guitar Lake, 6 Days backpacking the Sierra before the Creek Fire closed everything down. Backpacking 5
scatman Mount Nebo - August 6, 2020 Hiking & Camping 13
SteveR Mount Burke, Alberta Hiking & Camping 5
scatman Mount Raymond via Bowman Fork - June 27, 2020 Hiking & Camping 6
J Mount Nutt Wilderness Cave Spring Area dayhike Nov 26, 2019 Hiking & Camping 0
scatman Mount Olympus - November 10, 2019 Hiking & Camping 1
BJett Mount Rogers National Recreation Area - Virginia Backpacking 18
TractorDoc Three Days at Mount Rainier in late July. Hiking & Camping 10
TractorDoc Mount Rainier in Late July -- Day Hiking Meet Up (Members Only) 0
scatman Mount Aire - September 23, 2018 Hiking & Camping 11
stevecochranephotography Blue Lakes Trail... Southwest Colorado in the Mount Sneffels Wilderness Hiking & Camping 9
stevecochranephotography Notch Mountain Trail - Mount of the Holy Cross and Shelter - Minturn, Colorado Hiking & Camping 4
Dave Mount Watson Hiking & Camping 12
scatman Mount Olympus - April 5, 2018 Hiking & Camping 15
AbinadiWitness Part 1: Telluride Via Ferrata and Mount Sneffels SW Ridge from Blue Lakes- Colorado Trip # 1 - 2017 Backpacking 0
Udink Deadman Point, Haystack Mountain, and Mount Tukuhnikivatz Hiking & Camping 3
misSOULa Montana's Pintler Wilderness: Goat Flat and Mount Tiny Backpacking 6
Devin Ashby Mount Agassiz Beta Trip Planning 4
scatman Mount Olympus - February 20, 2017 Hiking & Camping 9
scatman North Summit of Mount Olympus - November 6, 2016 Hiking & Camping 8
IntrepidXJ Mount Tukuhnikivatz Hiking & Camping 6
Udink Mount Peale Hiking & Camping 4
Udink Mount Sneffels and Handies Peak Hiking & Camping 4
blueeyes Winter Snowshoe Mount Baird, ID April 23-24 2016 Backpacking 10
Bryan Harwood Glacier National Park: Wintersun on Mount Brown March. 2016 Hiking & Camping 4
Elemental Fluttershy Mount Adams Rec. Area: Wildflowers at Bird Creek Meadows! (Washington) Hiking & Camping 3
Tres Westbrook Death Valley National Park - Day Two - Mount Perry Hiking & Camping 4
IntrepidXJ Mount Sopris Backpacking 3
Keith Heart Lake and Mount Sheridan July 27 to July 29 Backpacking 6
Blake Merrell Cuberant, Kamas & Lofty with a little Mount Marsell Backpacking 18
Vegan.Hiker Mount Moosilauke, WMNF Hiking & Camping 0
scatman Mount Aire Hiking & Camping 4
scatman Mount Van Cott / Dry Creek Loop Hiking & Camping 3
scatman Mount Van Cott - February 15, 2015 Hiking & Camping 3
scatman Mount Olympus - November 8, 2014 Hiking & Camping 4
IntrepidXJ Mount Whitney Backpacking 22
scatman Mount Olympus - South Peak - 5/4/14 Hiking & Camping 7
Nick Kayak mount system for pontoon boat Gear 21
IntrepidXJ Mount Antero & Mount Princeton Hiking & Camping 8
WasatchWill Mount Timpanogos - August 2013 Backpacking 4

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Top