Viewpoint: Go hiking before it's too late

Wasn’t last week frightening? We don’t mean the government shutdown, or the naked pictures of Miley Cyrus, although those are both equally scary. We’re talking about the S-word. SNOW.

Last week we saw our mountaintops and even some neighborhoods dusted by a thin blanket of cold white stuff. While some of us love the snow, many of us at The Signpost are avid hikers and nature walkers. We only have two words for the forecast: “too soon.”

Although we can’t blame the weatherman or woman, even though we’d like to, the recent cold front and snow that comes along isn’t exactly welcome. Well, not yet. Not until after we get some good hikes in.

Many Utahns will exclaim autumn as their favorite season, and rightfully so. The leaves in the many canyons surrounding our communities are just plain gorgeous. So why not see them before they’re gone? Brace yourselves; winter is coming. So here is our list of beautiful hikes and trails to explore before the winter arrives. Take a picture of Utah’s autumn season; it will last longer.

1. Taylor Canyon Trail. No need to spend hours in the car driving to the nearest mountain when there is one a few minutes away from downtown Ogden. Taylor Canyon, with access from the 27th Street trailhead, is one of the most easily accessible hikes around. The trail, if taken all the way, will lead up the backside of Snowbasin. The mix of pine trees gives the trail some shade and variation.

2. Sardine Peak. Also known as the Ogden Overlook, Sardine Peak is accessible from Snowbasin’s Maples trail marker. Hikers can follow directions to Sardine Peak from the Needles and Wheeler trail intersections. Ninety percent of the trail is covered by trees, and during the fall, it is a must-see. The Ogden Overlook also provides a 360-degree view of Ogden Canyon and the valleys.

3. Brighton Lakes Trail. For hikers who want to experience fall with leaves and lakes, heading up Big Cottonwood Canyon just became worth it. The trail begins at Brighton Ski Resort, or at Silver Lake. This hike is suitable for anyone, except for a few stretches of steep terrain on the trail. This hike provides spectacular cliff views, wooded areas with autumn leaves and an overlook to canyons below. Lake Catherine, the last lake on the trail, is the main attraction on this hike. Be advised that no dogs are allowed on any trails in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

4. Crimson Trail. Utah State University, our neighbor to the north, holds many secrets. One of them is the Crimson Trail hike. This beauty takes you above a cliff face and loops around, providing exceptional views of Cache Valley, Beirdneau Peak to the northeast and the wind caves in Logan Canyon. The best times to take this hike are until the end of October.

5. Donut Falls Trail. Salt Lake’s equivalent to Ogden’s Waterfall Canyon hike, Donut Falls can sometimes be crowded due to its popularity. But don’t count this hike out. It’s easy for families, only 2.9 miles round trip. The trailhead is nine miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon. Its beauty, shade, and views of the river and unique “donut hole” formations in the waterfall are what make this a popular spot.