Deseret Peak

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
1,196
Trip Reports
122
Likes
3,693
Thread starter #1
On Sunday I hiked with @Chris Mosbacker and @regehr to the summit of Deseret Peak, the highest point in Tooele County and the Stansbury Range at 11,031 feet elevation. I made the three hour drive on Saturday evening and camped in North Willow Canyon, sleeping in the back of my Jeep. Before my alarm went off on Sunday morning I was already awake. I made coffee and ate a quick breakfast, then drove toward the trailhead in South Willow Canyon about 15 miles away. The sunrise was pretty nice along the way.


Camp spot in North Willow Canyon


Sunrise and the Oquirrh Mountains


Sunlight on the spine of the Stansbury Range


Stansbury Island


Sunrise over the Oquirrhs



Once John and Chris arrived, I made a brief introduction (as they'd never met) and then we started up the trail. John had summited Deseret Peak several times before and highly recommended the loop up the Mill Fork trail and then down Pocket's Fork, so that's the route we took. Very shortly after leaving the trailhead we entered the Deseret Peak Wilderness, and then passed a trail junction that marked the beginning of our loop. There were Colorado Columbine all along the trail in the shade of the aspen and pine trees, though they were all completely white. As the trail became steeper my lack of fitness became more apparent, but Chris and John were kind enough to hang back and keep me company as we made the ascent together.


Starting up the trail


Trail junction


Colorado Columbine


A view from the shadows


Trail through Mill Fork


Deer


The Stansburys north of Deseret Peak


Stansbury Island



After climbing 2,600 feet we reached the top of the first ridge, leaving another 400-foot climb to the second ridge that we would follow to the summit. The wildflowers on top of the ridges were wonderful despite the meager amount of snow we'd received over the winter. The remainder of the hike to the summit followed a trail just west of the main ridge. We shared the summit with a couple of other people for a few minutes. At one point I descended slightly to find a geocache just below the summit, and as I climbed back up I saw a familiar dog--it was Kangaroo! I looked around for Roo's owner and saw Amiee and then had an awkward, starstruck moment while I introduced myself. Aimee recognized me and Chris from Instagram where we all follow each other and then it became less awkward. I would almost think it's a strange coincidence to have met Amiee and Roo on this peak, but in the last several years I've encountered probably more than half a dozen other people that I only knew online while out hiking.


Top of the first ridge with a view toward the second


Monument Plant (Frasera speciosa)


Trail approaching the second ridge


Tooele and the Oquirrhs


Final climb to the second ridge


The head of Antelope Canyon


Wildflowers along the trail


Snow in a couloir off the east side of the ridge


Panorama above the head of Antelope Canyon


Switching back up to Deseret Peak


Final stretch of trail leading to the summit


John at the summit of Deseret Peak


Panorama from the Deseret Peak summit


Chris and John at the summit


Reference marker at the summit


Tabby's Peak in the Cedar Mountains



We left the summit and followed the ridgeline north toward Pocket's Fork. The trail skirted the around western edges of a few smaller peaks before dropping east off the ridge. There was, unfortunately for me, one uphill section that made my leg muscles burn. Just after beginning the descent into Pocket's Fork there was one tiny bit of snow that we crossed, even though it would have been easily avoidable. Pocket's Fork was beautiful, especially looking back up the trail after we'd descended from the main ridge. We crossed over a ridge into Dry Lake Fork and were greeted by a stunning view of Deseret Peak (the "big payoff," as John adequately termed it). We reached the trail junction completing the loop, then had only a short distance left until we arrived back at the trailhead. Our round-trip distance was about 8.8 miles with 3,600' elevation difference. Hiking Deseret Peak puts me past the halfway point in hiking all of the Utah county highpoints. I started in 2003, so it has taken me fifteen years to get this far, but I think I'm going to knock out the remaining half by next year.


Beginning the descent toward Pocket's Fork


Big cliffs east of Deseret Peak


John leading the way


Above Dry Lake Fork


Eastern face of Deseret Peak


Crossing a tiny snow patch


Descending in Pocket's Fork


Beautiful stretch of trail at the top of Pocket's Fork


Trail in Pocket's Fork, with trees in the distance burned by a 2008 wildfire


View up Dry Lake Fork to Deseret Peak


The only Columbine I saw with any blue in the petals


Creek crossing


GPS stats



Photo Gallery: Deseret Peak
GPS Track and Photo Waypoints:
[ Google Earth KMZ ] [ Gmap4 Satellite ] [ Gmap4 Topo ]
 

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Miya

Because I am able.
.
Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
679
Trip Reports
16
Likes
961
#7
Such a variety of scenery!
I love that Monument plant. Never seen one.
Soooo....I think this is a stupid question, and tried to google it so you people won't laugh at me, BUT what the heck is on the deers head (not the ears). Are those going to turn into antlers...? Or is it just the type of deer?! I must know! :frantic:
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
1,196
Trip Reports
122
Likes
3,693
Thread starter #8
Soooo....I think this is a stupid question, and tried to google it so you people won't laugh at me, BUT what the heck is on the deers head (not the ears). Are those going to turn into antlers...? Or is it just the type of deer?! I must know! :frantic:
Haha, not at all a stupid question. Those are its antlers, but they're covered in velvet. Basically, as the antlers grow they're covered in a velvet skin that provides blood and nutrients as they grow, but eventually the antlers calcify and harden, then the velvet falls off (it's not a pretty picture <--[don't click that link if you're squeamish!]). I don't think I'd ever seen a deer in velvet until relatively recently, like maybe in the last 10 years.
 

Miya

Because I am able.
.
Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
679
Trip Reports
16
Likes
961
#9
Haha, not at all a stupid question. Those are its antlers, but they're covered in velvet. Basically, as the antlers grow they're covered in a velvet skin that provides blood and nutrients as they grow, but eventually the antlers calcify and harden, then the velvet falls off (it's not a pretty picture <--[don't click that link if you're squeamish!]). I don't think I'd ever seen a deer in velvet until relatively recently, like maybe in the last 10 years.
Oooooooooh cool! I saw some pictures of deer with velvety looking antlers, and figured that must be it, but didn't see any pictures of youngens'. It looked so obscure to me.
LOL, I actually think the link of pictures look awesome! Would be a great scene in a horror movie. Oh, BUT if I had seen that in the wilderness, not knowing what was happening, I would have been mortified, so thanks for enlightening me!
 

Titans

Member
.
Joined
Aug 18, 2018
Messages
411
Trip Reports
12
Likes
1,025
#10
@Udink - beautiful photos and great company! So- how far are you now in January 2019 with "hiking all of the Utah county highpoints" ?
Kangaroo looks like an amazing dog, just looked at the Instagram photos, that's my dream dog. I recognize the "starstruck" moment- happened to me in the Needles when I recognized a BCP license plate (Randy's) and suddenly introduced myself as "Titans"....
 
Last edited:

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
1,196
Trip Reports
122
Likes
3,693
Thread starter #11
So- how far are you now in January 2019 with "hiking all of the Utah county highpoints" ?
Hah, I'm doing poorly. I've hiked a couple of Colorado 14ers since then, as well at Notch Peak in the West Desert, but no more county high points. I s'pose I ought to put that on my to-do list for this year. :)
 

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Top