ApproachStart the hike from the summit of Francis Peak (or the closest you can park). Francis Peak is 12.1 miles up Farmington Canyon, a good dirt road that can be driven in passenger cars.
Route DescriptionFrom the summit of Francis the trail drops steeply for a couple hundred feet. It then follows a jeep road at a relatively level grade for a good mile, or more, mostly on the west slope. The views are outstanding. Early in the season snow lingers on the ridges and eastern slopes, and can make it a more challenging climb. The road soon turns into a trail and continues north, and is very faint in some spots. A short climb leads back to the ridge just before peak 9,491. From here you get a good view of Thurston Peak in the distance. A drop of a few hundred feet lead to another peak where the trail disappears and you will need to to some easy route-finding. Another descent leads to the trail again. Don't follow the trail for long (which leads down towards Kays Creek), but off-trail (easy class 2) hike the ridge to make the final ascent to Thurston Peak (about 600 vertical feet).
It is roughly four miles each way, and due to several up's and down's, the vertical climb is about 2,000 feet.