Grandeur Peak Loop - December 4, 2021


Dec 23, 2013
I've been contemplating this route for about two years now, and with the weather still holding out here in Salt Lake, I thought Saturday would be a great time to give it a try. Jeff, aka Circles, who joined me last weekend on Dale Peak decided to join me once again on this 10.8 mile loop. The route would take us up the west side of Grandeur Peak, to its summit, and then we would head down the most popular route, the Church Fork Trail, before jumping on the Pipeline Trail and then heading west to the Pipe Line Overlook, from there we made our way north until we intersected with the Dragon's Tail Route Trail and then on, back to our vehicles. The Pipe Line trail west of the Church Fork Trail, and the route from the overlook to the Dragon's Tail Trail I had never hiked before, so I was excited to see some new scenery.

We began at the trailhead at 8:00 am and began our route up Grandeur via the West Slope Trail. Now the West Slope Trail is one of my least favorite trails in the Wasatch. It's essentially straight up and exposed for most of the way to the summit. My knees and left hip were not to happy with me yesterday, so I just plodded along until the summit. When we reached the summit, we took one of our three breaks on the hike and enjoyed some snacks and the views. After maybe thirty minutes up top, we headed down the Church Fork Route, where we ran into quite a few people heading up to the summit.

We eventually reached the intersection with the Pipeline Trail, where we stopped and took our second break. A quick snack this time and we were off for Rattlesnake Gulch and the Pipe Line Overlook beyond. It was a little over three miles to the overlook, and when we reached it, we took our final break before making our way back north to the trailhead.

Route overview map

Reaching our trail that heads up the west side of Grandeur Peak

Common Storksbill along the trail

Once again, my obligatory Mount Olympus shot

Parley's Canyon and I-80 still in the shadow of Grandeur

Sunlight on Parley's Ridge

Nothing but up from here on.

My knees are screaming! :)

These asters have seen better days

Sunlight reaching the northern ridge and summmit

The east side of the Dragon's Trail dipping down into the drainage

Catching the morning sun through some Mountain Mahogany above us along the Dragon's Tail Ridge to our south

Alost 2/3rds of the way up we ran into some aster that is still blooming in December!

Jeff, stopping to take a picture of the aster

Reaching the mountain mahogany

Good to have the sun finally hitting us.

View to the north from the ridge

Lookout Peak in the distance. To the left of center is Dale Peak, where we hiked last week

Jeff, getting close to the summit

View from the top, looking east. There is no snow this time unlike two weeks ago on my Dragon's Tail hike

View from the top

Millvue Peak ahead, Murdock Peak beyond, and the snow covered Uintas in the far distance

From Mount Aire to Gbller Knob, and upper Millcreek Canyon

Summit shot thanks to a a trail runner

Snack and relaxation time

Jeff, taking some shots of the valley below before heading down Church Fork

Inversion building up in the southern end of the Salt Lake Valley

Beginning our decent into Church Fork

Oregon Grape along the trail

Aspen along the ridge

Nice view of upper Church Fork with Church Fork Peak. Can you spot the yurt?

A couple of spruce on the ridge

A view down into Church Fork

A look back up at Grandeur from the Church Fork side

The art of moseying. :)

Church Fork

Arriving at the Pipe Line Trail intersection

Limestone cliff band above

A look back up Millcreek Canyon with Millvue Peak at the center

Old piece of pipe and thus the name of the trail

Some donut humor on the pipe.

Making our way towards Rattlesnake Gulch

Entering Scout Hollow with Grandeur above

The Pipe Line Trail

@Titans - more spurge. :(

Unbelievable! A grass hopper in December. That's a first for me in the Wasatch.

The switchbacks down into Rattlesnake Gulch

Next stop: Pipe Line Overlook

View of Grandeur from Rattlesnake Gulch

Jeff on his way to the overlook

National Forest Signpost

Looking at the ridge across the canyon with Triangle Peak in the upper right

View north from the lookout

Grandeur Peak from the lookout

Leaving the lookout

Still some green in December amongst the scrub oak

Looking up towards the summit

Paraglider ahead

The Dragon Tail formation

More spring green in December

Jeff and the Dragon's Tail

I loved the looks of this juniper on the point

Another shot due east of the Dragon's Tail and a second paraglider

View of Grandeur from near the trailhead

Home sweet home! Back at the Jeep. The Subaru is in the shop. It had a seized caliper and they have to order a new one in. Can't
wait for that bill. :(

I've attached the KMZ file of our route for those who want to see it in Google Earth.

The End


  • 31.jpg
    138 KB · Views: 4
  • Grandeur_Peak_Lollipop_Loop.kmz
    75.5 KB · Views: 4
Last edited:
Nice loop, great to see it in Google Earth. What’s up with your knees?
Too much spurge, it will take over everything….! Uh.
Good luck with your Subaru. Think you got to be happy, if the parts are available nowadays!
Nice loop, great to see it in Google Earth. What’s up with your knees?
Too much spurge, it will take over everything….! Uh.
Good luck with your Subaru. Think you got to be happy, if the parts are available nowadays!

I think it is called old people disease. :moses: :) I just woke up and my knees were a bit stiff and achy on Saturday.

True. The Subaru will be 20 years old next summer. It needs a new starter also, as I had been having problems starting it periodically. In addition, it needs a new rotor and a brake pad on the right side rear wheel since the caliper seized up there. They had all the other parts, just not the caliper.
Amazing to see snow and ice in your jaunts a few weeks back and then seein’ it lookin like fall in this one….crazy weather. Love th scenery!
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
scatman Grandeur Peak - Dragon Tail Route - June 10, 2023 Hiking & Camping 13
scatman Grandeur Peak - November 11, 2022 Hiking & Camping 15
scatman Grandeur Peak - January 15, 2022 Hiking & Camping 6
scatman Grandeur Peak - Dagon's Tail Route - November 21, 2021 Hiking & Camping 9
scatman Grandeur Peak, The West Slope Approach - October 31, 2020 Hiking & Camping 7
scatman Grandeur Peak - West Slope Route - September 3, 2018 Hiking & Camping 12
scatman Grandeur Peak - January 17, 2016 Hiking & Camping 7
scatman Grandeur Peak - February 16, 2015 Hiking & Camping 3
scatman Grandeur Peak - Dragon's Tail Ridge Route - November 28, 2014 Hiking & Camping 19
scatman Grandeur and Church Fork Peaks Loop - May 29, 2021 Hiking & Camping 19
TannerT Grandeur 1/16 Hiking & Camping 12
BobFink Goschute Mountains, NV , Pisgah Peak, Hawk Watch Migration Site Trip Reports 2
TheMountainRabbit Ortenburger Lake, Talus Lake, & Glacier Peak (Grand Teton NP) - October 2023 Backpacking 14
scatman Ensign Peak to Grandview Peak - October 9, 2023 Hiking & Camping 30
scatman Yellowstone's Thorofare, Headwaters of Thorofare Creek, Majo Pass, Younts Peak, Bob's Canyon, and Cub Creek - August 9, 2023 - Days 7 through 10 Backpacking 34
scatman Yellowstone's Thorofare, Headwaters of Thorofare Creek, Majo Pass, Younts Peak, Bob's Canyon, and Cub Creek - August 9, 2023 - Days 1 through 6 Backpacking 56
RockyMntCol Trip Planning Younts Peak / South Fork Yellowstone Trip Planning 12
T Cloud Peak backpack Trip Planning 0
RockyMntCol Cloud Peak Wilderness Loop Trip Planning 1
scatman Reid's Peak - Uintas - July 22, 2023 Hiking & Camping 6
W Paper map for Teton Wilderness (Younts Peak) Gear 4
scatman Lookout Peak - May 27, 2023 Hiking & Camping 13
scatman Frary Peak - Antelope Island - February 20, 2023 Hiking & Camping 10
scatman Ensign Peak - November 24, 2022 Hiking & Camping 11
Titans What’s your unfinished business? Hard canyon access, mtn peak, you name it! General Discussion 54
ram Eldorado Peak 2022 Backpacking 3
TheMountainRabbit Younts Peak (Teton/Washakie Wilderness) - July 2022 Backpacking 22
regehr Lookout Peak 6/25/22 Hiking & Camping 3
scatman Unnamed Peak 8194 - June 25, 2022 Hiking & Camping 17
scatman Mendon Peak - Wellsville Mountain Wilderness - June 4, 2022 Hiking & Camping 13
scatman Dale Peak - May 22, 2022 Hiking & Camping 21
westy Invite Glacier Peak, Washington Meet Up (Members Only) 2
TheMountainRabbit Invite Younts Peak, July 2022 Meet Up (Members Only) 11
LarryBoy SLC: Terrace Hills Drive to Big Mountain Peak Trip Planning 16
ram Glacier Peak July 2021 Backpacking 9
scatman Frary Peak - Antelope Island - January 7, 2022 Hiking & Camping 21
Wanderlust073 Raleigh Peak Hiking & Camping 4
scatman Dale Peak - November 27, 2021 Hiking & Camping 3
K Kings Peak Trip Trip Planning 6
TrektheWorld Crater Lake and Lone Eagle Peak Backpacking 1
la_alpinista Thoughts on potential off trail routes in Cloud Peak Wilderness CPW Trip Planning 1
scatman Lone Peak - July 14, 2021 Hiking & Camping 28
Bob Yellowstone - Electric Peak visit Backpacking 2
scatman Lewiston Peak - May 15, 2021 Hiking & Camping 7
LarryBoy Looping the Highline: Gilbert Peak Edition Backpacking 13
scatman Peak 6551 - Lakeside Mountains - April 17, 2021 Hiking & Camping 7
napatony13 Trinity Alps-Grizzly Peak Trail Hiking & Camping 0
scatman Lookout Peak - January 16, 2021 Hiking & Camping 10
scatman Frary Peak - December 5, 2020 Hiking & Camping 10
scatman Church Fork Peak - November 28, 2020 Hiking & Camping 2

Similar threads