Mossy Cave, Waterfall and Lake at the Hills Reservoir

Scott and Brittany headed off to the river with Scott’s brother and family.  Since it was going to be 105 degrees in Nevada, I just didn’t feel like being out in that heat being 5 1/2 months pregnant.  Cole decided to stay behind with me, since he wasn’t a big fan of the yellow jackets last time.  We found out after they came home, that there were hardly any bees around where they camped this year, so hopefully next year, we’ll all go together to enjoy the river.  So, Cole and I had a mini-vacation together this week.

Carson & Cole in Red Canyon

Cole and I checked the weather, and it was supposed to be really nice up until 2 pm that day, so we decided to go on a hike near Bryce Canyon.  My co-worker and friend, Trecia, along with her youngest son, went with us on this hike.  We stopped by at Red Canyon along the way, and the boys had fun climbing on all the rocks here.  It was really entertaining watching the 8 and 10 year-old boys trying to take pictures of Trecia and I, but after seeing the results, I must say, they did pretty good!

Cole & I in Red Canyon

The Mossy Cave Trail is in the northern section of the park, but the really great part is that there is no park fees for this trail!  It’s on Highway 12, about 4 miles past the junction of Highways 12 and 63.  Look for a small parking area on the right-hand side immediately after crossing a little bridge. The Mossy Cave itself is at the end of a short trail. Here you can see hoodoos and windows without having to hike a steep trail.  The left fork takes you to Mossy Cave, while the right fork takes you to the waterfall.  The trail is only .9 miles round trip.

Along the Mossy Cave Trail

The Mossy Cave Trail is easy and mostly level, following beside the fast-flowing, sediment-laden stream, across two footbridges to a junction. The left fork has a short but steep climb through a patch of pine woodland to the cave, actually just a wide, mossy overhang in the limestone, kept moist by water dripping from the ceiling. This freezes in winter, and the large ice pillars beneath do not fully melt until midsummer, partly as the cave faces northeast and hence receives no direct sunlight. The soil at the base of the grotto is often soft and muddy so the path ends at the edge, so there isn’t much to do apart from taking photographs but the cave is interesting enough.

All of us in front of Mossy Cave

The right branch of the trail leads a little further upstream to the waterfall, where the stream tumbles 15 feet over a ledge into a circular pool; above is a swirling channel and several quite deep potholes, formed by the water eroding into the soft, orange-colored limestone.  There was an optional trail on the opposite side of the waterfall and stream leading up to a window, that we climbed, and had a wonderful view of the canyon below.  As we were heading back down this steep trail, it started raining on us, lightly at first, then it just drowned us.  With no shelter around, we just got drenched, and Trecia and I could do nothing but laugh, as it was supposed to be still sunny for a few more hours!  Just gotta love Utah weather! :)  After heading back to the car as wet rats, we ate our picnic lunch in the car, and then headed home for the day.

Mossy Cave Waterfall Trail after we got rained on!

Other things Cole and I did on our mini-vacation was go to Pirate Island Pizza in Saint George, one of his favorite places, I swear!  We also went school clothing shopping, played lots of board games, Wii games, and went to The Lake at the Hills Reservoir several times.

Building Sand Castles

The Lake at the Hills is an 11-acre reservoir on Leigh Hill built to hold pressurized irrigation water that is now open to the public for swimming, fishing and even floating in small, non-motorized boats.  The reservoir is stocked with rainbow trout, catfish, large-mouth and small-mouth bass and blue gill.  Cole had so much fun swimming, floating, and building sand castles.  We are so lucky to have this close to where we live.

Floating at the Reservoir

To see all pictures from Mossy Cave & Waterfall, click here!

To see all pictures from The Lake at the Hills Reservoir, click here!

About Tammy Buehler

Scott's wife and mom to 2 beautiful children, with a third on the way :)
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One Response to Mossy Cave, Waterfall and Lake at the Hills Reservoir

  1. AUNT PEGGY says:

    Thank you for sharing the photos. Beautiful and so nice to see photos of you all. Much love, Aunt Peggy

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