Ascent of Deseret Peak on 2013-09-07

Climber: J.J. Fernandez

Date:Saturday, September 7, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Deseret Peak
    Elevation:11031 ft / 3362 m

Ascent Trip Report

Deseret Peak 11,031 ft, Tooele County Highpoint.

So this was only my second County Highpoint. Residing in Northern Utah, decided to try to tag the more local highpoints first. At least it looked that way on the map. As it turned out, the drive to Deseret Peak took over two hours passing Toole and above Grantsville. Did I mention I really don't like to drive too far?
Anyways, got to the trailhead driving through a narrow notch in the canyon and an okay dirt road. Started up the trail to the creek(bed) crossing with big white rocks. My route finding skills were apparently still new, and a kind hunter (who I chatted with at the trailhead conveying my intent to tag Deseret) politely pointed me to the correct path taking a hard left (which seemed totally counter-intuitive). But that trail did eventually arc back around to the right (my plan was to complete the 7 mile loop clockwise). So, thank you Mr. Hunter.
Soon after, encountered cool meadows and more pine forests. Wow, this place was a literal oasis in the middle of the vast dry salty Western Desert. Eventually, had to climb up some fairly narrow switchbacks to arrive at the saddle and another broad meadow. Then I started the long trek up to the summit ridge. Along the way, passed several steep rocky chutes, looking down them could give you vertigo! Found the geodetic spike at the Deseret Peak summit and took some time to snack and take photos.
Proceeding off the summit ridge takes you back into some pine forests, some of which were black charcoal singed and unbeknownst to me, some still smoldering from an apparently huge wildfire that engulfed the Western slopes of the range just a few days earlier!
Descended the steeps and continued along a low saddle to the farthest notch to re-enter the lush valley below. This side of the mountain had groves of Aspen already dropping their bright yellow round leaves on the soft ground looking like a leprechaun had sprinkled gold coins all over the forest.
Finally got to the fork, left pointed to a lake (where you could camp), and right led back to the trailhead. What an awesome secluded hike!
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