It's almost a tradition for Peter and I to escape the heat of July 24th and head 20 minutes up the canyon where it is (ahhhhh....) 20 degrees cooler. I was a little sad that this three nights of camping meant that we didn't see a single parade this year, but Zach was quick to forgive, so we're all good.
We stayed at the Spruces, up Big Cottonwood Canyon, where we've camped a couple of times before. This was our first time in the upper campground, and I will say I like it better at the lower. It's closer to the river and my kids + rocks + water = hours of enjoyment.
Brighton Ski Area is at the top of the canyon, where we had thought to just take a walk around Silver Lake. Very easy and perfect for young ones, it is a boardwalk. I was surprised at how busy it was on the 24th! There are always silly people trying to fish and there just really isn't room for it with lots of others walking along... I guess I had forgotten that off of the boardwalk are some trailheads, so we decided on one to take: Twin Lakes. At this point I was so very glad we had brought the Kelty kid pack for my free-loading Ben.
The hike was shady and pleasant starting out, but we were hiking at about 11:00 am, and I'm sad to say that after about 1/4 mile, we were on the mountainside and most of it was rather sunny. Probably a better hike for the morning or late afternoon hours. There were a few shady spots on the way up for drink breaks. The kids did awesome, we had another family with us and the hike up probably lasted about an hour. I wondered why it was one lake, since it's name is plural... Peter told me it used to be two. It is a reservoir and we did have to keep the kids away from the most tempting spot to throw rocks and sticks in, since it was right near the spillway.
Also at the lake, Peter was snagged by, what else, an AMWAY SALESMAN for 20 minutes or so. Seriously, they ought to have signs prohibiting that stuff in the great out of doors! :o)
We hiked a different way down, basically on the service road for the ski resort and the pleasant surprises were the little waterfalls to see on the way. Mostly dusty and pebbly, but it was a lot quicker and we were hungry for lunch!