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Hike of the week: Great Western Trail to Bald Mountain — East Canyon

Hikers on the Great Western Trail.
Hikers on the Great Western Trail.
Steve Baker, Deseret News

From Big Mountain Pass, the trail starts by the green communication building and climbs to the ridgeline in aspens. At a quarter mile, you reach the ridgeline, and the trail levels with views of Parleys Canyon. From there, the trail drops into a large meadow at 1.2 miles. At this point, you can see the barren hilltop of Bald Mountain to the south. From the meadow, the trail climbs into scrub oaks, levels, then drops into a conifer grove to the lowest point of the trail. At this point, you cross the drainage saddle at 2.3 miles, and the trail climbs into aspens. This is the steepest section and can be muddy. You leave the aspens and enter a beautiful maple grove as the trail levels out. As quickly as you enter the maples, you leave them for a sagebrush- and grass-covered hillside. From the hillside, you see the trail going up, and the top is Bald Mountain. There is no shade on the peak, but the views are spectacular. To the west is Little Dell Reservoir and the Salt Lake Valley. Bring plenty of water and enjoy!

E-mail: sbaker@desnews.com