Steps, sights and smiles

The view as seen from above the rocky trail, on a high ridge of the mountain. Photo credit: Jessica Brown

On Sept. 25, a group of students met at the Outdoor Resource Center at 6:45 a.m. From there, vans transported the 11 students and leaders to the trailhead to hike Taylor Mountain. The ORC led the activity. Taylor Mountain is located south of the Tetons, in the Jedediah Smith Wilderness. It is near the Coal Creek trailhead, which can be reached by taking Highway 33 past Victor, Idaho.

According to the BYU-Idaho website, the event took place for current students or their spouses only. Tickets could be purchased before the event at the BYU-I Ticket Office or on the BYU-I website.

Aspen trees with their gold leaves lined the side of the mountain. Photo credit: Jessica Brown

Jason Thornton, one of the hike leaders and an advisor for outdoor activities, attends most of the rock climbing, mountaineering and rafting activities.

“I like just about everything when I go out with outdoor activities: meeting people, getting ready, traveling, the discovery of something new, even when I’ve been to a place a hundred times, giving students tips and tricks to help them discover new ways to recreate,” Thornton said. “Even when the body is sore afterward, it means I did something rather than nothing. I enjoy the whole experience, and that is probably why I followed this profession.”

While hiking, students and leaders alike enjoyed the sights along the trail.

“My favorite part of hiking isn’t reaching a destination, but exploring the landscape,” said Ashley Berry, a hike leader and junior studying therapeutic recreation. “In my opinion, the best part of the Taylor Mountain hike was where we stopped below the summit and looked for all the exciting things that small cliff parcel had to offer.”

Activities like this can be found through the I-Belong app, or on the BYU-I website.