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ridgeline between Emigration and Red Butte canyons near SLC

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ridgeline between Emigration and Red Butte canyons near SLC

Postby seanpeckham » Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:45 am

I'm interested in running the length of this ridge, either as an out-and-back from one end, or with a bike shuttle. Yesterday I ran the one between Emigration and Parleys, and I had a blast overall, but the bushwhacking near Perkins Peak made running impossible and wasn't super comfortable in running shorts. Looking at the Emigration/Red Butte one on Google Earth, it appears to be a very developed trail for the western half, but hard to see for the eastern half.

Has anybody here been up on that section of the ridge and can say how much bushwhacking there is? Some is okay, but if there's lots maybe i should save that exploration for a trip that doesn't have any illusions about being a run.

Also, on Google Earth it looked like there's a (well, maybe more than one) dirt road or double-track trail in Emigration Canyon that one could use to climb to/from the eastern end of the ridge, but it too seems to fade towards the top. Anybody have helpful experience to share about the best way to/from the ridge on that end of the canyon?
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Postby seanpeckham » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:09 pm

I thought I'd dig up this old thread since I ended up running this ridge on Sunday. I can run farther now than I could then, so I was (barely) able to do an entire loop without a bike or car shuttle. Came in just under 15 miles, and 3600', and took me almost 3:50. I started near Red Butte Garden, climbed Mt Wire, ran/bushwhacked the ridge to where it drops down to the pass between Red Butte Canyon and the north branch of Emigration Canyon, came down that branch, down Emigration Canyon, and back to Wakara Way. I had hoped to take the gas pipeline down the canyon to avoid the pavement, but I was too tired and out of time, water, and food for all the extra climbing that route involves, and instead just jogged tiredly down the canyon road.
There was indeed a lot of bushwhacking on the ridge, especially the farther east you go. That, probably even more than the climbs, accounts for my average pace looking almost as much like a hike as a run. There are various ways off the end of the ridge into the canyon. One way looked pretty reasonable and came down more of a ridge, but I took a steep and intermittent deer trail into the north branch of Emigration Canyon, knowing there was supposed to be a hiking trail along the bottom of it, but had to get through some thick forest to find it.
It was fun, and there was a lot of solitude!
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