Chasing the Utah prominence peaksWhen I first moved to Utah, just a few weeks before, I decided that one of the things I really would like to do is get as many of the top 100 Utah prominence peaks while I was in state. As of Nov. 1st, 2009, I have accumulated 84 of the top 100, leaving me but 16 to go. Hopefully, I can pretty much finish off the ones I'll be able to get before 2010 is over. It is always nice to have goals, particularly as I approach my 70th year.
Bruin Point, at 10194 feet high, is one of those "prominence" peaks that really doesn't require much more than a long drive from the Wasatch front where I now live. Everyday when I wake up and look out my window and see the beautiful mountains that surround where I live, I pinch myself just to make sure I am actually living here. Such a huge change from the Kennewick Washington area where I spent 30 plus years of my life and the tallest mountain was called Badger Mountain and not much to compare to the likes of Mt. Timpanogos (out my front window). Back to the subject at hand, Bruin Point and the reason I am writing this.
Bruin Point is the 49th most prominent point in the state of Utah. Not the 49th highest point, the 49th most prominent spot as prominence is different from sheer elevation. For more on prominence, click here. It is the prominence aspect that encouraged my trip to this interesting part of the state. On my weekends, I needed something to do and this first day of fall found me putting myself onto the Utah highways to visit a couple of the prominence peaks that were on the top 100 list. First I went to Strawberry Peak, near Soldier Pass off of highway 6 and then I continued onto Price and Bruin Point.
Bruin PointAfter visiting Strawberry Peak, I headed back to US 6 and headed for Price where I made a stop for gasoline and a bite to eat. Then I headed east and took a left off of US 6 and headed for the small town of Sunnyside on highway 123. I went through town and followed the highway as it turned north and started an uphill climb on a nice paved road until I reached a signed fork that indicated Bruin Point was 5.5 miles away. I followed a dirt road the rest of the way and while it got a bit steep in a few spots, it was easy to follow all the way up to the top of the cliffs where the highpoint resides, nestled near some structures that seem to be plentiful all over the west.
On the way up the road, I noticed a lot of mining relics that were somewhat plentiful, including an overhead tram that still had equipment attached.
Unfortunately, I didn't have the presence of mind to stop and photograph these interesting structures either on the way up or on the way back down.
At the top, the road split and you had your choice of three possibilities. I opted for the road that went left (or north) which would lead me to some structures near where the highpoint would be located. I had a report that indicated the highpoint wouldn't be found at the same place where the Benchmark was located and a cairn at that location even had a register in it that contained a note by Andy Martin about the actual highpoint being a bit to the south on a higher bump (which seemed pretty obvious when you stand at the benchmark spot).
The actual highpoint
Edward Earl was the one who had sent me a note about where the true highpoint was located and he noted that it wasn't where the benchmark and a cairn with a tin can register was located (as already indicated by Andy Martin's register page). He mentioned that the highest point was back to the south a bit on a bit of a rise and within a clump of trees. I dutifully made my way over to where it seemed obvious the highest point would be and sure enough, I found a cairn of stones marking the spot.
From the clear spots I could find, I had some decent views back toward the way I came up and to the east. To the south was a view of more communication towers and nothing very exciting to the north either. The best views werer to the west in my opinion.
The time was moving along so I cut my visit to the top of Bruin Point short and headed back down the road towards Sunnyside and Price. On the way out, just before connecting with highway 6, there was a unique little picnic area that had not only a table but a beehive type of structure and a plaque that
covered a bit of the local history. From there I headed to Price and then south to Ferron and a stop at the ranger station there to inquire about Hilgard mountain to the south but that is another story and perhaps I'll share that part of my trip another time.
Another trip report on Bruin PointFor some more pics of this area and some nice maps, let me recommend that
you check out SP member Eric Willhite's trip report that is posted HERE.