Mount Ellen

Hanksville, Utah

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The Henrys are home to the only free-roaming herd of American bison in the continental U.S. In 1941, 18 head of the once-threatened species were transplanted from Yellowstone National Park to the Henry Mountains area. Today over 200 buffalo roam the western lower benches in the winter and higher elevations during summer. Seeing them up-close is a rare but treasured moment. Like the La Sal and Abajo Mountains, the Henrys are would-be volcanoes whose magma never reached the surface. Semi-molten rock from deep beneath the earth’s crust pushed upward but was thwarted by a massive pile of sedimentary rock. Unable to breach the surface, the magma domed the overlying rock layers and spread laterally between them, forming laccolithic intrusions. As they stand today, the Henry Mountains represent the core of the magma chamber after the capping rocks have been eroded away. Evidence of these once-overlying layers is revealed in the arched sedimentary units lapping against the mountains’ flanks. The Mt. Ellen loop encircles the northernmost massif of the Henry Mountains. Tread: Dirt doubletracks.
Mountain Biking Utah

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Mountain Biking Utah

by Gregg Bromka (Falcon Guides)

The Henrys are home to the only free-roaming herd of American bison in the continental U.S. In 1941, 18 head of the once-threatened species were transplanted from Yellowstone National Park to the Henry Mountains area. Today over 200 buffalo roam the western lower benches in the winter and higher elevations during summer. Seeing them up-close is a rare but treasured moment. Like the La Sal and Abajo Mountains, the Henrys are would-be volcanoes whose magma never reached the surface.

Semi-molten rock from deep beneath the earth’s crust pushed upward but was thwarted by a massive pile of sedimentary rock. Unable to breach the surface, the magma domed the overlying rock layers and spread laterally between them, forming laccolithic intrusions. As they stand today, the Henry Mountains represent the core of the magma chamber after the capping rocks have been eroded away. Evidence of these once-overlying layers is revealed in the arched sedimentary units lapping against the mountains’ flanks. The Mt. Ellen loop encircles the northernmost massif of the Henry Mountains. Tread: Dirt doubletracks.

©  Gregg Bromka/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Mountain Biking
Nearby City: Hanksville
Distance: 20
Elevation Gain: 4,400 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Technical Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Physical Difficulty: Difficult
Season: May or June through October depending on snowdrifts.
Trailhead Elevation: 8,200 feet
Top Elevation: 10,485 feet
Local Contacts: Bureau of Land Management, Hanksville Field Office, 435-542-3461
Local Maps: USGS: Mount Ellen
Driving Directions: Directions to Mount Ellen

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Apr 2018