Usually the fall season in the Wasatch mountains is short and sweet. Last year we had no more than 3 weeks from the time the leaves turned to the time the snow was up to our waists! This year it seemed to be much longer, which is fine by me, as it made for perfect weather and beautiful scenery. The last 3 years I have done the Mt. Olympus hike in the fall (September/October) for either sunrise or sunset. So, to keep the tradition going and take advantage of the long fall season, me and the boys woke up at 4:30 am and summit-ed for a spectacular sunrise.
Game of Life
Only two of the guys had done the hike before, the others didn’t quite know what was in store The trail doesn’t mess around giving you a direct route to the top. Depending on hiking speed and how long you have to wear a headlamp it takes between 1.75 and 2.25 hours to reach the mailbox at the summit (slightly fast on the way down). I packed my stove and surprised everyone with delicious teriyaki chicken, rice & egg breakfast burritos. They tasted fantastic as we waited for the sun to creep over the east side of the Wasatch range. From the top you are offered spectacular views of the city and surrounding wilderness. There are few places in the world where you will find such a gratifying summit, in such a pristine area, so close to a metropolitan area. It reminds me of Table Mountain overlooking Cape Town, South Africa.
If you want to give it a go yourself the trailhead is located on the east side of Wasatch Boulevard. From 4500 south, drive south on Wasatch Boulevard for about 1.6 miles to a parking area on the left side. A sign identifies the parking lot as the Mount Olympus Trailhead. (A large rock next to the trailhead is known locally as Pete’s Rock and is a popular place for casual rock climbing.)