Stairs Gulch

Big Cottonwood Canyon
Wasatch Mountains - Salt Lake City, Utah

Avalanche Paths
Snow Caves

The other day, Junior, Bruno and I came looking for this trail but I couldn't find it, we went up the trail to get to all of the "Standard Ridge" rock climbing walls. The whole time they were worried about rattlesnakes. I told them that I'd been hiking in the Wasatch for many years and that I had only seen one rattlesnake. I told them that they would probably never see one. We didn't find the trailhead so we went to donut falls.

So I went home and read up on the correct trailhead and returned with Gloria. It turns out that is was much further up the road than I thought. I had been around this entire area dozens of times since I was a kid but I had never went up the Stairs Gulch.

We stopped after about 20 minutes to take a picture of the little waterfalls, I dropped my hiking stick, started stepping down to pick it up and almost stepped on a huge rattlesnake. You pretty much have to step right on them to get them to bite you.

We then continued up further, this canyon is very rugged and you should take it very seriously. Don't ever walk in the middle of a snow talus in the summer. There are usually caves right below, waiting to cave in, dropping you into rocks and freezing water. An ice axe wouldn't hurt in this canyon.

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

From along the beginning of the trail.

A huge rattlesnake. Look at size of the venom glands on its head.
Waiting to pump me full of poison.

I bet this thing could kill a horse.

A rare spider

Looking north toward Wildcat Ridge.

A snow cave. This is why you don't want to walk in the middle of a snow talus.


Another snow cave in further decay.

A zebra-like conglomeration of quartzite and limestone.

Stairs Gulch Peak (left)

Thanks to Gloria


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© Copyright 1999-2020 Dale Meier, unless otherwise credited. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use is prohibited.