Ensign Peak to Grandview Peak Attempt

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scatman

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On Sunday, I headed out with the intent of hiking from Ensign Peak, along the north ridge of City Creek Canyon, to Grandview Peak at the head of City Creek. This route is about 22.3 miles round trip as I would return back the same way that I hiked in. I've been contemplating this hike for a few years, but snow a couple of years ago, and a very wet spring last year, kept me home. I really wasn't interested in doing the hike after it becomes too hot, knowing that the heat would wear me out.

So I began the hike at 4:55 am at the Ensign Peak Trailhead and made my way east along the ridge. Along the way, I stopped for a quick break at Dude Benchmark, passed through Rudy's Flat, and eventually made my way up to the ridge between Burro and Grandview Peaks. This is where my outing would have to end though as a nasty storm drove me off the ridge before reaching Grandview. I hadn't prepared for bad weather, so to be safe, I turned around and headed back down. I ended up hiking 20 miles, but just fell short of my goal. :(

Other than a couple of tents that I saw set up in the trees at Rudy's Flat (never saw the inhabitants), I didn't see anybody else along the way, until on my return, as I got fairly close to Ensign Peak again.

The wildflowers were plentiful all along the way, up until I hit consistent snow heading up into the mountains after Rudy's Flat. I also saw eight deer, a couple of chukars, and six hawks throughout the day.

I guess I'll have to muster up the energy to give it another go next spring. :thumbsup:

Here are some images of my hike along the ridge.

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Downtown Salt Lake City, just after 5:00 am

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Evening Primrose in the dark

03.jpg

Can you make out a couple of deer silhouettes along the ridge?

04.jpg

Sunrise on the Wasatch

05.jpg

Mules Ear were plentiful along the ridge

06.jpg

A mix of Mules Ear and Arrowleaf Balsamroot

07.jpg

The sun beginning to hit the mouth of City Creek Canyon

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Looking west towards Antelope Island

09.jpg

Typical of the trail (old Jeep road) up to Dude Benchmark

10.jpg

About 2.5 hours in at this point, looking back the way I had hiked in

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Looking north into Davis County

12.jpg

First snow of the hike

13.jpg

Looking down City Creek Canyon and towards the Salt Lake Valley

14.jpg

Some interesting formations in City Creek

15.jpg

The Dude Benchmark

16.jpg

The Dude abides! On Dude Benchmark

17.jpg

The way forward. The old Jeep road ends at Dude Benchmark and a single track proceeds east.

18.jpg

Looking down into City Creek, with a touch of snow on the slope

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Very hilly along the foothill ridge before reaching the mountains proper

20.jpg

Another hill

20b.jpg

Coyote or cougar? My shoe is a size 11. @Outdoor_Fool

21.jpg

Trails turns north at this point

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Starting to see more snow before Rudy's Flat

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Rudy's Flat

24.jpg

Snowy trail as I start to head up into the mountains east of Rudy's Flat

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Looking back west, along the ridge

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Clouds look threatening?

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Coyote track

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Looking down City Creek Canyon

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Still some elevation to tackle

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Still some snow drifts on the north side of the ridge

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Looking back along the ridge once again

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Almost to the Grandview ridge, starting to snow at this point though I continued on up to the ridge.

33.jpg

Making my way to the top of the ridge

34.jpg

Looking towards Grandview, but it can no longer be seen due to cloud cover. Once on the ridge, the cloud had engulfed me too
and the snow and wind had picked up, so I decided to call it a day as I was beginning to get cold. I reversed course and made my
way down to find a spot to eat some lunch. Scatman was getting hungry!
:)

35.jpg

Earthquake! :D I didn't make it to my spot before the self timer went off.

36.jpg

Much better! Where I stopped for lunch. The tongue is out because I didn't reach the peak. :p

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My lunchtime view of the Sessions Mountains

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Heading back down

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Back at Rudy's Flat - the snow has melted some.

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I thought this helicopter was there to rescue me. ;)

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Black Mountain Ridge across City Creek Canyon

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Hills! They wore me out on my return to the trailhead.

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Back at Dude Benchmark for a quick break and an energy bar. Hey @Rockskipper? Remember the ant nest I sat in while getting
ready to ford Chipmunk Creek in Yellowstone? Well, I did it again. :eek: I sat my day pack right on top of this nest without realizing it.
The next thing I knew, ants were biting me up my pant legs and had covered my day pack. I guess I need a chapter in my guide book
about ants. :)


45.jpg

Paintbrush was plentiful along the trail

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The Long and Winding Road that leads to your door. Will never disappear, I've seen that road before. :scatman:

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Arrowleaf Balsamroot in abundance

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A look up City Creek Canyon, where I was about six hours before

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Back at Ensign Peak

49b.jpg

The monument on Ensign

50.jpg

Nice to know the Jeep is still at the trailhead upon my return.

The End
 

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scatman

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Dec 23, 2013
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Looks like it got better again once you retreated- isn't that the way it usually works?
Bonus points for the Beatles quote.
Isn't that the truth! I needed bonus points since I didn't finish the assignment. :)
 

Miya

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Beautiful shots! Minus the coyote scat...sorry, not my THANG! haha

Looks like it was a fun outing! Stop crushing ants...
 

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scatman

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Beautiful shots! Minus the coyote scat...sorry, not my THANG! haha

Looks like it was a fun outing! Stop crushing ants...
Ants have been my nemesis since I was a child, but you're right, I need to pay more attention to where I deposit my big derriere. :D
 

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