Hiking Jack’s Mountain Mailboxes (Well, Almost)

In which Brian poses for the cover of a Louis L’Amour Novel!

This one is called “The Baby Rustler.”  Apparently Mr. L’Amour has gone a bit daffy in his old age.  (Wait.  Is he even still alive?)

So.  There’s this trail above the foothills of Salt Lake City that leads to Jack’s Mountain Mailboxes, which is a memorial to a little boy who died from cancer back in 1995.  His parents scattered his ashes on one of the foothill peaks, and placed two mailboxes in the hillside.  Hikers who visit read and leave inspirational messages in the mailboxes.

My kids thought it would be ripping to find the “secret messages” on the mountainside.  I was really curious, too.  Up we went!

Starting at the “H” rock (a big rock painted with an “H” for Highland High) . . .

. . . Easy peasy.  But then the trail got steep.  Very steep, although there were scads of dragonflies to keep us entertained.

The following picture shows Brian (and Katie) at the trail’s halfway point.  See the peak in the distance?  Brian said, “Hey, all we have to do is climb up that!  It should only take half an hour!”

But thin Western air can be decieving.  Things are farther away than they seem.

We kept going up up up up up uuuuuup.  Somewhere along the way I noticed that the trail map we downloaded indicated a 1200 ft. elevation gain.

Finally, we came to these rocks — what we thought was the peak.

But then we scrambled over the top and realized we still had half an hour of climbing to go. The real peak was off in the distance, taunting us.

It was 8:30 p.m. by that time, and we had run out of water.  We didn’t want to hike down the steep trail in the dark, so we had to turn back.  Eleanor, who had been the most whiny on the way up, was surprisingly devastated by this decision, and launched into an inspirational pep talk:

“We don’t have to give up!  If you just BELIEVE in yourself, you can do ANYTHING!  And I know we can reach the top if we just BELIEVE!”

Brian was already heading downhill by the time she was done.  Buh-bye!

Jack’s Mountain Mailboxes will have to wait for another day.  In the meanwhile, we got to admire these delicious views of the Salt Lake valley:

3 thoughts on “Hiking Jack’s Mountain Mailboxes (Well, Almost)

  1. In the language of (the deceased) Mr. L’Amour: “That’s a trail for another day.” Nice hike! Loved having you up today, we’ll miss you!

  2. I’ve really been wanting some nearby hikes for the kiddos. I’m jealous of how many options you have! I’m surprised I haven’t heard of most of them – there is really just so much to do in Utah.

    That first pic is classic – the hats add a nice western vibe.

  3. That looks so much like the hike up to the “billboard towers” up behind This is the Place park where we had an almost identical experience. Always just a 1/2 hour away I was 8 mos prego and about had my baby on the mountain. Love those hikes. Awesome new blog header pic as an added bonus 🙂

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