In the spirit of becoming a real “Utahn”, I have been itching to see a moose in the wild.  After several challenging workouts (more on that later), I treated myself to a non-athletic adventure…Mission: Moose!

After browsing some instagram photos, I came across this little gem and with guidance for my mission:

To Big Cottonwood Canyon I go!

To Big Cottonwood Canyon I go!

On Thursday it had cooled off a little and had been raining on and off throughout the day… in my opinion, perfect weather for these elusive creatures to come out of hiding. Around 5PM, I took off from my home armed with my camera, hiking gear, and high hopes.  I made the 45-60min journey down Wasatch Blvd. and up the windy Big Cottonwood Canyon.  A dual purpose of this trip was to recon this route for a future cycling adventure.  After observing the bike and car traffic, bike lanes, and courtesy of cars going up the canyon, I have deemed it worthy ;)  You’ll be reading about this future adventure soon enough!

14 miles up the canyon, I found myself at the Silver Lake Recreation Center.  I gathered my gear and headed toward the trail.  No sooner than 30 seconds after exiting the car, I came upon this!

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Incredible! He was just hanging out, doing his thing- grazing and drinking out of the puddle.  He didn’t seem to mind the small group of people watching him- we gave him his space, so no big deal apparently! I was so excited, I FaceTime’d Dan from my phone so he could see this guy himself!  Funny how I can get AT&T reception up in a remote canyon, but not in my own house (grrr… another story)

20-30 minutes later, I figured I had seen enough, and started to walk to my car.  However, a woman gestured excitedly to me to come over by her- occupants of a nearby residence were graciously allowing people into their yard to observe two additional moose!

Look at those antlers!

Look at those antlers!

Visitors on the driveway...

Visitors on the driveway…

These two were much bigger, and more intimidating, but they were relatively calm as well.  They made some loud cow-sounds, presumably to find the little guy who had wandered off.  I tracked their journey to the open field where their little friend was, just amazed at how nonchalant they seemed to be about their audience.

moose walking

moose on boardwalk

moose in trees

“What are you looking at?”

Finally the crew was reunited, and I stayed for a while longer to observe them.  It was so cool to watch them interact!  My favorite picture is of them “kissing”

Moose Kiss xoxo

Moose Kiss xoxo

and one more photo of the little guy:

smaller moose

Before I left, I captured a few videos of them, and combined them for you to watch here:


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