Deseret Peak Trail

Salt Lake City, Utah

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4 Reviews
4 out of 5
Most of the western side of Utah is occupied by an interesting geographical area known as the Great Basin. The Great Basin is a vast, semiarid desert that extends from the Wasatch Front, across Nevada, to the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. The desert is not unbroken, though. It contains a number of narrow, isolated mountain ranges, running mostly in a north-south direction and separated by long desert valleys. The mountain ranges of the Great Basin are of great interest to evolutionary biologists because of their isolation. Life has developed in slightly different ways in each of the secluded ranges, making them ideal natural laboratories for the study of evolution. In Utah the best known and most accessible of the Great Basin mountain ranges is the Stansbury Range, in which Deseret Peak is the highest point. The Stansbury Mountains are almost the only Great Basin range in Utah with a good system of hiking trails. The uniqueness of the mountains was recognized in 1984, when a 25,500-acre area, including Deseret Peak, was selected for the creation of the Deseret Peak Wilderness Area.
Utah's Incredible Backcountry Trails

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Utah's Incredible Backcountry Trails

by David Day (Rincon Publishing)

Most of the western side of Utah is occupied by an interesting geographical area known as the Great Basin. The Great Basin is a vast, semiarid desert that extends from the Wasatch Front, across Nevada, to the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. The desert is not unbroken, though. It contains a number of narrow, isolated mountain ranges, running mostly in a north-south direction and separated by long desert valleys. The mountain ranges of the Great Basin are of great interest to evolutionary biologists because of their isolation. Life has developed in slightly different ways in each of the secluded ranges, making them ideal natural laboratories for the study of evolution.

In Utah the best known and most accessible of the Great Basin mountain ranges is the Stansbury Range, in which Deseret Peak is the highest point. The Stansbury Mountains are almost the only Great Basin range in Utah with a good system of hiking trails. The uniqueness of the mountains was recognized in 1984, when a 25,500-acre area, including Deseret Peak, was selected for the creation of the Deseret Peak Wilderness Area.

©  David Day/Rincon Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Salt Lake City
Distance: 8.4
Elevation Gain: 3,613 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Duration: 6.75 hours
Season: Midsummer through mid-fall
Trailhead Elevation: 7,418 feet
Top Elevation: 11,031 feet
Local Contacts: Salt Lake Ranger District, Wasatch-Cache National Forest
Local Maps: Deseret Peak East (USGS), Deseret Peak West (USGS)
Driving Directions: Directions to Deseret Peak Trail

Recent Trail Reviews

8/6/2007
0

One quick correction -- When coming into Grantsville from the East, apparently the sign for South Willow Canyon is gone. The name of the road is West street, which turns into Mormon Trail Road. I soloed this trail starting at first light on an August morning. The wildlife was very abundant. Climbing toward the top is a bit difficult, but the descent was fun. Very windy at the top...and chilly (~50 degrees f.) so bring a layer. If you're quiet, you will see plenty of wildlife. Spooked several deer and watched them leap straight up very steep slopes! I especially appreciated the fact that, on this day, I was the only one on the trail until I got within 1 mile of the trialhead on the return. Such a beautiful hike, and not nearly as overused as the Bit and Little Cottonwood canyons on the east side of Salt Lake City, and other areas in the Wasatch National Forest. Well worth the time and effort to find. Also, the elevation gain is more than initially reported according to my GPS... Closer to 4200ft.


8/24/2006
0

This was a beautiful hike - wonderful views, plant life, deer. The last bit up to the top gets tough but the view from the summit is awesome. Following the loop back down was a bit difficult, the trail gets hard to find. Be sure to start early - we started too late in the day and ended up hiking in the dark toward the end of it. Overall, a great hike.


7/27/2006
0

Certainly was a good steady workout to the top. Lots of wildlife, deer, turkey, and beautiful green valleys. Still some snow on the ground and the temps cool despite the over 100 degree week Salt lake was experiencing. great views of the reat Salt Lake. The trail was very hard to follow on the back side of the peak, stay high and you will see the trail


6/14/2000
0

There are two ways that I have hiked Deseret peak. The first and most popular is by going up South Willow Canyon to the top of the road, which is where the trail head starts. It takes you into groves of pines and quaking aspen, with open areas in between. The trail takes you up to a saddle at which point it joins the trail from the south approach. From there you climb above timber line onto the west side of the range which then skirts up to the peak. I have done this hike in the summer, but prefer early spring in which there are some great snow fields for sliding. The top gives a wonderful view of the great salt lake, Tooele valley, and Skull valley. This is a great hike that is for the most part away from the crowds.



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