*Disclaimer: An error was made in the printed version of the magazine. The author of this article is Joyce Booth, not Linda Page. Linda Page is a member of the hiking group, not the author of the article.
The Maples / Icebox / Wheeler hike is downhill all the way! This is a huge selling point for the hikers from Trinity Presbyterian Church, who have been hiking the local trails for about a decade. In order to make this an easy, one-way hike, you will need to have two cars. Leave one at the Wheeler trailhead on SR39, just west and south of the Pineview Dam. Drive the second car to the Snowbasin lower parking area.
Begin the hike at the Maples trailhead at Snowbasin. After walking down the wide road for approximately 10-14 minutes, a trail splits off to the right and is marked by a stake that says “Trail”. You will get the immediate wow factor after turning off the road when you find yourself on a tree lined trail that gently slopes down. Each time there is a break in the trees, the treat of another amazing view is there to take your breath away.
The hike is about 5.2 miles long, and the Trinity Presbyterian hikers did it in 2 hours and 45 minutes, which included several stops to enjoy the views and take pictures.
About 3.75 miles into the hike, in Icebox Canyon, there is a very steep section of trail next to the river. Since the Trinity hikers have a wide range of abilities, this section was navigated in different ways. Some of the group scampered down the extremely steep slope without batting an eye. Others used whatever method they felt comfortable with, including the famous “sit and slide” technique.
This path will be a great one for viewing fall colors. You are walking through the trees for most of the hike, and will also get amazing views of the mountains filled with the colors of the changing seasons.