outlet pipe

Temple Fork Sawmill

Full disclosure, we didn’t actually make it to the sawmill. I flew my drone up the trail to see how close we were. I flew about 2 miles away, and still couldn’t find it.

My sister was 10 years old at the time of this shoot. By the time of this post, she is still 10 years old. She’s recently taken up an interest in photography, and luckily I have a bunch of equipment we can practice with. So we’ve made somewhat of a habit of going on a hike whenever we can. I’m in charge of the drone, and she’s in charge of the camera.

This time, we decided to try the Temple Fork sawmill trail. I’d heard about this trail before, but had never actually gone. Absolutely no regrets about this hike.


The camera I use is a Sony a7. It’s a bit older of a model, but it’s mirror-less, with a full-frame (CMOS) image sensor.

The drone I have is actually pretty new. I fly with a Mavic 2 Pro, which is currently the newest recreational Drone put out by DJI. I’ve had a lot of good experiences with DJI products, and for all the technology that comes jam-packed into each drone, I think it’s worth every cent.

The Hike

running river panoramic
The valley opened up into a green, grassy area with a river running through it.

The interesting thing about this hike is for the first mile or so, it’s typical Utah brush. That sort of desert-y feel you get hiking most of the trails here in Cache Valley. But after a while, it opens up into this beautiful meadow/valley area. I can’t fully describe it, I don’t have much talent for words.

But what I will say is that there were certain parts of this area that almost looked fake. Not in a bad way, just the fact that they were so beautiful, it’s almost like somebody stole them from the set of a movie. I can’t think of any well known movies, although Finian’s Rainbow comes to mind. If you understand what movie I’m referring to, I’m sorry, but that’s just what comes to mind.

dandelion close up
What most people see as a weed, my sister saw as a great photo.

Hiking with other photographers is nice. Not that hiking with normal people is bad, but when you hike with other photographers, they don’t tend to judge if you stop every little bit to take a photo.

Such was the experience hiking with my sister. We probably didn’t make it to the sawmill because we stopped every five seconds to take a picture.

bridge in the valley
This bridge seemed pleasantly out of place against the green and natural surroundings.

As we got up further on the trail, we found an area where the river lazily winds through the valley. Upon further inspection, at the top of the river was one of the biggest beaver dams I think I’ve ever seen.

The Beaver Dam

beaver dam from the sky
You can even see the hut near the far bank.

What’s interesting to me as I took this picture, is how well the aqua and teal color were pronounced. I only needed minimal editing for these photos, as they were already so naturally beautiful.

While my sister photographed the beaver dam, I took interest in this water outlet just down the river from the dam. My goal was to make it bigger than it was. The biggest challenge with these photos was actually getting the drone in position, and keeping my pasty white legs out of the picture.