OverviewEast Grandaddy Mountain is a remote and seldom visited summit of the southwestern Uinta Mountains. The mountain lies on the High Uinta’s Wilderness Area border, the northern side lies within, Arta Lake to the south does not. There are cliffs on the south and northeast sides and when viewed from Arta Lake the peak is a rugged backdrop, unlike the other surrounding peaks. As you probably suspected, there is a West Grandaddy Mountain which is 11,494’, located about 2 miles to the west. The route from Arta Lake is the “easiest” way to the summit; other route options are longer with greater distances and elevation gain. East Grandaddy Mountain can also be ascended from Grandaddy Lake, however it's a longer hike.
The Arta Lake approach requires some route finding skills since there are no trails, not even to Arta Lake, though a GPS shouldn’t be necessary. The south face of the peak has many possible class 3 to 4 routes to the summit. From Arta Lake, East Grandaddy Mountain makes an excellent half day hike with some fun scrambling.
Summit views are nothing short of spectacular, with vistas in every direction and the scenic Grandaddy Basin to the north. The peaks around Mirror Lake Highway (150); Bald Mountain, Hayden Peak and Mount Agassiz (looking left to right), can be seen looking northwest. Directly north is Spread Eagle Peak, followed by Yard Peak. Looking northeast and at a closer distance are Squaw and Cleveland Peaks. Behind the peaks mentioned are other notable Uinta summits, although they are at a more distant view. On the north side of the mountain is Grandaddy Lake, one of the larger lakes in the Uinta’s. The lake lies just north of the peak and offers some excellent fishing, but expect people. Arta Lake though small, offers solitude and fishing. Another small lake, Survey Lake lies just west of Arta Lake and is much smaller, with some fishing as well.
East Grandaddy Mountain comes in at #52 for the highest named summits in Utah.
Getting to the start of the route mentioned does not require 4WD or high clearance.
From Salt Lake City (160 miles) :
From Salt Lake City head east on I-80 towards Park City, go past the Park City exits and take the exit for US Highway 40 (Exit #148). Follow US Highway 40 to Heber City and past Strawberry Reservoir, to the town of Duchesne. In Duchesne take a left on highway 87 and follow north for just over 15 miles to where the road takes a bend and starts heading east. Head a half a mile east from the bend and take a left onto 21000W. Go north on 2100W for 2.8 miles and take a left onto 6750N which turns into Rock Creek Road, a paved road. For the next 23 miles the road is paved as you head towards Upper Still Water Reservoir. At the 23 mile mark take a left onto South Fork Road, a dirt road. Continue up South Fork Road for just over 2 miles until you reach the road for Arta Lake. Take a right and head to the end of the road which is 4.5 miles and there is a small parking area.
When To Climb
The best time of the year to do this hike would be during the summer, July through mid September. Fall, winter and spring conditions usually present snow, making approaches longer and more difficult. The access road to the start of the route mentioned won’t be open until snow free, which is usually July.
CampingPrimitive camping is allowed at the Arta Lake parking area. Firewood is available here, but no water sources. There are also many primitive camping areas on the access roads to Arta Lake.
The closest campground is Upper Stillwater Campground, about a 7 mile drive from the Arta Lake parking area. To get there head down from Arta Lake and take a left, back onto South Fork Road, and head down to the paved road. At the paved road take a left the campground is about a mile away. More information about this campground can be found here
Red Tape & USGS QuadsNo permits are required. Please follow wilderness area rules.
Mountain ConditionsA predicted forecast for the area can be found here.
Local weather for Duchesne, UT can be found here.
Click here for Forest Service Information.