Little Cottonwood is a shorter wider canyon than Big Cottonwood. The differences are visible right away as the granite cliffs tower over the road as soon as you enter the Little Cottonwood.
At the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon is the little known Temple Quarry Nature Hike. Here you see Smith and Camille checking out the two large stones left by the quarrymen of the 1850s. This Quarry site is where granite stones were harvested for the Salt Lake Temple and the Utah State Capital. The stone is actually Quartz monzonite which is very similar to granite but has a different ratio of Quartz to feldspar minerals (granite contains more Quartz). The quarried stone on the right shows the layers of Quartz clearly visible between the outer smooth surfaces. Scroll to the bottom of this site to see a good picture of the Quarry in action. The picture below shows finger size holes along the edge of a stone where the quarrymen drilled in metal shafts along a natural crack. The shafts would act as wedges so that when the stone was hit with a sledge hammer it would cleave along that line. (This is a bit of an oversimplification but you get the idea, right?)
The nature trail is a short hike, but it's mostly shaded and runs along a dry creek bed that is still full of glacial stones. After spending too much time looking for the trail we found it right where we started...to the right off the parking lot. (Don't ask.) But, it was a nice day to be outdoors and we had had a hearty breakfast at the Fork Lift Restaurant in Snowbird beforehand. My Trekking Sock came along on the journey and I even found time for some extreme knitting.
Today is Susan’s birthday. She's away for a family vacation, but you could still leave her a Happy Birthday comment.