Deseret Peak Trail
From Grantsville, UT, on State Route 138, take the South Willow Canyon road south. A sign marks the turn. After about five miles, the road forks. Take the west fork and drive about seven miles to the trailhead.
For a USGS topographic map, ask for Deseret Peak.
Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Salt Lake Ranger District, 6944 South 3000 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84121; (801) 542-5042.
Straddling the Stansbury Mountains, the Deseret Peak Wilderness rises to its highest point of 11,031 feet on Deseret Peak. The trail climbs through a forest of aspen for about three-fourths mile before crossing a year-round stream and, shortly thereafter, reaches a fork. The left fork heads south towards the peak. The right fork leads to Willow Lakes. In the next mile and a half, the trail climbs almost 2,000 feet, crossing several meadows with the sheer 1,500 foot southwest face of Deseret Peak appearing above. Climbing the cirque at the head of the canyon the trail has been ascending, you reach a saddle. Treeline is near at hand, or foot in this case, and snow may linger here well into summer. Following the ridgeline, switchbacks sweep up the final ascent to the summit with spectacular views of surrounding salt flats and distant mountains. You can retrace your steps to the starting point, or drop down the trail to the north, a trail that leads to Willow Lakes, and a loop of approximately 12 miles total back to the starting point. To complete the loop, drop off Deseret Peak for about two miles to where the trail forks, and take the south fork back instead of dropping on down to the lakes.
Information courtesy of Buck Tilton, author of Utah Hiking.
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