A Mountain of Contrasts

For my first mountain of the year, I chose to an easy hike up to Lake Mountain Peak. It’s a mountain that’s seen by many but very few would know the name. It sits on the west side of Utah Valley, directly over the shore of Utah Lake.

The hike itself wasn't much to write about. It’s a couple miles up well maintained dirt roads. If you went a little earlier in the year than we did, you might get less ATVs and other off roaders, but with the nice weather this year and lack of snow at low elevations, we ran into plenty of them.

The scenery was a lot more interesting than the hike. A couple years back a fire burned up a lot of the tree cover for many of the slopes, leaving them as mostly open grassland. In spots where the fires missed, you still have thick stands of aspen and what was probably scrub oak or something similar.

At the top you get to see even more contrasts. The Utah and Salt Lake valleys to the east are full of cities and suburbs but to the west there’s almost nothing. The Wasatch Moutains tower above the little peak and so do the Oquirrh Mountains to the northwest, but the Tintic Moutains to the southwest seem to be more like the lonely little mountain that’s between all these larger ranges.

The views are amazing but contrast with the scenery that’s to be seen on the mountain. I don't mind the radio towers as long as I can photograph without them in the way, but like anywhere anybody can access on a short drive, there was a lot of junk that careless people had left. It was a bit sad, even more so than all the burned up trees. Still, with time and care, I’m sure the trees and the mountaintop scenery could recover to a more beautiful natural state.