Big Cottonwood Canyon

Big Cottonwood Canyon

Wasatch Mountains, Utah

Photos & Text by Stella Liechty

Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons have become a second home to me—I’ve escaped to their trails more times than I can count, and I am convinced that there is no better therapy or stress relief than a quick jaunt into their smog-less, crisp air above 6,000 feet–surrounding yourself with pines, aspens, and crazy cool rock formations.

This weekend, in search of a little extra serenity, I decided to explore a part of Big Cottonwood Canyon that I wasn’t familiar with. One of our big fall rainstorms had just passed through and the sun was setting as I began my hike up Storm Mountain. The fog rolling through and the dew drops on the freshly changing leaves were magnificent. The colors were perfectly vibrant. As soon as the trail turned away from the road and my phone notified me that I was indeed out of service, the wave of serenity and peace that always comes when there’s nothing but nature hit.  I hiked on.

Fresh mud replaced dry dusty trails, and every gold or red leaf I passed left small drops of water on my shoulders and legs. The wildflowers were refreshed and happy as they brushed against my ankles. For the next hour, I hiked, snapped photos, and sat in silence, taking in the new sights and simple happiness that nature allows. Only once I realized that my clothes were thoroughly soaked and the sun was on it’s way down did I turn back to the car.

Recently, I heard that the things that you wrap yourself in so wholly that you forget to eat, are the things you should do more often. These mountains will bring you in, wrap you in a fresh, happy hug and make you forget about that power bar and orange in your day pack.  They remind you that there’s more to life than a couple bars of LTE phone service. That’s the power of the Wasatch.

Photos (C) 2014 Stella Liechty

Stella Liechty lives in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah and is working towards a design degree. She escapes to the Wasatch Mountains to hike, camp and ski every chance she can get. Being only a 20 minute drive from being out of cell phone service range has its perks.

Follow Stella’s adventures on her instagram and new blog, The Coffee Theory.  Questions/Comments? Email her at


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