Utah's Incredible Backcountry Trails
by David Day (Rincon Publishing)
© David Day/Rincon Publishing. All Rights Reserved.
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.
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.
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
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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