While it doesn't look like a proper peak, the USGS has designated Red Butte as a summit. Located just northeast of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City it overlooks the Red Butte Canyon Research Natural Area and Red Butte Garden but is located a few miles from the Red Butte Cafe in Foothill Village. If you check the map this looks like a short hike - about 3 miles with an elevation gain (and loss) of about 1,600 feet. So you'd think this hike wouldn't take long; but maybe you haven't factored in Cheeseburger-eating-time.
Eric agreed to this hike the night before so he was rounded up in an early morning home invasion and packed into the car. We parked on Colorow Way and from there hiked up to Georges Gulch, following it up past the "Living Room" to an overlook into Red Butte Canyon. A hard turn to the left and a short hike uphill brought us to the high point of the ridge overlooking the canyon. This is Red Butte. At the rocky summit we brought out 'the Boys' (see photo), Double cooked, bleu cheese-impregnated, Black Angus burgers the size and consistency of manhole covers. With their vast experience, John and Paul were able to make short work of their summit duties but Eric (a newbie) had some difficulty with the task at hand. At first he tried the "I'll eat it on the way down" approach but strict enforcement of the Summit Cheeseburger rules precluded this tactic. After a pint of water, a hearty dose of peer pressure, and 30 more minutes of effort Eric finished off his burger - another Cheeseburger Summiteer! With Eric still looking green, the group proceeded south along the ridge. For those of you that haven't hiked this - do - it's a beautiful half mile of ridge walking. A short descent off the ridge landed us in the 'Living Room' where we settled into the sandstone seats to digest our morning's meal.
Inspired by the morning's Cheeseburger-eating entertainment we discussed responses we've heard to the Summit Cheeseburger concept. A common line is "Why Cheeseburgers? Why not ______?" And the blank can filled in with falafel, Brie sandwiches, scotch, beef burritos or just about anything else. Since there's so much complaining and, to date, no www.SummitBrieCheeseSandwich website I'm guessing we have properly aggravated the fussy specialty-tea-at-meetings, salad-dressing-on-the-side, why-not-something-besides-cheeseburgers crowd.
A warm welcome to Eric, who braved snow and an early morning Cheeseburger to get onto the Summit Cheeseburger scoreboard.
Eric, John, Paul - Red Butte, Salt Lake County, UT
Tired of waiting for the "fog to lift," as promised by the local forecasters, I convinced Old Bull that 85.6ug/m3 of PM2.5 was plenty low enough for us to venture out and bag yet another summit reachable from our front porch. A mile long stroll got us to within striking (i.e. off-leash) distance of Red Butte, barely visible through the mist.
A quick dash up a snow-covered trail to within 100 yds of the saddle between Red Butte and Mt. Wire, a sharp left turn to the northwest, bushwhacking, postholing, rock hopping, and we were at the high point of the ridge overlooking the Red Butte Reservoir (replete with Homeland Security surveillance cameras).
The only surprise of the day was that the rocks on top of Red Butte are in fact NOT red, but white. Lamburghinis were unpacked, arranged on the rim of the hat for the photo-op, and enjoyed as we gazed over our fair city (invisible) to the Oquirrh Range beyond.
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