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Amethyst Basin. A recent impromptu exploration of the headwaters of the Bear River took me to one of the most beautiful places I've seen -- if only for a few minutes. After wandering around in my car chasing storm cells for an hour or two, I ended up at the Christmas Meadow trail head. With thunder and rain most of the day, I had no intention of hiking 10 miles into the high country, especially with a 5 p.m. start. But the dark skies were beginning to break and my interest in visiting a new drainage was compelling so I set off up the trail packing a water filter, headlamp and rain shell just in case. Two hours, a dozen spectacular cascades, and 1,900 vertical feet later, I stepped into the jaw-dropping beauty of Amethyst Basin. I gawked at the craggy12,500 foot monolith of Ostler Peak. Puffy clouds sailed overhead as the faint rumble of thunder from over the ridge drew ominously closer. I nervously fired a few frames and packed up my gear moments before nature let loose with sideways rain and lightening dropping in like mortars. I moved quickly out of the open meadow and down the rough trail into deep timber where I took cover beneath a burned out stump. The storm soon passed and I ambled through the forest in darkness, the trail occasionally illuminated by remnant flashes of lightening. Uinta Mountains, Utah. August 2016.
Filename: 1855 Amethyst Basin.jpg
Amethyst Basin. A recent impromptu exploration of the headwaters of the Bear River took me to one of the most beautiful places I've seen -- if only for a few minutes. After wandering around in my car chasing storm cells for an hour or two, I ended up at the Christmas Meadow trail head. With thunder and rain most of the day, I had no intention of hiking 10 miles into the high country, especially with a 5 p.m. start. But the dark skies were beginning to break and my interest in visiting a new...
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