Known as Peak 10,420 this mountain has an elevation of that's right you guesed it, 10,420 feet. Nestled inbetween Tri County Peak and Clayton Peak and also located right next to the popular Guardsmans Pass, this is a peak where solitude is not that easily found. From the summit one can see just about every peak in the Wasatch Range. On the clearest of days outstanding views of the near by Uinta Range, Oquirrh Range, Northern and Southern Wasatch can be seen. In the summer months the hike to the summit is quite short. Starting from Guardsmans Pass, the trail is steep but is less then a mile to the summit. In the winter months Peak 10,420 can receive over 500 inches of snow, making Guardsmans Pass closed to vehicle traffic. Guardsmans Road to the pass is one of the few public snowmobile trailheads in Big Cottonwood Canyon, so if your into getting away from the sounds of machines than this is a climb I would not recommend. Still, hiking this peak in the winter months usually its advantages such as less people, less bugs and in my opinion a much more rewarding experince overall. Snowmobilers and skiers alike have lost their lives to avalanches on this mountain in the past so be sure to take a beacon, probe, partner, shovel, avalung and common sense with you during any winter attempts.
Troy just about to reach the summit of Peak 10,420
Peak 10,420 from The Great Western Trail
Troy at the summit of Peak 10,420
A foggy view off of Peak 10,420
Getting Up There
Peak 10,420 is one of the most accessible peaks in the Central Wasatch. The easiest way of getting to this mountain is by driving up Big Cottonwood Canyon past Solitude Ski Resort. Just before Brighton Ski Resort you will have a chance to turn left up Guardsmans Road. Make your left and drive up as far as the road allows you to. In the summer months you can park at the top of the pass in a dirt parking lot. In the winter months most of the road is closed so the hike is much longer but much more rewarding.
Troy skinning up Guardsmans to Peak 10,420
Clayton Peak from the summit of Peak 10,420
Troy skinning up Guardsmans Pass with Scott Hill in the distance
Troy skinning up what our car could not, adding a mile and a smile to the day.
In the summer months hikers are not allowed to travel on or below the eastern slopes of Peak 10,420. This No Tresspassing rule does not apply in the winter months.
Snowmobilers are NOT allowed off of the Guardsmans Highway until they are out of Big Cottonwood Canyon.
No Dogs are allowed in Big Cottonwood Canyon due to water shed concerns.
The east side of Peak 10,420 (picutred in the center) is considered a No Tresspassing Area in the summer and fall months.
During the winter months Peak 10,420 is a popular destination for snowmobilers, backcountry skiers and snowshoers. With steep bowls, wide open faces, narrow chutes and gladed trees, there is a little something for everyone on this peak. Due to the amount of snowmobilers who travel this area, first tracks on the open faces can be hard to come by. Also when Brighton Ski Resort is open they do allow thier skiers to access this area quite easily so early starts are suggested. It should be said that the actual Guardsmans Road can resemble a frozen sea of small waves in the winter time, making a horrible ski decent. These waves are created from the hundreds of snowmobiles that use this road as an access route.
Troy skiing the Northeast Chutes of Peak 10,420
Troy skiing the east face Peak 10,420
Troy skiing the Northwest Trees of Peak 10,420
Peak 10,420 has what some would call a very healthy moose population all year round. Other wildlife such as deer, cougars, black bears, cyotes, and even eagles commonly rome this area. Late summer and early fall are the best months to catch sight of these animals, however it is not uncommon nor unheard of to see these animals on the upper ridgelines during winter.
A moose and her calf take a rest in some fall colors near Peak 10,420
"Mountaineering is more than climbing (exercise), panoramic views, and wilderness experience. It is also challenge, risk, and hardship (self reliance). And it is not for everyone. Those drawn to the mountains can find them exhilarating and irresistible, as well as frustrating and sometimes even deadly. There are qualities to mountaineering that bring inspiration and joy in a pursuit that is more than a pastime, more than a sport – a passion, certainly, and sometimes a compulsion."
--Mountaineering: "Freedom of the Hills", Chp. 1