Hiking Bull Flat Trail to Bull Mountain

  • Distance: 4.5 miles
  • Time: 5 hours
  • Elevation gain: 3530 feet
  • Difficulty: 3
  • Overall: 5
  • Reference: Northwest corner of Utah in the Sawtooth National Forest.
  • User groups: Hikers, dogs, horses, mountain bikers. No wheelchair access.
  • Permits: No permits are required. Parking and access are free.

Trail Map

Directions

From Snowville, UT, take State Route 30 west approximately 18 miles. Bear north at a junction onto State Route 42 for approximately 8.5 miles. Turn west onto a gravel road marked with a small (and easy to miss) sign reading "Strevell Road 3600 South," and follow this road for about 3.2 miles. Turn south at the Clear Creek Campground turnoff, and follow this road for six miles to the campground.

Maps

For USGS topographic maps, ask for Rosevere Point and Standrod.

Contact

Sawtooth National Forest, Burley Ranger Station, 3650 South Overland Avenue, Burley, ID 83318; (208) 678-0430.

Trail notes

Clear Creek Campground charges no fees; sites are available on a first come, first served basis, and water is available. Ask almost any Utahn about the Raft River Mountains, however, and you'll almost always hear a befuddled "Huh?" Rising with unassuming (and uninspiring) slowness from the farmlands of the northwestern corner of the state, this east-west range attracts few humans other than ranchers who run cattle here and hunters chasing deer. That, however, constitutes a poor reason to avoid the Bull Flat Trail, a path entering the mountains from the north. North is the only safe way to enter this area, "safe" meaning the way to avoid crossing private land and upsetting the ranchers. From the end of the campground, the trail wanders through a lovely forest with lots of aspens and alders, and up to Bull Canyon. After about one mile, a side trail leads off to Bull Flat. Stay on the main trail, (now the Lake Fork Trail) through fir and pine, up to Bull Lake, which is in a surprisingly pretty cirque beneath sheer cliffs. To the west of the lake a faint path leads along a rocky slope to the 9,931 foot summit of Bull Mountain. A long summit ridge of rolling grassland provides panoramic views across barren desert to the Great Salt Lake and on to peaks of Utah, Nevada, and Idaho.

Information courtesy of Buck Tilton, author of Utah Hiking.

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