Note: Normally most people wouldn’t even notice Cobabe Peak. It doesn’t meet peak status at only 144 feet of prominence and it isn’t a particularly far hike. This “peak” did try to kill me…twice…the worst being a straight up the side ascent in mid-winter, in a snowstorm, without snowshoes. I learned the concepts of “avalanche” and “hypothermia” from this little guy. Enjoy your climb.
Cobabe Peak, located at 41.384633,-111.789209 inside the Powder Mountain Ski Resort is a small peak that is usually ascended unnoticed by climbers on their way to James Peak. It was named after James Cobabe, a local sheepherder who grazed a flock of sheep in the are in the early 1900s. Dr. Alvin Cobabe opened the Powder Mountain ski resort in 1972. Cobabe Peak is usually noted as “the false summit” or “1st hill”. It is very rarely ascended as a primary destination.
In the summer and fall, people blow over it to more interesting destinations. In the winter it has snow-cat service and is the starting point for adventurous types going down the Big Kash Black Diamond slope. In the late spring once the resort is closed and before the snow melts, Cobabe becomes a worthwhile short snowshoe hike. The route to the top is well defined and the views strikingly beautiful. The empty resort gives the hike a surreal, last person on earth feel.
Starting from the upper Powder Mountain parking lot, there is a trail next to the maintenance garage. Follow the road/maintenance trail east. You’ll go past some spendy skier cabins on both sides of the road. At about .3 mile, the road will split. To the right is a skier village, you want to go left up “Slow Poke Run". After about .3 mile you’ll reach another cross road. To the left there is a knob (Sundown Ridge 8900) with a ski lifts…you want to go to the right, up the side of the mountain. Follow this steeper trail to the top. Cobabe Peak’s summit has a sign that says “Big Kash” and a skier’s warming cabin on top. You’ll see James Peak 1/2 mile away to the North. Total distance from parking lot to summit is about 1.0 mile with a 600 foot elevation gain.
From the summit, you get a nice view of James Peak and the rugged mountains to the north, Pineview to the east, and more mountains to the west. It’s a pretty spot for a break.
Once summited, either return the way you came or press on for James Peak 0.5 mile away.
From Lists of John
Counties: Cache & Weber
Quad: James Peak
Cords: 41.384633, -111.789209
Line Parent: James Peak
Proximate Parent: James Peak
Isolation: 0.50 miles
Distance: ~1.0 mile Trailhead to Summit
Trailhead Location: 41.381116,-111.781554
Vertical Trailhead to Summit: ~600’
Time required: 1.5 hour roundtrip
Getting There, Red Tape, Camping
Powder Mountain Ski Resort is located about 20 miles north of Ogden near Eden Utah. To get there, go up Ogden 12th Street to Ogden Canyon (Highway 39). When you reach Pineview Reservoir, take the left fork toward Powder Mountain (Highway 158) for 12 miles. After passing the condos in Eden, the road will get a little steep for about 7 miles. Follow the road to the highest parking lot in the resort and park next to the maintenance garage.
The hike is located on private property. So far there haven’t been any issues, but please respect property rights. I’m not sure how they feel about people hiking during ski season, but outside of ski season, the resort has been accommodating.
None…it’s a ski resort.
Animal life is typical of Northern Utah Ranges and consists of moose, wild-turkey, grouse, deer, elk, squirrels, rabbits, bobcat and fox. If you look closely along the route you’ll see lots of signs of animal inhabitants including dens, scat, and tracks. Rattlesnakes are very common along the route, so exercise caution. During the spring/summer/fall, local farmers will graze sheep in the area. Bugs are pretty minimal and there doesn’t seem to be too much of a mosquito problem but DEET always comes in handy.