Monday, June 24, 2013

Deseret Peak, Utah - Hiking

Keith and Melissa wanted to do a quick overnight camping trip close to Salt Lake City and invited Roger and me to join them for a hike and camp at Deseret Peak.  Deseret Peak is the highest peak in the Stansbury mountain range and is located west of Grantsville, Utah in the Tooele Valley.  At an elevation of 11,035 feet, the summit offers great views of the Great Salt Lake, the Wasatch Mountains, and the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Deseret Peak

We left Salt Lake City on Saturday morning and arrived in South Willow Canyon about an hour later.  There are several small campgrounds located along the road to the trailhead and we selected a site at the Intake Campground near the river.  After claiming our camping spot for the night, we headed to the trailhead and began the loop hike to the summit of Deseret Peak.

 On the trail to Deseret Peak

Great views along the way to the summit

Roger near the summit

A few patches of snow near the summit

After a few hours of hiking we reached the summit.  Despite the intense heat in the valley, the temperature on the summit was quite cool and long sleeves would have been nice to have!  After enjoying the spectacular views, we continued along the loop trail which descended into a different canyon before linking up with South Willow Fork Canyon.  The loop provided a change of scenery, but the steep, rocky trail made for a slow descent.  It is faster to return on the same trail used to summit.

Keith at the summit

Melissa and Tonic

Keith sliding down a snow field

Melissa being cautious on the snow field

We were all exhausted by the end of the hike and happy to return to camp for some great beer and food.  The camping was excellent and we enjoyed the cool nighttime temperatures and sounds of the river around the camp fire.

Lots of flowers along the trail

Stoli was a superstar on the hike

Evening campfire