Saturday, August 13, 2005

HikeBlogging: Deseret Peak, Wasatch-Cache Nat'l Forest

I hiked to the top of Deseret Peak yesterday. The mountain is located in the Deseret Peak Wilderness Area just west of Grantsville, Utah. It's less than a hour's drive from Salt lake City but it's relatively less crowded than the canyons in Salt Lake County.

The road going up to it is paved until you hit Forest Service land, but it's not very rough. I made it to the trailhead in my car without any problems. Once on the hike, I missed the trail turnoff so I had to bushwhack and follow game trails up to the ridgetop. The last quarter mile was quite steep and rugged and involved some rock-climbing.

There's a glacial cirque at the foot of Deseret Peak. As you can see, there are still some "micro-glaciers" left over, even in August (more evidence of global warming!). About 10,000 years ago, this whole basin was full of ice.

Up on top, there's the remains of an old heliograph station. Great place to sit and have lunch.

It's been a while since I've been that high (11,031 feet above sea level) and I could tell on the way up. The trail is very steep and rugged in spots, and you can feel the change in altitude.

View of the southwest shore of the Great Salt Lake. Salt Lake City is behind the mountain range on the right.

Looking out towards the Great Salt Lake Desert. The gambling oasis of Wendover, Nevada and the Bonneville Salt Flats are out there about 70 miles to the west. The valley in the foreground is Skull Valley, where some members of the Goshute indian tribe want to locate a nuclear waste dump.

Historical Factoid: Wendover used to be an Army Air Corps base in World War II. The Enola Gay trained there for the Hiroshima mission.

I've been really impressed by the accuracy of my pedometer. It's just a cheap $2.00 Wal-Mart special but it's been quite close to the actual distance when I've used it. According to my hiking book, the total distance for the loop trail is 8.4 miles. Since I strayed off the trail and ended up taking a small short cut, this is probably right on.

Next up: To be determined when El-ahrairah gets here later this month.



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At 2:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like a GREAT hike! But I am especially impressed by the pedometer accuracy. Perhaps you got the lucky one that was correctly calibrated at the factory, or maybe that model is a good one! I'm going to add your post to next week's Carnival of the Walkers at - it is a weekly compilation of interesting blog posts about walking.


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