After my service project at Aspen View Campgrounds and my upcoming camp outs with the scouts, Kari and I decided that our little family needed to unplug from the hubbub of the city and plan at least one Saturday a month to an outdoor activity somewhere in the many places that this great state has to offer.
We are surrounded by such beautiful scenery that we almost forget that it is hiding among the crags and canyons of the mountains not 20 mile from our home. With Kari being 6 months pregnant and the kids still so young we are not willing to rough camping or travel too far away from services that may be required should something serious happen, but that should not stop us from exploring the more local outdoor facilities that we have available to us. We tend to be home bodies, enjoying spending time with our kids at home.
As we watch our kids grow and react to their environment we have realized we may have done a disservice to them. Our kids do not react well to anything that crawls, sniffs, scurries, or flies. They are scared of everything. Alex would not walk on the sidewalk if he saw an ant on the concrete. Both of them would scream hysterically if they saw a fly in the house. Thinking that the first couple trips might be chasing them after they flee the first bug they see we planned a trip to the Storm Mountain Picnic Area in Big Cottonwood Canyon.
We were a little panicked Friday night as we started looking into the area. The cost to enter seemed a little high and we could not find out any information on reserving a spot. The website for the reservation company seemed to show it as a blackout all throughout the summer. The kid were already for a picnic in the mountains and we were not willing to give up on a mountain picnic, we decided that we would take our chances in the morning and head up to the site and see what we could find out.
When we arrived we were greeted at the gate by a pleasant site host that let us know that there was plenty of picnic sites available and that if we were looking for shade that we should try the sites closest to the mountain. We found a parking spot and found a nice site right next to the “Waterfall”. The kids seemed to be a little nervous but got out of the car with us. I love how much comfort they get from each other. Each of them staying right next to each other. Alex was talking about the birds singing in the trees and aria was concern about the bathrooms and whether or not they had automatic flushing toilets. We unpacked the cooler and had a nice meal under the sun in the clean mountain air.
After eating and cleaning up the kids were excited to go on a hike. Aria said that she and Alex were Nature Adventurers, and that they were going to save nature. We grabbed some water and went exploring. We walked through the sites noting the table that we would visit next time. Kari and I were amazed at how beautiful the scenery was. Alex was looking to pick up every rock that he saw and Aria was looking skittishly at every flying insect that came her way, but we continued on passing the amphitheater and moving onto the dirt trails. We didn’t make it far into the trail as it became steep and the little legs of the kids were making it slow going. Kari was having a little trouble with her center of balance being off so after a little while we turned back to the paved paths.
There is a cute little playground on the north side of the Campground and the kids played for a while on it, but were soon ready to go off adventuring again. We took a few more of the paths and the kids seemed ready to go so we headed back to the Van.
I would recommend the area to every one. We figure we spent about $1 an hour for each of us and considered it a bargain. We also looked at the premium facilities that they have available. They each have 4 large picnic tables, three with seats and on long serving table a central firepit and a very large grill. Each has power and water to it and they look to be in great condition and shaded quite nicely. The cost posted was $95 a day.