Swan Flat Trailhead, 3 January, 2021
Eighteen hikers and one dog mobilized for a Sunday outing to Swan Flat Road. We braved the snowy roads and arrived at the UDOT sheds, then starting out at about 11:15 a.m. under cool and breezy conditions. The snow was not very deep but it was in good condition, with a fresh layer on top. We decided to head north and slightly east across the meadow and through the woods, passing the familiar sink on the east side (in previous years we passed it on the west side). We came to a sheltered site for lunch at about 12:15 p.m. after hiking about 1.1 miles. Dave W measured the snow depth at about 25 inches, a bit below normal for this time of year.
After lunch several people went back to the cars while the others climbed to the northeast and quickly arrived at the groomed Swan Flat road. From here the group split again, with some heading down the road to the south and the rest going up the road.
Four snow machines passed the "up" group as they started out and backcountry skiers passed coming down. Switchbacks led up the hill, providing views of the north fork of Amazon basin and Beaver Mountain to the west under heavy grey clouds. At 1:40 p.m. we reached our goal of "the pass" at the county line, 2.3 miles from our beginning before turning back. More backcountry skiers passed us as we descended. Dave and Deanna (on skis) went on ahead of those on snowshoes.
This "up" group came down the road enjoying picturesque views to the south and west and the sun trying to peek through a snowy sky. We reached the cars at 2:45 p.m. after 4.4 miles
Thanks to Dan for the narrative and photos, Dave P. for photos and Dave W. for photos and the GPS data.