OUTDOORS & RECREATION

Utah’s mountains packed with people escaping 100-degree heat

Jul 16, 2023, 5:14 PM | Updated: 5:20 pm

BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON, Utah — It’s a good thing Utah is full of mountains. Otherwise, Jo Checketts isn’t sure where she would go Sunday afternoon.

“I was so hot,” she said with a laugh. “I was afraid I was just going to melt and go in a little pool like the bad witch.”

There may be no place like home for her until temperatures hit a hundred degrees and her air conditioner lost its brains, heart, and courage.

“My air conditioner went out two days ago, and it is hotter than you can even believe inside the house,” Checketts said.

It’s why she, her granddaughter, and three grandchildren decided to have their picnic lunch in the mountains. Hundreds, if not thousands of others, were also in the mountains looking to get out of the valley heat.

“It feels fantastic,” said Ben Vines, who lives in Riverton. “I mean, you are talking 20 degrees cooler without all the pavement and everything in the shade. It feels awesome up here.”

A family having a picnic on Silver Lake. (Greg Anderson/KSL TV)

Silver Lake up Big Cottonwood Canyon was busier than usual. Some people even got in the water, others had a birthday party in the shade, and some even painted mountain views on canvas. They were all doing something outside without baking in the summer sun.

“We are walking around the trails. Feels great,” Vines said.

Of course, what goes up eventually has to come back down. Not just all the people heading home from the mountains but also temperatures.

It was a little more than a month ago when many of us were sick of snow and cold and were looking forward to summer.

“We are never happy. That cool spring, I thought I will never ever complain again. But I am,” Checketts said.

She knows her air conditioner will eventually get fixed, but for now, no matter what the temperatures are, spending time with the family creating and creating memories is still pretty cool.

“Well, that’s what life is all about,” she said. “It’s nice.”

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Utah’s mountains packed with people escaping 100-degree heat