Red Butte Canyon Rim-Walk - May 20, 2017

scatman

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Dec 23, 2013
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I hooked up with Backcountrypost member @regehr bright and early Saturday morning to attempt to follow the ridge lines around Red Butte Canyon. My daughter and I had attempted to reach Lookout Peak three weeks earlier but were turned back due to deep snow at Knowlton's Fork. Regehr had read my trip report and suggested the rim-walk around the canyon, as this was an item still on his bucket list that he had yet to check off.

We began our route at the Mount Wire Trailhead at 6:45 am. Once on top of Mount Wire, we proceeded to hike east along the ridge towards the head of Red Butte Canyon. When we reached the end of the ridge, we bushwhacked down into the canyon proper where we were able to pick up the trail that led us to an old roadbed that we followed to gain access to the Black Mountain Ridge (I believe that locals may refer to it as Little Black Mountain).

Once on the ridge, we stopped for a quick lunch before heading west along the Black Mountain Ridge. The first 2.5 - 3.0 miles is an intense thrash as one makes their way along the ridgeline. Fortunately, there was still some snow on the north side of the ridge that we took advantage of from time to time as we made our way along. Eventually, we ran into the Smuggler's Gap Trail that comes up out of City Creek Canyon and we were glad to at last be back on a trail. Along the section where we hiked the ridge, we encountered some scrambling and a slight bit of exposure. Approximately four miles along the ridge we dropped down off-trail to access the Mount Van Cott ridgeline. Once on the Van Cott ridgeline, we followed it to Mount Van Cott and then out to the trailhead.

The total distance of our hike was a touch over 17.5 miles and it took us nearly 12 hours to complete. I was pretty tired when all was said and done. :sleep: Here are some shots of our trek.

01.jpg

@regehr on his way up Mount Wire

03.jpg

A look across to the north of the Black Mountain Ridge where we will be later on in the day

06.jpg

Bushwhacking down off the Mount Wire Ridge into Red Butte Canyon

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Yet to bloom Mule's Ear along our route

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The old road cut at the head of Red Butte Canyon

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On the old road bed

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View down into Red Butte Canyon - less snow than three weeks ago

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A look back at the Mount Wire Ridge which we had just traversed

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First major snow encountered as we are about to drop down into Knowlton's Fork

14.jpg

@regehr hiking along the old roadbed in Knowlton's Fork

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A look down into Knowlton's Fork

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On the Black Mountain Ridgeline

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Great views of Grandview Peak along the ridge

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Snow, helping us out a bit at this point

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The beginning of the first scrambling section

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Back into the nasty stuff

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Making our way through scrub oak :mad:

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A look back along the ridge that we had hiked plus a bright Grandview Peak and upper City Creek Basin

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A look down into City Creek Canyon - the water treatment plant is visible

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More scrambling to contend with

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The Mount Van Cott Ridgeline that we are dropping down to

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Red Butte Reservoir and Mount Wire

38.jpg
Mount Van Cott straight ahead

The end.

 

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LarryBoy

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Cool trip! I did a very similar route with a friend in March a few years ago - it was the first winter I spent in SLC. Instead of taking Black Mtn ridge, we dropped down into Red Butte and took the 4x4 road out - only to be squawked at by motion sensors telling us we were trespassing and would be ticketed. Ooops!
 

scatman

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Dec 23, 2013
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I love when @scatman is getting in shape for Yellowstone season. You get really creative in my backyard. That's quite the route!

All credit goes to @regehr for the route, I just tagged along. I'm actually only doing a small trip to Yellowstone this summer, a three night stay at Mallard Lake with a couple of off-trail day hikes. What I'm really training for is my 30 day trip along the Theodore Solomon's Trail in the Sierra's in July. I need some snow to start melting there or I'm not going to be able to cross the Middle Fork of the Kern River. :frantic:
 

scatman

Member
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Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
1,607
Cool trip! I did a very similar route with a friend in March a few years ago - it was the first winter I spent in SLC. Instead of taking Black Mtn ridge, we dropped down into Red Butte and took the 4x4 road out - only to be squawked at by motion sensors telling us we were trespassing and would be ticketed. Ooops!

Where were thew motion sensors located?
 

regehr

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Mar 28, 2012
Messages
1,332
Some follow-up sufferfests that I'd enjoy trying:
- S ridge of City Creek: hardscrabble pass to Van Cott
- N ridge of City Creek: hardscrabble pass to Ensign Peak
- Neffs/Millcreek ridge to Thayne's
 
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