OverviewEast Mountain is tucked away in the middle of Emery County and is only significant because it is the highest peak there. East Mountain is mainly of interest to county highpointers and locals who visit the area. Emery County's has a population of 10600 people (as of the last census) and Castledale is the largest town with a population of 1657 although Ferron is almost as populated with 1653 residents listed. If you look close at this linked table, you will see the name of Molen, a place where some of my ancestors settled and tried to make a go of it. Ok, ok, back to East Mountain.
At 10743 feet high, East Mountain is the third highest peak on the Wasatch Plateau with So. Tent Peak and Mussina Peak to the west in neighboring Sanpete county being higher. A good view of East Peak is available from So. Tent Mountain as is shown on the signature picture.
Getting There / The hike
Standard South approach:
From the north:
SP member Prince of Norway (see his log entry as of July 2014) offered this:
For those of you coming from the North to bag this peak during summer months, I'd like to offer an alternative route to arriving at the trail-head. Take Highway 6 up Spanish Fork Canyon like normal, but hit Highway 89 to Fairview. Head east on UT 31 (SR 31) up the canyon for a very pretty drive. You will pass the Mammoth Discovery Site. When you pass the site will know you are getting close to Forest Road 0014. Forest Road 0014 is between Huntington and Cleveland reservoirs on your right (south). This road isn't paved, but it is maintained gravel. 0014 will lead you passed Miller Flat Reservoir and to Forest Road 0017, which will be on your left (east). It runs directly east across the little valley for maybe a quarter mile where it comes to a threeway stop. There is a sign for Indian Campground from here telling you to turn left (north) which will keep you on 0017. Don't make anymore turns and this will lead you directly to the trail head."
The Hike starts from either place and the trail is easy to follow. At a junction as the trail meets up with a trail ascending from the north. You'll see some tanks on your right (near where the spring is marked on the topo) and the trail continues past them and goes to the right (southeast).
In a short distance, the trail forks again, take the right fork which heads up fairly steeply for a bit but soon comes out of the trees and onto a grassy slope. Take the grassy slope to the top but be sure to remember where you came out of the trees to make your return to the trail easier.
The trail disappears into the grass but it is obvious as to where you want to go.
The top of East Mountain is somewhat rounded and flat but the views to the west and north are very nice. The actual highest spot is near some bushes about 130 feet south of where the benchmark is found.
Total Miles from where we parked: 3 miles roundtrip Elevation gain 1300 feet.
If parking lower, than add about 1/2 mile round trip and an additional
300 feet of elevation gain.
Red TapeNo permits or other regulations to be noted at this time.
East Mountain is within the boundaries of the Manti-La Sal National forest.
For more information about conditions on the Wasatch Plateau area, consider calling:
Manti-La Sal National Forest
599 W. Price River Dr.
Price, UT 84501
Sanpete Ranger District
150 South Main Street
P.O. Box 692
Ephraim, UT 84627
Camping and WeatherThe two nearby campgrounds are:
Joe's Valley Reservoir Campground (more on Joes Valley below). This one is just a few miles from East Moutain and more info can be found HERE.
Indian Spring Campground is really close to East Mountain but a recent renovation of the campground converted all sites to group campsites, not
very useful for just a couple of people. For more info, click HERE.
We camped just off the road a little north of the Indian Springs campground and it was fine for just car camping.
Emery CountyEmery County was named in honor of George W. Emery, governor of the Utah Territory in 1875. Its county seat is Castle Dale and the largest city is Huntington. It is one of those counties where the population is expected to shrink as in the year 2000 the population was 10,860, and by 2005 has been estimated to decrease by about ten percent. Now that it is 2007, it would be interesting to see if this has happened.
The Fremont culture was one of the earlier civilizations of this area and you can learn more about that if you click HERE.
Crandall mine accidentSee the pic and the story link
Click HERE> for story on this tragic mine accident (thanks to gjagiels for the link)
Joe's Valley SP pageA ton of good information can now be found on the Joe's Valley area
at this well done Summitpost page:
Joe's Valley Check it out.
External LinksThree trip reports from www.cohp.org are found HERE
Don't miss this Trip Report by Scott Surgent
High in Utah
Hiking Utah's Summits
Neither book follows the route we used in getting to the summit and from looking at both routes, I think the best route is the one offered by what you see in my map. This route provides a trail most of the way versus no trail as outlined in the books. Your choice. High in Utah gives road directions from both Joes Reservoir and an alternate drive in route from Fairview.
Other informative links:
History of Castle Dale Utah
Castle Dale Museum
San Rafael Swell guide PDF format