Leave I-15 as you head south from Salt Lake City or north from Provo at the town of Lehi, turning west on highway 73. Proceed west on 73 for close to 28 miles (not exact) with the road going over Five mile pass. Watch the mile posts as the road you need for the turnoff to Ophir (on the right) is between mile posts 4 and 5. I wasn't driving so I can't say for sure the exact mileage but this is in the ballpark. The turnoff to Ophir is paved all the way to Ophir, about 5 miles to the east. Ophir is an old mining town that has given way to private homes and a little bit of restoration, just enough to capture the interest of the average tourist. Go slowly through town and after about 1.2 miles watch for a rough road taking off to the right. It is just before the water from Ophir Creek is diverted into a pipe. If you go past this turnoff, you'll find the road narrows and turns slightly north. Stop and go back.
The road up to Flattop is on BLM land while the majority of the area is privately owned and it is important that you stay on BLM land as the landowners are not friendly to those who trespass. The majority of the land is owned by one family nowadays, the Ault family. As one local told us, they own the land for "57 canyons worth". The road you want is the "South Fork" road but I don't recall seeing any signage. Unless you have a high clearance 4WD rig, find a spot to park (off the roadway) and proceed to walk because the road goes to hell in a hurry. We managed to drive this road in Bob Bolton's 4runner but most vehicles would not make it. Trust me when i say this road is nasty. If you park, you will be at an elevation of 6725, leaving you close to 3900 feet of elevation gain . Walk or driving, go right when you hit a junction (see map)
If you go left at this fork, you will eventually come to a gate that will block any further progress and this is where the BLM right of way stops and private property begins. Do not go past this gate. The road beyond leads up to Halls Basin which was described as a possible route in Kelsey's book but is no longer available. At the fork, go right and continue uphill up the south fork road, and you will be able to eventually make it to a pass close to 8000 feet, reducing your effort by almost 1300 feet. There is a small spur road that proceeds up a bit further, if you can get up that spur, you will find a nice spot to park that is out of sight and off the main track. At that spot, you will see a BLM marker that states "No motorized vehicles beyond this point". Walk up the remaining bit of road to another clearing (only about a 100 feet) and look for some rocks piled on top of each other. This marks the beginning of a trail that you could miss if you don't pay attention and that trail makes a big difference. This is the beginning of the Lewiston Peak route (see routes at left). If the stone cairn marking the trail is not there, keep checking as finding the trail makes a big difference.
Book: Michael Kelsey "Mountaineering in Utah" can be found at Amazon and has a useful map and area description.
Route DescriptionThe description of how to get to the saddle is covered in the "Getting There" section.
Once you get to the saddle at 8000 feet, a short spur road heads a bit up to the east. Take this short lived road and follow the path. This is on BLM land so there is no private property issues for the whole route.
Head east up a non technical slope to the top of Lewiston Peak From the top of Lewiston, follow the ridgeline north to Flat Top. You'll find a mailbox which serves as a summit register and it would be best to reverse your route on the return to your vehicle. The land beyond (north) is private and the landowners won't tolerate trespassing any longer (as we in my group were informed by one of them) so a loop route described by Michael Kelsey in his book is no longer legal.
From the saddle to Lewiston Peak and then to Flat Top, it is roughly 3.6 miles for a round trip effort of 7.2 miles.
Elevation gain: 2700 feet (more like 3000' as there are ups & downs to contend with (both ways).
From Dennis Poulin's trip report, is this useful information about this route:
"Soon I reached the 8,000 ft intersection and turned left towards the mountain here. The road petered out soon and I had to look carefully to find the trail. As you come into the little clearing at the end of the road, the trail is on you left at about 10 o’clock. I erected a small 4 stone cairn to mark the spot, but it was probably knocked down by cows or hunters by the time I got back to my truck.
The trail makes several switchbacks up the hill directly east of the intersection and you gain about 1,000 feet quickly. Once on top of this first hill, the trail meanders around some knobs and then traverses on the south side of point 9654. The trail dips through a wet brushy area before switchbacking and coming back up to another little saddle east of point 9654 and west of Lewiston Peak. I didn’t expect the trail to dip so much here and I think it dropped about 100 ft in elevation. Before the trail switchbacked up to this saddle I saw a cow elk with her calf. That was nice to see some wildlife at least.
Once up to the saddle at about 9,600 ft I left the trail and headed cross country directly up the ridge towards Lewiston Peak. I stayed on top of the ridge as much as possible following a climber’s use trail of sorts. It could have been an elk trail also. The hiking was slower here but I kept at it and eventually came up to the summit of Lewiston Peak. I was surprised to find a nice register to sign on this summit."
Essential GearNothing technical needed. Plenty of water on hot summer days and be wary of
thunderstorms on the high ridge. Snowshoes in wintertime might be a consideration as I'd think this would make a good snow hike.
Miscellaneous InfoIf you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.
Note: This route was "gifted" to me by Mr Wasatch, even though I hadn't summit'd by this route. Originally I went up via Halls Basin, now off limits by the owners. I did this route on June 5, 2009 and will fine tune this page a bit more thanks to having more intimate knowledge of the route.