Yesterday, we took a road trip up through the mountains from Park City, down the mountains south, then through Timpanogos National Monument, and back through Wasatch Mountain State Park to Park City, making for a great loop. I recommend this trip to anyone who is here in the summer. A lot of the roads we were on are closed or not maintained in the winter. We took Utah 224 from its intersection with I80 at Kimball Junction up through Guardsman Pass (9700 ft.) down to I215 then south to U92 through Timpanogos National Monument to U189 north to the Wasatch Mountain State Park. We followed the road that passed the main entrance to the park back up into the mountains where we intersected 224 where we travelled back up the road to Park City.
This is very pretty mountain country. Yes, we visited the snow again. I estimate that in places in the forest there is still 3 feet or so to melt. Of course, this is why the streams are full and rushing down to the Great Salt Lake or at least to reservoirs. This is very different than the Canyon Country. Here the mountains are full of Birch and Spruce trees plus abundant wild life. The ski slopes are everywhere on the Park City side with condos and ski resorts everywhere they could build. Would love to visit here in the height of the ski season.
The pleasant surprise of the trip was Timpanogos National Monument. This is one huge cave and one absolutely stunning valley drive. I had promised Peg we would not be walking much so neither one of us had on proper footwear to go spelunking. The Forest Service conducts regular tours that can be signed up for at the visitor center. The road through the pass is in a very steep gorge that is stunning, with a wonderful stream that runs through it. Travelling through the Birch forest and then Spruce to bare mountain top is just wonderful. Timpanogos is a short 10 mile drive from I15 and is highly recommended.
In summary, it was a great road trip. I worked my arms off on all the switch backs driving the Bronze Brute up and down the narrow roads like it was a sports car. Peg and Katie had a good time, too. Pictures below.