Neff's Ridge Loop - June 13, 2020

scatman

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On Saturday morning, I met up with @regehr to hike Neff's Ridge, which is the ridge on the north side of Neff's Canyon. After completing the ridge, at the head of the canyon, we then worked our way down to the trail that leads to Mill B Pass, and then we turned off before climbing to the pass, onto the Neff's Canyon Trail and headed down the canyon and back to our vehicles at the trailhead. Most of the ridge would require bushwhacking and scrambling, except for one short section where we hooked up with an apparent social trail between two consecutive knobs along the ridge, before the trail descended down into the canyon (we think?).

We began our hike at the Neff's Canyon Trailhead and immediately started up the ridge. The terrain was steep, and I struggled a bit with my wind at first, but once I reached the top of the ridge, I began to feel better. Once on top of the ridge, the views opened up on all sides, with Mount Olympus and Wildcat Ridge to our south, and Grandeur Peak and Millcreek Ridge to our north.

We thought going in that there would be a considerable amount of bushwhacking along the ridge, and that turned out to be correct. A lot of scrub oak and Mountain Mahogany to contend with made for slow progress as we made our way east along the ridge. The trees and brush made it difficult to tell which side of the ridge to scramble up too. At one point along one of the more difficult sections, I believe we made 0.3 miles in one hour.

The weather started out sunny, but as we made our way up the ridge, the wind really started to pick up. As we made our way along the ridge the skies became overcast and the wind continued to blow, with some gusts being quite hard. The wind also seemed to kick up some dust from the west desert and made our views and pictures a bit dusty or hazy.

After completing the ridge, all we had to do was locate the trail, and the descent down the canyon was quite pleasant. The hike took us about nine hours to complete, the vast majority of that time of course along the ridge itself. Here's some shots of our adventure.

01.jpg

Regehr, heading up the ridge form the trailhead.

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A good look into North's Fork with the ever present Mount Olympus on the right

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Looking down the ridge towards Olympus Cove.

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Regehr is working me at this point! :) Who am I kidding, he worked my the entire hike. :)

05.jpg

Mules ear on our climb to the top of the ridge

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On top of the ridge, the view opens up for us, with Grandeur Peak to our north, across Millcreek Canyon

08.jpg

Church Fork Peak, located to the east of Grandeur along the Millcreek Ridge

09.jpg

Making our way along Neff's Ridge

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Looks like some scrambling opportunities ahead.

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Mount Aire and unnamed peak 8490 along the Millcreek Ridge to our north

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Regehr, on some rocky terrain along the ridge

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A look down from the ridge into the lower reaches of Neff's Canyon

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Slow going at this point.

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Looking back west along Neff's Ridge

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Decision time - up or down?

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Regehr on the ridge

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Triangle Peak to our south across Neff's Canyon, along Wildcat Ridge

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Millcreek ridge to the north, in the far distance is Grandview Peak, located at the head of City Creek Canyon.

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Brush and more brush. :)

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Wildcat Ridge to our south

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Aye yai yai! Enough already. :p

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Two more knobs ahead.

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Time for the thick scrub oak. This section wore me out.

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The way ahead. I had a branch knock the lens out of my sun glasses, and it took me about five minutes to find it in this Shite. :scatman:

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Taking time for a snack break before making our final push to the high point of the ridge

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A look back at Mount Olympus

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Some Paintbrush, Larkspur and Desert Parsley. We didn't run into any Paintbrush until almost the very end of the ridge.

28b.jpg

Looking east along the ridge towards the high point.

29.jpg

Regehr on the high point of the ridge, around 8,800 feet. A good view down Neff's Ridge, and our hiking route along the ridge - to
Regehr's left, and the right side of the image.


30.jpg

A view down Neff's Canyon from the high point.

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Making our way down to the trail, and looking back up at the high point of the ridge.

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The western portion of Neff's Ridge

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Beautiful Aspen Grove with Wildcat Ridge above, as we make our way down canyon.

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Leaving the Mount Olympus Wilderness, on the Neff's Canyon Trail

35.jpg

Back at the trailhead.

Well, hopefully @regehr will chime in with his thoughts of the route. A great hike, on a fine day, with great company. Can't ask for anything more than that. Thanks Regher!
 

regehr

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Mar 28, 2012
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thanks for writing this up, @scatman! this was a great day and I'm super happy to have someone to share these type 2 adventures with! but really, it was only a couple hours in the middle there that were solidly type 2, and I'd say the scenery exceeded expectations, it was really nice up there! I'll post a few pics later.
 

wsp_scott

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I would put it at about a 6 or 7 on the 10-point bushwacking scale, where at 8 you're bleeding and have torn clothing, and at 9 you're not even touching the ground for long periods of time.

I've had one day (actually about 2 hours) that would be an 8, blackberry brambles in shorts left their mark, never again. I don't mind bushwacking, but I guess I am more of the 4 or 5 level :)
 

scatman

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Yeah, not much relief from heading uphill along the ridge, though there were a couple short stretches.

36.jpg

I hiked up Mount Aire yesterday, which is located northeast of Neff's Ridge. I took this shot which shows the ridge. The ridge that is closest and a lighter shade of green is the Millcreek Ridge, the furthest, where you see the snow, is Wildcat Ridge, and Neff's ridge (darker green) falls between the other two.
 
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