I recently signed a contract with The Mountaineers Books to write a guidebook to be called 100 Classic Hikes in Utah. Part of their “100 classic hikes” series, it will cover the best, most popular, most loved, and/or most dramatic hikes in the state. (That will be somewhat subjective, of course, but I hope to adhere mostly to universally acknowledged stupendous hikes!) There will be short jaunts, day-long hikes, and extended overnight backpack trips.
To say I’m excited is a slim description. I’ve already done a lot of the hikes that will be included, but there are some I still need to set foot upon. That’s a lot of traveling I’ll be doing this year. Ah, so many more days and nights out under the vast Utah sky, getting to explore new places, deepening my appreciation for the natural wonders of this state…. Pretty damn cool, really.
The names alone of many Utah hikes are enough to pique curiosity. In general, Utah has some of the damnedest place names I’ve ever seen. They’re awesome, really. Ed Abbey wrote about place names in southern Utah in Desert Solitaire, calling them “the folk poetry of the pioneers.” A great list, which maybe in some other post I’ll quote at length.
Consider what hikes with these names might look like: Chocolate Drops Trail. Little Death Hollow. Fiery Furnace. Robbers Roost Canyon. Black Dragon Canyon. Angels Landing. Dead Horse Point. Goblin Valley. Cheesebox Canyon. Ferns Nipple. Desolation Lake. Amethyst Lake. Lost Lake. Fable Valley. Beartrap Fork. Donut Falls.
Don’t you love it when your imagination may take flight and soar in giddy wonder when regarding names like that? Or places like Bryce Canyon (which has its own great trail names, such as Fairyland Loop Trail).
Enough rambling now. I have a lot of hiking and writing to plan out for my year.