I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah surrounded by mountains. When I was younger, my family and I would hike for hours up different canyon trails—Park City Canyon, Donut Falls, Mill Creek, etc. Bell Canyon has always been my favorite because of many reasons, one being the waterfalls we can see, hear, and feel. There are two waterfalls on the way to the top of Bell Canyon.
The canyon is split by the lower reservoir; this is usually where everyone takes a break before finishing the full trail. I remember dipping my feet in the water, and watching the hipsters fish. This was only a resting point. While my mom stayed at the lower reservoir still catching her breath, the rest of the family and I continued to the first waterfall. Following the sound of the waterfall since there is no correct trail. When we got there, the fresh sprinkle and breeze from the waterfall gave us a refreshing break. There is just something about waterfalls that I have always loved.
Not too recent ago in August 2015, I hiked up Bell Canyon with a few friends. When we got to the lower reservoir, I could not believe my eyes. The reservoir had sunk! I smelled the odor of the dead fish, and saw their skeletal remains. I have never seen the reservoir at such a low water level. As we continue to hike, I could still hear the sound of the waterfall. My friends and I weren’t about to make it to the first waterfall this hike. We took a different trail because of a snake, and got lost. But, we made it down with no one getting hurt.
This cliché of “we don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone” can be applied here. This is a place where a range of people can go to hike and to fish. The preservation of the canyon is being lost with the water of the reservoir. Soon, people will say I used fish there. While our future generations can still hike up a trail of dried boulders and rocks, they would not be able to witness the beautiful reservoir and fishermen. Although for an ambitious student, the dried boulders and rocks could offer a cultural perspective to the hikers and the fishermen who hiked up Bell Canyon.