Ensign Peak to Grandview Peak - October 9, 2023

scatman

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Back in 2020, I attempted this same hike the last weekend of May. Unfortunately for me, a late spring storm rolled in and not being prepared for foul weather, the ensuing snow storm drove me off the ridgeline, with Grandview in sight. So since I didn't make it up to the Teton Wilderness this past weekend, I decided to give this another go.

The hike essentially follows the north ridgeline of City Creek Canyon with Grandview Peak, located at the head of the Canyon, and is a little over 23 miles in length with a lot of up and down along the ridge. With a long day in mind, I left the Ensign Peak Trailhead at 5:10 in the morning, and I finished up at 8:58 at night, so a 15 hour and 48 minute day. Fortunately for me, the weather was gorgeous and the fall colors were in full swing along the entire route.

The sun angle for this hike wasn't very good as I was hiking into the sun for most of the route, so I took a lot of pictures looking back from where I'd come from.

I took three cameras with me on this hike, and they were:
- Canon EOS 6D Mark II
- Canon PowerShot SX150
- Canon PowerShot SD780 IS

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The silhouette of Ensign Peak with the monument on top

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Salt Lake City lights

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Starting to get a little lighter, with lights of North Salt Lake below, with airplanes (four) descending into the Salt Lake Airport

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Two lights up City Creek Canyon, one I know is the water treatment plant, but I'm not sure where the other one is

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Looking back on the Wasatch Front at dawn

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Camera is compensating for the low light by this point, with the south ridge of City Creek Canyon in view

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Trail conditions at the beginning

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Fall colors were peaking for the maples and aspen along the way. I wanted to stop and
take pictures of all of them, but I couldn't if I expected to make my goal

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Fall colors

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Looking down Barneys Hollow

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First light on Broads Fork Twin Peaks and Lone Peak

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The Dude Benchmark ahead

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Pretty

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Looking down the north ridge of City Creek towards the Oquirrh Mountains on the west side of the Salt Lake Valley

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Map for hunters

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Zoomed in on the Avenues Twin Peaks across the canyon

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The sunlight is about to catch up to me

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It caught me. :)

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The Dude Benchmark

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View to the east from the Dude Benchmark. I'll be following the ridge. Grandview Peak can't be seen at this point

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Looking back west, coming off the Dude Benchmark

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One of the ridges that plunges down into City Creek

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Looking back at the hill located to the east of Dude

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More looking back to the west at another hill just descended

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View to the north towards Bountiful, Farmington and Francis Peak

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Looking back at the hilly terrain

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Looking down North Canyon

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Arriving at Rudy's Flat, more than halfway to Grandview

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Firepit and benches at Rudy's

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A tote goat hidden away. I'm guessing a bow hunter road it up. It was not there on my way back down.

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From Rudy's Flat, it is a steep climb to the top of the ridgeline where Grandview is located

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More fall colors above

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Elderberries

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More berries - red elderberries?

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Antelope Island in the distance

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Francis Peak

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Selfie :scatman:

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A tree is in the way, but this shot is looking down Mill Creek towards Mueller Park

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Not up top yet

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Starting to get into the aspen

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The Sessions Mountains to the north

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Some lingering snow on the north slopes. I filled one of my water bottles with some.

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On top of the ridge that leads to Grandview. This is as far as I got back in 2020 before the storm ran my back down the ridge. Still
a ways to go.

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Zoomed in on the air traffic control towers on Francis Peak to the north

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A controlled burn in Parleys Canyon

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More aspen

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A stand of aspen on Black Mountain Ridge

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Grandview ahead, I think I might just make it

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Getting closer

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Grandview Peak

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Last climb ahead

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View down Cottonwood Gulch from the summit of Grandview

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View over to Lookout Peak from the summit of Grandview

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Summit shot

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This lady was kind enough to take my picture on top. She told me that she had hiked in from the Big Mountain Trailhead and that
she had run in the Wasatch Back race a couple of times. She was the only person I saw on this hike until I got back close to the
Ensign Peak Trailhead, where people were hiking up to Ensign with their headlamps.

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So I shared my Tony's Chocolonely with her.

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Time to head back down

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Aspen below at the head of Mill Creek

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Another view of the Sessions Mountains

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One of the few clouds on this day

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Heading back to Rudy's Flat

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More maples

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Back at Rudy's Flat with a long Scatman shadow. I had a feeling that I'd be hiking out in the dark

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Looking back up towards Burro Peak

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Not another hill! My legs were getting pretty tired by this point

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Looking back to the east again

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The Dude Benchmark casting its shadow on the hill to the east that I just came down

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Black Mountain Ridge on the south side of City Creek Canyon

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Coming off of the Dude Benchmark

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The sun going down over the Great Salt Lake

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View to the south of Utah State Capital and State Street extending south though the
valley.

I got home around 9:20 PM exhausted, and went to heat up a frozen Rico's black bean and cheese burrito in the microwave because I was starving. Normally I punch a few holes in the burrito so that it doesn't explode and put black beans all over the microwave. On my third attempt to put a hole in the burrito, the steak knife glanced off the burrito and into the webbing of my left hand between my thumb and pointer finger. Well, this meant a trip to the emergency room to get stitched up, so I never got to eat the burrito. I will have it as soon as I finish this report. :hungry: So be careful out there! :D


The End.
 
That's some really nice country. I guess the rattlers must all be asleep by now, eh? Bummer on the stitches. It's just nature's way of slowing you down so you don't try an even longer hike.
 
Living the dream Scat!! That’s really long to do the same route on the return. Did you ask for a Gatorade IV while at the ER?

I should have. :D I was a zombie at work on Tuesday. :scatman:

I took four Nalgene bottles of water, plus one bottle of Gatorade, and one bottle of Powerade with me. I also filled one of my empty Nalgenes with snow on the way up. It was a little warmer than I wanted it to be. I think the weather forecast called for 79 in the valley on Monday. I would have preferred it to be in the 60's. I had about 1/3 of the Powerade left when I got back to the Ensign Trailhead. I drank the rest of it on the drive home.
 
That's some really nice country. I guess the rattlers must all be asleep by now, eh? Bummer on the stitches. It's just nature's way of slowing you down so you don't try an even longer hike.

I don't know Skipper. I saw a lizard on the way down, so rattlers might still be out and about. You know, I don't think I saw a rattler all year. It seems to be either feast or famine with them.

I really wasn't sure that I'd be able to pull this off. I told myself I'd hike out eight hours and then turn around regardless of where I was. But at the eight hour mark I was staring Grandview in the face so I went for it. It took me about eight and a half to reach the summit. The only way I could do a longer hike is if it were flat, or downhill the entire way. :)
 
I don't want to hear any more about "hanging up your hiking boots" if you're still pulling days like this!

Might have to revoke your cutlery privileges though. ;)

The problem is I couldn't walk on Tuesday. If I had to do back to back days, I couldn't pull it off. If I'd have had a normal backpack on, I wouldn't have made it either. :)
 
I don't know Skipper. I saw a lizard on the way down, so rattlers might still be out and about. You know, I don't think I saw a rattler all year. It seems to be either feast or famine with them.

I really wasn't sure that I'd be able to pull this off. I told myself I'd hike out eight hours and then turn around regardless of where I was. But at the eight hour mark I was staring Grandview in the face so I went for it. It took me about eight and a half to reach the summit. The only way I could do a longer hike is if it were flat, or downhill the entire way. :)
my wife saw a rattler in or near Red Butte Gardens just the other day so they're still out, at least down at bench level
 
I so don't miss all that light pollution...
 
I forgot to add this image to my report.

I ran into this coming down. Sorry, it is a tad out of focus.

04.jpg

I looked it up on Tuesday and it is a Jerusalem Cricket, even though it is not a cricket, or from Jerusalem. This is the first one I have ever seen. Wikipedia says that they can inflict a painful bite. Has anyone else seen one of these?
 
I forgot to add this image to my report.

I ran into this coming down. Sorry, it is a tad out of focus.



I looked it up on Tuesday and it is a Jerusalem Cricket, even though it is not a cricket, or from Jerusalem. This is the first one I have ever seen. Wikipedia says that they can inflict a painful bite. Has anyone else seen one of these?

Oh yeah, those are sometimes in my backyard, and I have seen them a couple times in the desert.
 
Similar to Mormon Crickets or vinagaroons, but I guess they're different. I did get bit by one when a kid. It was in my shoe. It hurt, but not as much as a pine beetle bite.
 
Nice accomplishment Hugh.

I had hoped you'd be wearing your bright orange kilt in the middle of hunting season. . . instead I see you wore you camouflage one. At least you had your orange cycling cap on. :)

I agree with @TheMountainRabbit -- I don't see you hanging those boots up just yet.

We do need to see about keeping you away from sharp objects. The image of a famished @scatman trying to stab his way into a burrito is a good one. . . I'm sorry the story had to end with some bloodletting.

Are you telling us it is easier to puncture thru your skin than a burrito wrapper? :thinking:
 
Those are cream filled....... could be tasty
 
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