Ascent of Ibapah Peak on 2014-06-27

Climber: J.J. Fernandez

Date:Friday, June 27, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Ibapah Peak
    Elevation:12087 ft / 3684 m

Ascent Trip Report

Ibapah Peak 12,087 ft, Juab County Highpoint.

Departed after work Thursday. The trailhead was 4.5 hours from the Ogden Area. I-15 South to I-80 West out to Wendover with a posted speed limit of 80 mph! I almost think that's way too fast, but it is basically a straight line. Exit 410 in Wendover to top off gas at the Chevron. Turned due South onto US-93A (paved/70 mph) for 20 minutes, then left/East to Ibapah Road South (paved/55 mph) for another 30 minutes.

The previous directions were mostly the same as the main page. However, the following is IMHO a better deviation: Instead of turning left onto the dirt-road to Gold Hill after Mile-Marker 28, continue 13 more miles to Mile-Marker 15 and turn left/East onto what Garmin called the "Gold Hill Cut-off"/Pony Express Road (dirt/35 mph). This new route avoids the unkempt, rocky, rutty roads and town of Gold Hill all together. In June 2014, this newer road was smoothly graded and I could easily maintain 35+ mph for 7 miles until it met back-up with the older portion of the Pony Express Road (dirt/25 mph) right turn/South, as described on the main page.

Once back on the original route, passed Pony Express Historical Marker (15 foot high stone monument). Further on, at the top of the knoll, another Pony Express Historical Site with the stone ruins of Pony Express Station/Cabin. From here, I descended off the perch toward the town Calleo and onto Snake Valley Road for the final approach to Granite Creek Road which ends at the Ibapah Peak Trailhead.

Huge Granite formations line both sides of Granite Creek and stand tall next to the rough dirt road. They've cabled-off numerous trails in-order-for the wilderness to reclaim some of the land. An SUV/Truck will make it to the Ibapah Trailhead, though with some free "Rocky-mountain Pin-striping".

The first creek crossing was lengthy at least 30 feet across but shallow. I just kept my momentum and plowed thru. Just prior the second creek crossing, there was large gate and sign that read, "No motor vehicle access 1 November to 31 May". So, hiking during that period will add 0.6 mile each way to your hike. I think a car could make it up to the gate. (If you've chosen to park/camp at/before this crossing, there's log upstream/left you can balance across.) After the gate, the second creek crossing is 90° right turn hidden behind an overgrowth of trees. The span of this crossing is shorter, 10 feet, but deeper, at least one foot. Again, I kept my smash and drove thru. After the second creek crossing, the dirt road had some deep ruts, which required even my modest SUV to make some creative "S" turns to avoid high-center. Finally at the trailhead, there were more signs/posts stating "No motor vehicles, ANY TIME past this point". I had the entire site to myself, very peaceful, solitary. It was now getting dark with clear starry sky above the Granite cove and evergreens. So I set up camp and zzz'd out.

Began my hike at first light. It was cold/cool all day, which is preferred. At the top of the first hill, there's super deep rut with large round rocks on both sides that would've eaten my SUVs for breakfast. Many ATVs seem to make it though, as evidenced by fresh tracks. Followed the ATV trail until it was brought abruptly to a stop by very rude cables. Oh and they conveniently/ purposely didn't clear any of the dead-fall after this point to dissuade even those with bolt-cutters. It was like running hurdles for quarter mile past the cables.

There are many creek crossings and waterfalls along the trail. After the 4th Waterfall Crossing, you'll meander through the trees for a bit, then veer East (right) of the rock-band and eventually cross over the stream. You'll be on the right side of the stream the rest of the way to the High Meadow. This is an easy section to replenish your water. There are many clean catch opportunities, such as mini waterfalls. Just below the High Meadow, you can leave the trail and hike directly up to 10,200 ft. There are even cool Granite formations around the High Meadow! Check the Cracked Monolith at 1 o'clock. Once on the High Meadow, it was brunch time! (or "Second Breakfast") The rocks in the middle made good chairs.

Looking North toward the Sub-peak from the High Meadow, Ibapah Peak was occluded by clouds. The ceiling was just above 11,000 ft. Of note: When I got back home, I found out it rained over an inch. While the clouds over Ibapah stayed closer to a shade of white and dry all day, and cool, especially on the peaks. Thanks be. Further up the mountain just below the Sub-peak, Ibapah Peak appeared to still be in-the-clouds. Ironically, all I was worried about was if the clouds would move off by the time I got up to the peak itself.

Tagged the Sub-peak too! (11,400 ft.) Once on the Sub-peak, I look up and lo and behold! Ibapah Peak! The clouds finally cleared out! Thank you, thank you, thank you! It's so much easier climbing mountain when you can see the top! You have to navigate a long razor-back as you travel toward the Ibapah Summit Cone. Elevating yourself to Ibapah Peak can be a scramble, but if you can find it, there's fine Use-trail that switches-back-and-forth toward the summit cone, it can make travel up to Ibapah Peak a little easier.

Cresting Ibapah Peak, I got my first view of the Summit Shelter Cairn. Red/orange bricks strewn about on Ibapah Peak. Looks like they may have built small fireplace or maybe mailbox for the Summit Register. But either weather or someone destroyed it. The more important question is, who hauled all those bricks and mortar up this gauntlet of a mountain? Ibapah Peak elevation 12,087 ft. MSL. It's the Highpoint for Juab County in the Deep Creek Mountains and one of the "57 Ultra Peaks" in the lower 48 States. Ibapah Reference Geodetic Spike is stamped 1944! I think that's the earliest spike I've seen so far. A large nail is what's remaining of the Ibapah Geodetic Spike in the center of the Shelter Cairn. And there's an Ammo-case housing the Ibapah Summit Register hidden in the wall of the Shelter Cairn. Reading through some of the Ibapah Summit Register logs, the prevalent theme was "What an incredibly grueling and awesome hike this was". Some, more poetic than others, using rhyme and lyric. This hike had beauty abound, but the colors painting the old trees on the way down were especially vibrant. Or maybe I was just both tired and elated! Bright Burnt-Sienna striations. Thanks for reading.
Summary Total Data
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by J.J. Fernandez
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